You may have noticed that while Audi and Porsche has attacked the EV conundrum from a larger car standpoint – with the platform sharing e-tron GT and Taycan, most notably – VW itself (alongside Cupra and Skoda) has been content to plod along with the modest prospect of hatchbacks and crossovers. It’s a strategy that fits in neatly with our expectations for the respective brands, and while the two are starting to meet in the middle with the MEB-based Q4 and Q5, and the larger ID.6, we haven’t seen what VW’s idea of a fully-electric global saloon looks like. Until now.
The ID.Aero is the conceptual forerunner of what the firm says its mid-sized ‘family flagship’ will look like when it starts production next year. ‘Mid-size’ should be understood in the global sense, because the preview Aero is quite large; almost five metres long, in fact. Naturally its maker is promising ‘exceptional’ interior space from its comparatively long wheelbase, and while it isn’t interested into delving into technical detail at this stage, it already claims up to 385 miles of range from a lithium-ion battery with a net energy content of 77kWh.
Like its EV stablemates, the ID.Aero is also based on the modular MEB platform, although it has clearly been finessed into a lower profile than most of the VW-badged EVs we’ve seen thus far. The familiar ID design cues are easy enough to pick out, and while the concept appears to miss out on the stylish look and unquestionable presence of the J1-based Taycan and GT, it does at least promise an excellent drag coefficient, and is unlikely to be underpowered given it is destined to sit atop VW’s current all-electric line-up.
“With the ID. AERO show car, we are revealing a preview of the next member of the ID. family. A car with an emotional and at the same time extremely aerodynamic design, a range of over 600 kilometres, an extraordinary amount of space and a premium interior,” says Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars. “With our ACCELERATE strategy, we are intensively driving forward the electrification of our model range. Following the ID.4, this model will be our next global car for Europe, China and the US.
Despite the order quoted there, the production version of the ID.Aero is expected to go on sale in China first as VW is seeking to ‘become the leading supplier of sustainable vehicles’ in the world’s largest market. Given its overall size, and the prospective capaciousness of the cabin – especially in the back – it’s very likely that VW has conceived the ID.Aero with a Chinese audience front of mind. Nevertheless, with production of a European version already scheduled for an unspecified time in 2023, be in no doubt that VW’s largest family model since the Arteon will coming to a VW dealership near you in the future.