It has been a rough start to life for the Volkswagen ID 4.
The mid-sized electric crossover’s fortunes were initially hit by the pandemic-related shutdowns and lockdowns. Then, just when things looked to be taking a turn for the better, component supply bottlenecks caused by the global semiconductor shortage and the Russian invasion of Ukraine further conspired to delay deliveries. And all this piled on top of criticisms of the EV’s performance, range, sub-par interior quality and annoying control layout in a market segment that isn’t exactly short of rivals.
Now, after a change of boss and a return to some sort of normality throughout its global operations, Volkswagen is ringing the changes to what has become its best-selling EV worldwide, intending to answer those aforementioned criticisms.
In what’s billed as a running change, rather than a facelift, the 2024-model-year ID 4 has received an updated drivetrain and other revisions related to power-electrics software, and here we’re trying them for the first time in a pilot-production car.
Additionally, the ID 4 receives an upgraded interior with a larger central touchscreen that operates with updated infotainment software and menus; illumination for the touch-sensitive sliders that control the audio volume and the climate control; a new-look steering wheel; and the characteristic gear selector rocker has become a column stalk.
The updated drivetrain features the rear-axle-mounted motor that Volkswagen recently introduced on the new VW ID 7 saloon for both single-motor, rear-wheel-drive ID 4 models (like ours) and dual-motor, four-wheel-drive ones.
With 80bhp and 173lb ft more than the motor produced up until now, the AP550 unit gives the rear-wheel-drive ID 4 Pro Performance 282bhp and 402lb ft. The four-wheel-drive ID 4 Pro 4Motion receives a 50bhp overall boost, taking its peak power up to 295bhp. And the range-topping, likewise driven VW ID 4 GTX gains an extra 40bhp, taking it up to 335bhp.
The motor’s increase in potency is achieved in part through a revision to the rotor and coil designs and a new external water heat sink, which is aimed at reducing heat build-up under extended constant-throttle running.