Volkswagen ID 7 prototype

Open gallery Close by Greg Kable 4 April 2023 Follow @@autocar Share

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The ID 3, ID 4, ID 5 and ID Buzz have now firmly established Volkswagen within the EV ranks. Between them, they accounted for nearly 10% of the German giant’s global sales in the final quarter of last year.

Now Volkswagen is looking to build on this success with the ID 7, a new liftback-style saloon that’s planned to head into UK showrooms by the end of 2023 – with the promise of an even more practical estate sibling set for arrival in early 2024.

Unlike its key rivals, the new Volkswagen ID 7 has no provision for a front luggage compartment – or ‘frunk’, as it’s now commonly termed. The storage area under the boot floor may be the most practical place to store charging cables.Greg KableEuropean editor

This latest ID model is aimed squarely at the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Tesla Model 3, with Volkswagen wanting you to think of it as an upmarket electric alternative to the traditional ICE Passat. Pricing has yet to be announced, but Volkswagen suggests it will land in the UK at about £50,000 – the same as those two rivals in their respective long-range forms.

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The origins of the ID 7 can be traced back to the Geneva motor show of 2018, where Volkswagen unveiled the ID Vizzion concept car. Its definitive styling was subsequently previewed under an illuminated QR-code-inspired disguise at last year’s Los Angeles motor show, where Volkswagen also confirmed the ID 7 name.

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The prototype we’ve been invited to drive in sunny Spain remains camouflaged, but that obviously doesn’t prevent us seeing a two- box saloon shape featuring many of the styling cues established by the ID 3, ID 4 and ID 5. This is particularly noticeable up front, where Volkswagen says it has put a lot of effort into improving the aerodynamics and aeroacoustic qualities, with tighter panel gaps and tolerances than on other ID models and flush door handles.

The packaging advantages of Volkswagen’s MEB platform for EVs are evident in the ID 7’s proportions. With its A-pillars set well forwards, it has a much shorter bonnet and a longer curved roofline than the current Passat. The result is an overall drag coefficient of 0.23Cd, making the ID 7 a bit more like the aerodynamically efficient kind of car that you might expect from the maker of the XL1 (0.19Cd) than the ID models produced previously.

Practicality has also clearly played an important role in the development of the ID 7. At 4961mm long, 1862mm wide and 1538mm tall, it’s 186mm longer, 30mm wider and 55mm higher than the current Passat, and its 2966mm wheelbase is a considerable 180mm longer.

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