NEW YORK — Volkswagen hasn’t kept the ID.7 some deeply held secret. The German automaker has shown us the spacious, streamlined saloon in revealing camo, and we’ve even had a chance behind the wheel of a prototype. Now, VW has officially taken all the wraps off the production version of the ID.7, providing new details and a production timeline of the EV that it originally previewed as the ID.Aero concept.
As suggested by that original concept’s name, this successor to the VW Arteon is a slippery number, its 195.3 inches of overall length cutting through the air with a drag coefficient of about 0.23. As such, this fastback has a steeply raked windshield and a low roofline terminating at the rear of the car in a lip spoiler. The overhangs past the 116.8-inch wheelbase are kept short, giving most of the real estate to the part of the car between the axles, which benefits passenger space.
What we see now that we couldn’t before are exterior details, like the mostly closed front end, LED matrix headlights connected by a bright metallic strip across the nose, and a high hood with the creases along the sides turning inward and meeting in front of the windshield. A character line starting at the inside of the headlights sweeps toward the rear below the beltline like a stream of smoke in a wind tunnel. At the rear, intricate LED wraparound taillights stretch across the hatch horizontally.
When it first launches in Europe, the ID.7 will offer two powertrains, called Pro and Pro S. The Pro will feature 77-kilowatt-hours of usable battery (82 kWh gross). VW predicts this will provide 382 miles of driving range on the generous WLTP cycle. It will be capable of a charging rate of up to 170 kW. The Pro S will feature an 86-kWh (91 gross) battery proving 435 miles of range, and a charging rate up to 200 kW. Powering the rear wheels, the ID.7 uses a single electric motor, providing 282 horsepower and 402 pound-feet of torque, that improves upon previous VW motors with stronger magnets, a larger number of windings and an improved cooling system. It also gets a new-generation inverter for better efficiency and upgraded gearbox components to better withstand the extra power and torque.
Inside the car, the cockpit is largely uncluttered, with a small driver display (called the ID. Display) integrated into the dash showing just the essentials — it’s a severely minimized version of the usual instrument cluster showing, as VW states, “legally prescribed standard information such as speed and vehicle warnings.” The rest of the important information gets projected in the standard augmented-reality head-up display — a first for Volkswagen —including things like lane markings and turn arrows to help with navigation. While some info, like the speedometer and speed limit, are projected about 11 feet ahead, other information like navigation instructions appear 33 feet in front of the vehicle.
In the middle of the dash lives a 15-inch infotainment touchscreen with a new interface. The top bar on the screen uses an assignable “Direct Access Button” that can open the main menu containing an app overview. A “Car Control” button sits to its right, then more assignable buttons beyond that. The configurable home screen and Car Control screen can be accessed without closing whatever app is currently in use. Below the display are illuminated touch sliders for temperature and volume controls. There’s also a new voice assistant to help control vehicle functions without removing your hands from the wheel.
Up front, new-generation ergoActive seats offer 14 electronic adjustments. They feature an automatic climate mode, and temperature and moisture sensors in the seat can help choose the level of heat or cooling required. Ten air cushions in the seat back, and two larger ones in the cushion, can provide a pressure-point massage.
Look up, and you’ll see a new panoramic sunroof featuring “smart glass.” It can be made transparent or opaque with the touch of a control or through the voice assistant. It uses a polymer-dispersed liquid crystal layer, in which voltage can be applied to cause the crystals to arrange themselves to either block the light or let it through.
New in the ID.7 is the optional Park Pro Assist, which can record the last 165 feet driven when parking, so subsequent parking maneuvers in the same location can be handled automatically while the driver monitors from inside the car or outside from a smartphone — perfect for those with a tight garage. It can also drive out of a parking spot independently over a distance of up to 81 feet.
The VW ID.7 will launch first in China and Europe, scheduled to hit the market in fall of this year. It should reach the North American market in 2024.