First came the Beetle, then the Golf, and now we have the VW ID.Life. The latter is just the latest pared back, city car to bring mobility to the masses. It is also the latest product to wear VW’s ID badge, which signifies that it is an all-electric vehicle.
The VW Group, and its many subsidiaries, see electrification of the automobile as the future of mobility. The German automaker recently outlined its plans for the future. You can read our report on the press conference by clicking here. ID is the badge given to the battery powered line of vehicles. These aren’t just electrified versions of existing cars, but they are all-new from the ground up dealing with the unique packaging and drivetrain placement opportunities that electric motors and batteries provide.
For the masses
The VW ID.Life is the latest addition to the ID portfolio. It is intended to be a simplistic, pared back city car that aims to bring electric mobility to the masses (sound familiar?).
“The ID. LIFE is our vision of next-generation fully electric urban mobility. The concept car provides a preview of an ID. model in the small car segment that we will be launching in 2025, priced at around €20 000 euros. This means we are making electric mobility accessible to even more people”, says Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of the Volkswagen brand. “In creating the ID. LIFE, we have consistently focused on the needs of younger customers. We believe that, even more so than today, the car of the future will be about lifestyle and personal expression. The customer of tomorrow won’t simply want to get from A to B; they will be much more interested in the experiences that a car can offer. The ID. LIFE is our answer to this.”
To keep the price down the ID.Life is very simple from the get-go. The styling isn’t overly complex, which keeps production costs down. An individualised and removable roof made of air chamber textile lends an open-air feeling, while also reducing the vehicle mass.
Underpinning the ID.Life is a smaller version of Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB). A single electric motor drives the front wheels. This is the first time a vehicle based on the MEB platform has front-wheel drive. A 172 kW motor can accelerate the small car from zero to 100 km/h in 6,9 seconds. A 57 kWh battery enables a claimed range of 400 kilometres.
Several recycled and sustainable materials are used in the makeup of the city car. Wood chips are used in the clear coat for the bodywork as a natural colouring agent. The air chamber textile for the roof and front cover is made from 100 per cent recycled bottles. Inside, we see wood used for the dashboard and rear seat surrounds. Bio-oil, natural rubber and rice husks are part of the tyre compound.
Young and free
To entertain its young target buyer the VW ID.Life has a multifunctional interior. The cabin can be converted into a cinema or gaming lounge. It comes with a video game console and projector, as well as a projection screen that extends from the dash panel when required. The front seat bench can be completely folded down, as can the rear seat bench. This enables a range of different possibilities, from cinema seating, to a bed measuring around two metres in length, to a cargo version that maximises luggage volume.