USA-bound VW Aero B: Everything we know in June 2022

Update: ‘Design,’ ‘Release Date’ and ‘VW Aero B GTX’ section updated.

In December 2020, pictures from the local media showed the ID. Space Vizzion-derived VW Aero B Shooting Brake in trial production in China. On September 6, 2021, at the 2021 Munich Motor Show (IAA 2021), Ralf Brandstätter, CEO of Volkswagen, indicated that the sedan version will have a coupe-like styling and could be called VW ID.6 (this name is used for a VW SUV in China). A week later, European spies spotted a white prototype disguised like a Passat, signaling that the launch was on course.

VW ID. Space Vizzion trial production
Production of prototypes of the VW ID. Space Vizzion’s production model (Aero B wagon) reportedly took place in late 2020 at the Chinese plant. Image Source: pcauto.com.cn

Prototypes produced in the limited run would typically undergo real-world tests for hundreds of thousands of miles and travel as classified cargo to customer clinics and internal demos globally. Road-testing of the production VW ID. Vizzion is already on in China, as pictures from Yiche showed in May 2021.

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, 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:

Design

VW Aero B Shooting Brake and VW Aero B are project names of the MEB platform EVs that would be the zero-emissions alternative to the VW Passat Alltrack and VW Passat, respectively. According to the roadmap Dr. Christian Dahlheim, Director Group Sales, Volkswagen Group, shared during the 2021 Virtual Deep Dive Electro Mobility conference call, the sedan comes first. The electric crossover wagon has received the green signal for launch in the U.S. market.

VW Aero B VW ID. Space Vizzion Accelerate strategy
The VW Aero B is a priority project at Volkswagen as it races against the clock to meet its target of 1.5 million EVs/year by 2025. Image: Volkswagen

Chinese reports say that the FAW-Volkswagen JV company is leading the VW Aero B and VW Aero B Shooting Brake projects for the local market.

The spy images show that the production version has a less dramatic design with slightly taller windows, slimmer pillars, smaller wheels, and a flatter roofline. Unlike the ID. Vizzion concept, it features conventional outside rearview mirrors. Moreover, the greenhouse is wider and includes a large quarter glass, a design cue we expect on many of Volkswagen Group’s upcoming low-roof EVs in the interest of passenger comfort.

As observed on camouflaged prototypes, the road-ready model will have more prominent wedge-shaped headlamps, and the LED DRL strip is set higher, touching the hood and connecting the upper edge of the headlamps. The Volkswagen logo is also set higher, but it splits the LED DRL strip. The upper and lower sections of the front end have a symmetrical split. The bumper looks noticeably sporty due to its large and dramatically styled side air inlets.

Sugar Design’s render of the VW Aero B sedan takes design cues from the teaser revealed by Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO, VW Group, at the VW Group Annual Media Conference 2022 on March 15, 2022.

It is also inspired by the numerous spy shots of the test mules, and the design language of the VW ID family. The LED headlamps and DRLs are reminiscent of the ID.4 and ID.5, while the front bumper is identical to the one on the ID.5. The flush door handles and the aero-optimized alloy wheels have also been taken from the ID parts bin. Expect the production car’s design to fall somewhere between the two images.

Talking about the core brand’s upcoming models and showing teasers in the background, here’s what Dr. Diess said during the media presentation:

From 2023, the Aero B will become the electric alternative for the Passat.

Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen Group (Volkswagen Group Annual Media Conference 2022 on March 15, 2022)

On March 16, 2022, at the Volkswagen (brand) Annual Media Conference 2022, Ralf Brandstätter revealed the full-size teaser of the production VW ID. Aero. He said that the ID. Aero concept has a “super-aerodynamic design” and “an unprecedented space and a premium interior.” He also revealed the range target and release date, which we have mentioned in the ‘Specifications’ and ‘Release Date’ sections, respectively.

VW ID. Aero rear three quarter teaser
The VW ID. Aero is sleek with its low roofline and bow-shaped greenhouse. Thanks to the bespoke MEB platform, it should have more space than a comparable gas-powered sedan. Image Source: Volkswagen

On June 22, 2022, Volkswagen released another teaser of the VW ID. Aero, showing the car’s rear-end. The rear overhang, besides accommodating a practical trunk, is designed to create a swoopy lower section that goes well with the sloping roofline. The short deck, concave trunk lid, and red highlight on the bumper give the car a sporty styling, while the connected tail lamps feature honeycomb-shaped graphics to lend sophistication and a high-tech appearance. We will have to wait and see how much of the concept car’s pizzazz makes it into the production model next year.

Specifications

Acceleration

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

As for the battery pack, 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.

At the Volkswagen (brand) Annual Media Conference 2022 (March 16, 2022), Brandstätter said that the production version of ID. Aero concept (and thus also the production version of the ID. Vizzion concept) will deliver a range of 700 km (435 miles). The EPA-est. rating could be slightly lower, though.

This car has super-aerodynamic design, a range of around 700 kilometers, unprecedented space and a premium interior.

Ralf Brandstätter, CEO, Volkswagen (brand) (Volkswagen Annual Media Conference 2022 on March 16, 2022)

At the UBS Paris Electric Car Day (April 12, 2022), Dr. Silke Bagschik reconfirmed 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.

Charging

New MEB platform updates
The VW Aero B will sit on an updated version of the MEB platform. Image Source: Volkswagen

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.

Patent application

In December 2020, TopElectricSUV.com revealed that USPTO had granted a patent number to the patent application for the VW ID. Space Vizzion.

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 Silke Bagschik, sales boss of the ID. family, has confirmed 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

The VW ID. Aero concept will debut on June 27, 2022, at 08:00 ET. Volkswagen plans to launch the production version 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 this global version will take place in Emden, Germany.

Meanwhile, engineers continue to test the production version in the meantime. Spy photographers captured a white prototype of the future electric sedan recently (via InsideEVs.com) on the Nurburgring race circuit. Development seems to have progressed since the previous European sighting, as the new test mule had production tail lights, albeit with some disguise on it.

Apart from the ID.4, Emden will make another model – the AERO B – next year.

Volkswagen in an official announcement on May 20, 2022

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 and that its production will begin in 2023. The only other EV wagon we can think of today is the MG5 EV that is now available in Europe at bargain prices. 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.

VW Aero B sedan in the U.S.

Volkswagen Group has set a goal to launch 25 new electric vehicles in America by 2030. The VW Aero B is one of the models likely to be released in the initial phase. Scott Keogh, President and CEO, Volkswagen Group of America, discussed the U.S. launch of the Aero B during a media conference call held on March 21, 2022. He said that there’s an opportunity for launching an electrified model in that segment and that he’s “very optimistic” about the Aero B coming to the U.S., InsideEVs reported.

In the 60 Minutes episode (via CBS) that aired on April 17, 2022, Keogh 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. Talking about the gas-engined Passat, its production at the Volkswagen Chattanooga plant concluded in December 2021.

The Passat’s electric successor 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 in the range of USD 45,000-50,000.

VW’s electric car plans in the United States

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.

VW Aero B tease
The VW ID. Buzz and the Aero B are Volkswagen’s subsequent global EV launches, shows a roadmap presented at the static unveil of the ID.4 GTX at the Move Experience Center in the Netherlands in June 2021. Image: Roland Tameling via Instagram.

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.

VW Aero B sedan FAQs

What is the VW Aero B release date?

VW has confirmed the Chinese launch of the Aero B (launch market) 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 Aero B could start at under USD 50,000.

Which are the competitors to the Aero B?

The Aero B should lock horns with the Polestar 2, Tesla Model 3 and the Hyundai Ioniq 6.

Featured Image Source: new.qq.com