Update: ‘Interior’ and ‘TopElectricSUV says’ sections added.
As the electric vehicle revolution continues to gain momentum, it’s sedans and station wagons that seem to be getting left behind. In 2022, customers are preferring the looks, space, and raised seating position of crossovers and SUVs over traditional sedans. But that doesn’t mean we should write them off just yet – the EV era promises to add excitement and innovation to what was until recently the biggest segment in the United States. More than 15 electric sedans from global car companies are expected stateside by 2026.
At the 2021 Munich Motor Show (IAA 2021), former Volkswagen CEO Ralf Brandstätter indicated that the company’s contender in the four-door EV segment would have a coupe-like design and could be called the VW ID.6. This name is already used for a VW SUV in China. A week later, European spies spotted a white prototype disguised like a Passat, signaling that the development was on course.
Every year, we will launch a new electric model. The next one is the ID.5. Our first SUV-coupe will celebrate its world premiere in early November. The ID. Buzz will enter the market next year, and the ID.6, a highly emotional four-door coupe, will follow in 2023.Ralf Brandstätter, former CEO, Volkswagen (2021 Munich Motor Show – September 6, 2021)
Here’s everything you need to know about the VW Aero B four- and five-door versions:
VW Aero B Design
The VW Aero B four-door will be the production version of the VW ID. Aero, which in turn is a near-production concept derived from the ID. Vizzion show car. Below are our renderings of the final car which will enter series production in 2023. The new electric sedan would embody the same design language as the existing production VW ID. models (ID.3, ID.4, ID.5, ID.6, and ID. Buzz). It would have an avant-garde exterior with extremely dynamic proportions and fluid elements.
At the front, the rendered electric sedan features a muscular hood, sleek IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights, a powerful nose section, triangular, vertically positioned side air inlets, and an A-shaped lower air intake with a mesh grille over it.
On the sides, a fast-sloping roofline, a swift kick in the beltline from the rear doors, and the noticeable upswing in the lower body behind the rear wheels give the car a coupe-like styling. The C-pillars extend behind the wheel arches, allowing an elongated glass area and a greater feeling of openness for occupants. Some might feel the car looks like a grand tourer from the sides. Volkswagen should keep the production car as aerodynamically efficient as the ID. Aero concept, which boasts a drag coefficient of 0.23 Cd.
The rear-end has a dominating character, standing upright. The LED taillight clusters feature a honeycomb structure and are connected via a thin light strip, imparting a techy look. Volkswagen has opted for a separate trunk instead of a hatch/liftback, a feature we may see on the smaller but smarter VW Project Trinity-derived car. The short deck, concave trunk lid, and the swoopy lower section give the car a sporty styling.
The VW Aero B-based sedan will feature a space-focused interior with minimalist vibes. It should have a low-profile dashboard that seamlessly merges with the door panels, creating a wraparound effect, slim and wide front AC vents neatly integrated into the dashboard, and floating cockpit displays.
Reports say that Volkswagen is regressing from capacitive touch-sensitive controls to push-button controls for the steering wheel in its EVs. However, the electric sedan is probably well into late stages of development, which means it should feature the same steering wheel with capacitive touch-sensitive controls as the ID.4. That’s at least what spy pictures indicate.
Spy images have shown the Aero B-based sedan featuring an infotainment system bigger than the 12-inch screen Volkswagen offers in current ID. models. While we can’t tell if it’s wider, it’s visibly taller. While most automakers go for an aspect ratio that gives them a wide screen, Volkswagen seems to have opted a traditional aspect ratio like 4:3.
Citing Frank Welsch, Head of Group Quality Management and Strategy, Volkswagen Group, an Autocar report shared a number of main specifications of the production VW ID. Vizzion. The new electric saloon/estate will come in single-motor RWD and dual-motor AWD configurations, with the latter including a sportier GTX variant that does the 0-62 mph sprint in around 5.6 seconds. The single-motor RWD variant’s 0-62 mph acceleration time will be approximately 8.5 seconds.
Battery & Range
At the UBS Paris Electric Car Day (April 12, 2022), Dr. Silke Bagschik confirmed that the Volkswagen MEB platform is getting improvements that allow a range of up to 700 km (431 miles). Dr. Bagschik is the Head of Sales and Marketing for the ID. Family and also the Chief Marketing Officer for ID. Digital at Volkswagen.
Autocar reported that the top-end unit would have an 84 kWh capacity. Compared to the current MEB platform cars, the production ID. Vizzion should have battery packs containing more efficient cells. Reduced rolling resistance and new aerodynamic efficiency measures may also help keep the energy consumption in check.
The VW ID. Aero, which Volkswagen says is a “close-to-production” concept car, has a 77 kWh battery pack that can provide a WLTP range of up to 620 km (385 miles). Indications are that the production version won’t measure up to Brandstätter’s range claims made at the Volkswagen Annual Media Conference 2022.
This car has super-aerodynamic design, a range of around 700 kilometers, unprecedented space and a premium interior.Ralf Brandstätter, former CEO, Volkswagen (brand) (Volkswagen Annual Media Conference 2022 on March 16, 2022)
Dr. Bagschik has also confirmed (at the UBS Paris Electric Car Day on April 12, 2022) that charging at 200 kW will be possible in future MEB platform EVs. A quick ten-minute charge will be sufficient to achieve a range of around 143 miles. Bi-directional charging should be available in the Aero B. Volkswagen Group has confirmed that its MEB platform EVs will offer bi-directional charging from this year.
The VW Aero models are among the top priorities of the VW ID. Family. Volkswagen rolled out a new ‘Accelerate’ strategy in 2021 to fast-track its transformation into software-driven mobility. A key element is faster e-mobility expansion with new launches, including these midsize EVs.
VW Aero B GTX
As part of its ‘fun-loving’ EV portfolio, VW will launch a few model lines on its existing products or has planned specific trims for its future launches, one of which is the VW Aero B GTX, as reported by Autocar. The range-topping Aero B GTX could be a key rival to the Tesla Model 3 and the Polestar 2, with a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) sprint coming up in 5.2 seconds, and a range of 300 miles.
The styling differences between the Aero B GTX and the standard Aero B could be similar to the ID.4 and the ID.4 GTX trims, with larger rims and a special alloy wheel design, gloss black panels for the intake, redesigned front and rear bumpers, and unique LED elements.
Dr Bagschik confirmed in June 2022 that all future electric launches will receive the hot version:
We will continuously expand this brand and offer a GTX variant for every ID. model in future—from the ID.3 to the ID. Buzz.Dr Silke Bagschik, Head of Sales and Marketing for the ID. family, Volkswagen Group (June 15, 2022)
Release Date & Production
Volkswagen plans to launch the production version of the ID. Aero in China in H2 2023. A “corresponding” series model for the North American and European countries, which we expect to have a few design changes, will debut in 2023. The production of the global version will take place in Emden, Germany, starting in 2023. As was the case with the ID.4 and ID.6 SUVs, China will get two production models of the ID. Aero, one for the FAW-VW JV company and one for the SAIC-VW JV company.
Apart from the ID.4, Emden will make another model – the AERO B – next year.Volkswagen in an official announcement on May 20, 2022
Volkswagen is showcasing the concept version of the ID. Aero at events to popularize it well ahead of the launch. On August 26, 2022, the company brought to the 2022 World New Energy Vehicles Congress which took place in Beijing till August 28, 2022. Autohome has published images of the new electric sedan concept captured at the annual event.
In the United States
On June 27, 2022, Volkswagen confirmed that the U.S. will get the ID. Aero’s production version. The successor to the gas-engined Passat, the production of which (at the Volkswagen Chattanooga plant) concluded in December 2021, will ship to the U.S. as an import from the Volkswagen Emden plant. 2024 should be the year of the Aero B in the United States, with prices starting at around USD 45,000.
The car’s U.S. launch is not a surprise announcement. In the 60 Minutes episode (via CBS) that aired on April 17, 2022, Scott Keogh, the former President and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, had confirmed that the Passat’s electric successor is coming to the United States. It will be “a super cool, all-electric, crazy high-tech Passat,” he said during the show.
VW’s electric car plans in the United States
Thomas Schäfer, Volkswagen Passenger Cars’ new CEO, has said that the company plans to launch 10 new EVs worldwide by 2026. Most of these models should arrive in the U.S. sooner or later.
Volkswagen is rejigging its U.S. EV strategy now that U.S. President Joe Biden has stepped on the pedal to increase the adoption of EVs in the country. The company will invest USD 7.1 billion over the next five years to expand its product line-up and R&D and manufacturing capabilities in North America. It aims to convert 55% of its sales in the U.S. to EVs by 2030.
On November 6, 2021, Congress passed what the White House calls “a once-in-a-generation investment” – the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal (Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act). This legislation will bring considerable benefits to the nation’s EV industry. The share of plug-in EV sales in the U.S. is only one-third of China’s. With the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal in place, that figure should improve significantly. The U.S. government will invest USD 7.5 billion to build the country’s first-ever national EV charging network, which should bring the much-needed spurt in American EV adoption.
On the VW Aero B wagon
In a post on linkedin.com in 2021, Brandstätter said that Volkswagen had commissioned the ID. Space Vizzion to the Emden plant in Germany under the project name Aero B. He revealed that this will be the first electric station wagon from Volkswagen on the market. Andreas Kruger, VW’s electric mobility head, told Bloomberg in June 2021 that it plans to make the mid-sized Aero B station wagon in 2024. European media outlets speculate that the electric estate car could take on the ‘VW ID.7’ branding.
In December 2020, TopElectricSUV.com revealed that USPTO had granted a patent number to the patent application for the VW ID. Space Vizzion. However, this body style has receded in popularity in America, and is unlikely to be launched in the local market.
The VW Aero B-based sedan will be the successor to the VW Passat, featuring a more aerodynamic exterior, a more spacious and cleaner interior, futuristic technologies, and most important of all, a pure-electric powertrain. It will undoubtedly be more exciting to look at, drive, and ride in than its predecessor, and compared to the ID.4, likely more energy efficient.
VW Aero B-based sedan FAQs
What is the VW Aero B sedan release date?
VW has confirmed the Chinese launch of the Aero B for H2 2023. The U.S. should receive the electric sedan in 2024.
What is the expected VW Aero B price?
In the U.S., the car could acquire the VW ID.6 branding, and begin at around USD 45,000.
Featured Image: TopElectricSUV’s rendering of the VW electric sedan based on the VW ID Aero concept.