Volkswagen's upcoming entry-level electric city car, known as the ID 1, will channel the spirit of the Volkswagen Up and could even take its name when it arrives in 2026.
Volkswagen confirmed plans for a new entry-level EV last year when it revealed the slightly larger ID2all concept and is now working to bring the ID 1 to production within the next three years as a replacement for the Up, which recently went out of production after 12 years.
Revealing that the first design sketches are complete and that development is under way, technical development boss Kai Grünitz suggested it will be an obvious successor to the successful city car in its conception and inevitably will share some design elements and attributes.
“The ‘ID 1’ will be close to the Up regarding the usage of that car," he said. "There aren't so many possibilities to design a small vehicle for cities in terms of what it looks like. It will be a car that fits into the Volkswagen brand design DNA and functionality DNA but at a lower price.”
He stopped short of categorically confirming the return of the Up badge, but Volkswagen places great value on its longest-running and most successful names. Golf, Passat and Tiguan are all due to be retained in the EV era, with the suggestion that the brand’s numerical naming strategy for its ID EVs could be retired.
Grünitz outlined the importance of bringing such a car to market: “You need a smaller car that’s affordable for the broader customer base. That’s why we’re going for €25,000 for the ID 2all and we're invested in the development phase for a vehicle below €20,000 - that’s Volkswagen.
“We have to go in that direction to convince our customers that EV is the right way.”