Fresh off the back of launching the new ID 4 electric SUV, Volkswagen is ramping up development on the ID flagship that will follow it, in the form of a prototype testing almost undisguised.
First previewed with the futuristic ID Roomzz concept at last year’s Shanghai motor show, Volkswagen’s biggest electric vehicle (EV) will offer seven seats and place an emphasis on spaciousness. Its production designation has yet to be confirmed, but given the ID 6 moniker is set to be taken by the brand’s new electric saloon and the retro-styled Buzz will likely hit dealerships as the ID 7, it stands to reason the Roomzz will become the ID 8.
The concept had more space inside than the Touareg, Volkswagen’s largest European model. Sales and marketing boss Jürgen Stackmann said at its unveiling: “Key markets for this car are China and North America. These two countries love space.”
“I wouldn’t reckon that the ID Roomzz will be a core model [for Europe],” he added, but it’s nonetheless due to go on sale here next year alongside the ID 3 hatchback, ID 4 crossover and ID 6 estate.
The ID 8 will be the largest model to sit atop the Volkswagen Group’s MEB EV platform until the production version of the ID Buzz van arrives in 2022. It can be expected to pack around 302bhp and 331lb ft from a dual-motor powertrain offering part-time four-wheel drive in its standard form.
The ID Roomzz concept has a claimed range of 280 miles per charge and can be charged to 80% in around half an hour from a 150kW rapid-charger.
The prototype in these new images appears largely production-ready. Despite Volkswagen’s attempt to mask its origins with Peugeot-esque front grille and rear light decals, we can see clearly that the ID flagship will bear a strong resemblance to the smaller ID 4.
The concept’s sliding doors don’t look to have made it through to the production car, given the prototype’s conventionally placed handles, and nor do the camera-based virtual wing mirrors. It’s possible, though, that the latter could be available on high-end variants, given that Volkswagen sibling brand Audi already offers them on its E-tron.
The ID Roomzz concept placed an emphasis on self-driving capability, with a retractable steering wheel and a pair of roof-mounted lidar units. The ID 8 is unlikely to be so equipped from launch, but Volkswagen is aiming to roll out Level 4 autonomous functions to all future ID models.