Volkswagen’s dire reputation post-Dieselgate required some kind of bells and whistles statement in a bid to re-establish the brand’s credentials.

Volkswagen ID electric microbus concept to be revealed at Detroit motor show

But, motor show buzz aside, is the ID concept really the smash-hit game-changer VW’s headlines claim it is? I’m an advocate of electric cars, to the point that I lease one (a Renault Zoe), and I’m excited by VW’s vision of the future, but I need to see more before I’m convinced that the ID is the leap forward that its maker wants us to believe it is.

Of course, the ID concept car has more range, more space, more autonomous functions and more connectivity possibilities than any car on sale today. But so it should: it won’t spawn production vehicles until around 2020, four long years from now.

Today, barely a car (electric or otherwise) is launched that doesn’t have more range, more space, more autonomous functions and more connectivity possibilities. The devil is in the detail, but in four years’ time, I can’t help thinking the whole industry will have redefined itself in all of those areas and more, and every manufacturer will have a car in the ballpark of VW’s — or something more exciting again. 

I don’t want to be needlessly negative or knock such a bold, exciting initiative, but I do need to know more of VW’s plans and understand the context of the industry and times in which the production cars will come to sit. Until then, I can’t help but think the ID concept is better seen as another short step to redemption for VW — but the path it must first negotiate remains as long and as rocky as before.