Currently reading: Volkswagen ID Life concept previews compact ID 2 EV
VW previews future electric compact crossover with £17,000 target price
James Attwood, digital editor
News
5 mins read
6 September 2021

Volkswagen has pledged that the production version of the new ID Life crossover concept, which will go on sale in 2025, likely branded the ID 2, will feature some ‘radical’ new concepts - and will gain a GTX-branded performance version.

Revealed at the Munich motor show, the ID Life previews the first model built on the specially adapted MEB Entry version of the VW Group’s bespoke electric platform, and the firm has pledged that it will be priced from €20,000 (£17,000) to €25,000 (£21,500) when it goes on sale. 

The platform will also be used for forthcoming models from Cupra – previewed with the UrbanRebel concept – and Skoda, with the Group aiming to produce around 500,000 units per year at Seat-Cupra’s Martorell factory in Spain. Within the Group it is understood Volkswagen took the lead on developing the new version of the MEB platform, with Seat-Cupra leading development of the cars and production processes. But each brand will style and design its own models.

Munich motor show 2021: all the news and updates

The car features familiar ID design cues, albeit with a more boxy, crossover-oriented design than has been seen previously. The concept features a detachable roof, which can be optioned in a range of materials including GTI tartan.

The minimalist interior features most of the controls mounted on the steering wheel, with the displays using a head-up display. It is designed for the infotainment to be operated via a smartphone, with Volkswagen claiming that it will offer “a completely new level of integration”. Phones can be attached to the dashboard magnetically.

The concept also makes extensive use of recycled materials as part of Volkswagen's sustainability push, including recycled seat fabric.

The ID Life was created by a dedicated team within Volkswagen. Company boss Ralf Brandstätter said the brief was “to create more than just a show car. We told them to create the future of urban mobility."

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Brandstätter added: “In the future people want more. They're always on the lookout for the next great experience. The ID Life will match this feeling. This car is ready for extraordinary experiences online and offline. It will be your living space and your companion for life.

“The ID Life proves how unique MEB is. It is the most scalable platform in the industry, and we're only just beginning to scratch the surface of what MEB can be. With this platform, scale can go through the roof. This is the key to breaking the €20,000 barrier and it will be on the road by 2025.”

ID Life introduces new concepts to EV range

The ID Life's specially adapted version of the MEB platform has a reduced 2650mm wheelbase – which is more than 100mm shorter than that of the ID 3 and ID 4. The concept is 4091mm long (making it slightly shorter than the current T-Cross), 1845mm wide and 1599mm high.

Unlike the existing ID models, which are rear- and all-wheel-drive, the ID Life features a single front-mounted motor that drives the front axle and produces 231bhp and 214lb ft. The decision to mount the motor on the front axle is understood to be primarily driven by cost, although VW believes there are also some packaging benefits for the rear end of the car.

The single motor can power the ID Life from 0-62mph in less than seven seconds, with power coming from a 57kWh battery that offers a range of around 248 miles. VW says that it can accept up to 101 miles of charge in 10 minutes on a DC fast-charger, although it has not detailed precise charging speeds.

VW has yet to detail the technology used in the battery cells, although the firm has been working on some lower-cost materials for the entry level models.

It is understood that those specifications and figures are the target for the entry level £17,000 version of the production version.

While the ID Life maintains some familiar ID design cues, the styling is a deliberate shift from that seen on the ID 3, ID 4 and ID 5 that have so far been revealed, signalling both the different intended use case and development of the technology. The pared-down boxy body is designed to meet the crossover brief and maximise visibility in urban areas, while the expressive design is intended to add some character to the car.

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As a concept model, the ID Life does introduce a number of features that are unlikely to make the production model, including a removable roof made of an air chamber textile fabric. 

The concept also comes with a videogame console built in, along with a projector that extends from the dashboard when required allowing the car to be used as a mobile cinema. While outlandish, it is understood that VW believes it is possible to offer that extending screen in some form in future production models.

There are bench seats in the front and rear, both of which can be completely folded. VW notes that enables around two metres of rear storage, and has hinted that could enable a future commercial vehicle version.

The concept also features numerous natural and recycled materials, including the roof cover made from recycled plastic bottles, wood chips in the bodywork coating and the use of bio-oil, natural rubber and rice husks. With VW aiming the car at younger, environmentally conscious customers, it is likely to introduce as many sustainable materials as possible.

Most of the controls of the car are placed on the hexagonal, open-topped steering wheel, while instead of an infotainment system the car is designed to be operated via a smartphone, using a new integrated version of the VW.OS operating system.

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New business models key to ownership

The ID Life’s software, developed by the VW Group’s Cariad software arm, has been designed for over-the-air updates, which will also allow for the car to be used in rental and other mobility schemes. 

VW sales boss Klaus Zellmer said that, as with the forthcoming Project Trinity autonomous cruiser, the firm is also planning to offer some features as downloadable options that owners will be able to rent or buy. There could include functions such as driver assistance features, for example allowing someone to rent lane keeping assist for occasional motorway journeys. 

Offering many of the features as software updates will also allow VW to reduce the complexity of the ID Life by cutting back on the number of options and parts, helping the firm to achieve greater economies of scale.

However, CEO Ralf Brandstätter clarified that the ID Life’s software stack will be more closely related to that found in the current ID 3 and ID 4, in terms of functionality, than the advanced ‘2.0’ generation platform coming with the Trinity flagship in 2026.

READ MORE

Munich motor show 2021: all the news and updates

New Cupra UrbanRebel concept previews 2025 urban EV​

Volkswagen plots hot ID Life GTX version of new compact crossover​

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mullogutherum 7 September 2021

Like, Minecraft-type crude.

mullogutherum 7 September 2021

Looks like a crude rendering of the Honda e.

Not nearly as charming, yet probably more capable, and more likely to make full-throated production/distribution in major global markets.

Here's hoping VW give it a serious makeover before production launch...

catnip 6 September 2021

"The car features familiar ID design cues.."

Where are those then?