Update: ‘Confirmation & Name’ section added, ‘Dimensions’ sub-section added to ‘Specifications,’ and ‘Range & charging’ sub-section of ‘Specifications’ updated.
Volkswagen plans to introduce 10 new electric vehicles by 2026. The brand-new products will include a VW ID.2 SUV, the German automaker’s pure-electric alternative to the T-Cross, offering an affordable clean mobility option to city SUV lovers. Although little is known about the crossover derivative, the following information has been reported about the future compact electric car:
Confirmation & Name
The ID. 2all concept will evolve into a series-production small electric hatchback, but its design should also inspire the VW ID.2 SUV. In a recent interview with Automobilwoche (via Automotive News Europe), Volkswagen Passenger Cars CEO Thomas Schäfer said that the first entry model from the brand will be a hatchback (ID.2) “and the second one will be an SUV-ish vehicle (ID.2 SUV).” The latter will be a little more profitable for the company, by virtue of the price premium and the rising demand for this body style.
Our new entry-level e-car will come in two versions – as a small car and as a sporty crossover variant.Thomas Schäfer, CEO of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars Brand, Member of the Group Board of Management and Head of the Volume Brand Group, on Linkedin in November 2022
Volkswagen is yet to finalize the name of its electric small SUV, but the media has been referring to it simply as the ‘VW ID.2 SUV.’ In an interview with Edison, the transcript of which the German publication released on September 15, 2023, Volkswagen R&D chief Kai Grünitz revealed that ‘VW ID.2 X’ is the car’s provisional name.
Volkswagen already uses the “X” suffix for its ID. electric SUVs in China, so it may extend the nomenclature to global markets. The company is developing an SUV version of the ID.3, and it could take the same branding approach for that compact high-riding EV.
A new, softer design for the VW ID.2 SUV is in the works, as the VW ID. Life concept (2021) fell out of favor in Wolfsburg. The softer exterior would work better in Europe compared to a boxy design inspired by the ID. Life. Moreover, it should have better aerodynamics, and therefore a better range.
On January 24, 2023, Volkswagen Passenger Cars announced Andreas Mindt as its new Head of Design, succeeding Jozef Kabañ, who headed the VW ID. Life project. Mindt’s has created a new design language for the brand, and the new theme debuted in his first project on March 15, 2023 – the VW ID. 2all (pictured below).
Mindt wants to normalize EVs, as they’ve started to become mainstream models and don’t need the attention-seeking weirdness. One example of pulling back on the unusual looks, something we expect to reflect on the ID.2 SUV, will be short hoods and long (extra-raked) windshields. “Everyone believed this should be the design for electric cars, but it is not,” Mindt said during a recent interaction with MotorTrend.
ID. 2all ushers in a ‘friendlier’ design
Volkswagen’s new design language is quite different to that of the production ID. models launched so far. For example, the ID. 2all has friendly face just like those EVs, but in a more intense-looking IQ.LIGHT LED matrix headlights. Moreover, the new exterior theme retains some signature elements of the ICE era, so while being progressive, it’s respectful of the past. Consider the ID. 2all’s C-pillar, for instance, is inspired by the first Golf. It’s reminiscent of the tensioned string of a bow pointing in the direction of travel. Volkswagen has said the new C-pillar design “will become a typical feature of compact Volkswagen models.”
Another new element of Volkswagen’s new design language missing in the ID. models launched so far but set to appear on future EVs like the ID.2 SUV will likely be the straight window line. Shown on the ID. 2all already, it has been a characteristic style feature of generations of Volkswagen models over several decades.
Expect the interior of the VW ID.2 SUV to be clean and minimalistic. Here, too, the ID. 2all will be the template for the appearance and layout of elements. The dashboard should have a wide, horizontal plane that gives the front occupants an increased sense of spaciousness. We expect the air vents to be concealed in the middle of the dashboard for a clean and uncluttered look.
The VW ID.2 SUV’s instrument cluster should be a 10.9-inch display with customizable layouts, placed above the middle area of the dashboard on the driver’s side. On nearly the same horizontal axis but in the central area, there should be a free-standing 12.9-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a new, more intuitive menu structure and a lag-free operation.
HVAC panel & controls
A newly developed, separate AC control panel would lie below the 12.9-inch central display, controllable with illuminated buttons instead of touch sliders like in the ID. models launched so far and the upcoming ID.7. An interesting change from the existing VW EV design would be the inclusion of a practical small thumbwheel, located in the middle of the same panel, to control change the volume of the infotainment system.
The ID.2 SUV will have a more practical cockpit, prioritizing simplicity over show. Customers of current Volkswagens, especially the ID. models, are frustrated with the fiddly touch-operated controls, placed inconveniently in the cabin. Volkswagen has taken note of complaints, and is unlikely to include unlit, touch-operated temperature adjusters or capacitive touch-sensitive steering buttons in the ID.2 series.
Devices & Storage
A bridge-type center console connected to the dashboard will likely house a large wireless charging pad with magnetic locking for two smartphones, a rotary controller, and an open space for storage or cup holders. Additionally, expect a large storage bin underneath this console, with enough space to keep grocery bags along with a handbag.
The steering wheel will likely be a newly designed flat-bottomed unit with a round center pad similar to that of previous-generation Volkswagens. Two thumbwheels on either side and two buttons right below each of them may allow the driver to control various functions of the instrument cluster, infotainment system, and head-up display.
From 2025, Volkswagen Group will use MEB+, the successor to MEB, for small and compact EVs. While MEB is a RWD dedicated EV platform, MEB+ will be a family of two dedicated EV platforms, a FWD spec for small cars and a RWD spec for compact cars.
The FWD platform, which was officially referred to by various names previously – MEB Entry, MEB Eco, and MEB Small, will underpin the VW ID.2 SUV. Volkswagen Group had previously confirmed a total of four models on this base:
Within our Volume Brand Group, we’re using the small platform that can get four vehicles together with Cupra and Škoda.Thomas Schäfer, CEO, Volkswagen Passenger Cars (Volkswagen Annual Media Call 2023 on March 15, 2023)
The ID. 2all concept is 4,050 mm long and has a 2,600 mm wheelbase, and its production version (ID.2) should have similar dimensions. We think the ID.2 SUV will likely be about 4,200 mm long. As for the wheelbase, Grünitz suggested in the Edison interview that it would be 12 cm (120 mm) more than that of the ID.2 – ~2,720 mm.
The performance specifications of the top-end ID.2 SUV will likely be similar to those of the ID. 2all. The concept has a 166 kW (223 hp) motor that lets it accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in under seven seconds and achieve a top speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). The base ID.2 SUV should have a 110 kW (145 hp) front motor.
Battery & Range
ID.2 customers will get two different battery pack options, one consisting of lithium iron phosphate (LFP) cells and the other comprising nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) cells, Grünitz revealed in the interview with Edison. We expect the ID.2 SUV to be available with the same options.
Grünitz said that the entry-level battery pack containing LFP cells will have an energy storage capacity of around 34 kWh and enable a range (presumably as per WLTP) of over 300 km (186+ miles) in the ID.2. We think that the ID.2 SUV may deliver a WLTP range of close to 280 km (174 miles) with this battery pack.
As for the other battery pack made of NMC cells, we expect it to have an energy storage capacity of close to 50 kWh and allow a WLTP range of around 425 km (265 miles). Customers traveling longer distances and inter-city journeys would prefer this battery to avoid range anxiety.
“We do have an entry chemistry with Iron Phosphate,” said Frank Blome, Head of Battery Cell and System, Volkswagen Group Components, at the Power Day 2021 event. He acknowledged the “slight range disadvantage” of LFP compared to NMC. However, LFP is more sustainable because of greater supply security. “The cycle stability is very good,” Blome said. “That means specially for cars with low range, this is a very promising technology,” he added.
Unified cell format
Volkswagen Group’s small EVs would benefit from unified cell technology. With the same physical pack format used for different chemistries, unified cell technology would lower development and production costs. “In our entry segment, the unified cell will bring down battery cost by 50% compared to today,” said Dr. Diess at the company’s Power Day 2021 event. The company is developing a standard cell that it can use in 80% of its electric vehicles in the future.
“We want to be a leader in cell technology,” Thomas Schmall told Porsche Consulting. Schmall is the member of Volkswagen Group’s Board of Management responsible for Technology and also Volkswagen Group Components’ CEO. Volkswagen Group will develop and manufacture cells on its own in the future.
The peak charging input of the ID.2 SUV will likely be around 125 kW. That may sound low, especially knowing bigger VW EVs coming out around the same time will allow charging at up to 200 kW. However, 125 kW seems satisfactory considering the battery size. A 10-80% DC fast-charging session for such batteries at this rate may take around 20 minutes.
The platform of the ID.2 SUV supports a MacPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear suspension. According to an earlier report from Autocar, Volkswagen plans to use this traditional suspension setup in the production compact crossover, as shown in the ID. Life.
ID.2 SUV GTI
The VW ID.2 SUV range should also include a performance-focused variant. Volkswagen has confirmed plans to offer a GTX variant of all its electric models. However, reports suggest the company may retire the GTX name and start using ‘GTI’ by that time.
On August 9, 2023, Auto Express magazine published a report that Volkswagen will likely introduce an ID.2 GTI soon after launching the ID.2. Schäfer told the British publication that a GTI must be a 2WD car that’s zippy, more powerful, and more agile, and offers a crisp suspension. He mentioned that a car other than the Golf EV would receive the GTI variant first.
Auto Express said Volkswagen should release at least two GTI models before the next-gen Golf arrives (2027/2028). The ID.2 SUV could get the same type of GTI variant, as per the report.
Fewer hardware configurations
The VW ID.2 SUV may come with fewer hardware configurations than a T-Cross. This would allow Volkswagen Group to manufacture it with fewer complexities. It may equip the electric SUV with features that customers can enable later, including connected vehicle tech, particularly useful for ride-sharing.
Volkswagen will try reducing hardware variants in a few years. Instead of different output levels from the factory, it may allow customers to increase or decrease the motor power during the EV’s life. This would become possible only when the motors, batteries, suspension, and other core components achieve a high level of adaptability and provide enough wiggle room for digitally-made changes.
Production of the VW ID.2 SUV and its platform-mates will take place at the Volkswagen Navarra plant in Pamplona (Navarra), Spain. On March 15, 2022, Volkswagen Group revealed in its annual report for 2021 that it plans to produce electric SUVs in Pamplona from 2025. On November 25, 2022, SER reported that the company will make two SUVs at this facility. While one model would be the VW ID.2 SUV, the other, according to a report noticias de Navarra released on January 26, 2023, could be from the Skoda brand.
The unified cells of the VW ID.2 SUV’s battery pack will come from PowerCo’s upcoming gigafactory in Sagunto, Spain. The groundbreaking ceremony of this production facility took place on March 17, 2023. PowerCo is Volkswagen Group’s in-house battery company. The Spanish cell factory’s annual production capacity will be 40 GWh, but it will be possible to expand to 60 GWh in the future.
Volkswagen Group, Seat S.A., PowerCo, and the partners of the Future: Fast Forward project will invest EUR 10 billion (USD 11 billion) in Spain to transform it into the regional e-mobility hub. Seat S.A. will lead the development of all the Volkswagen Group EVs based on the ID.2 SUV’s platform, President Wayne Griffiths announced on November 9, 2022.
The motor of the VW ID.2 SUV could come from Audi’s factory in Gyor, Hungaria. On June 21, 2022, Audi Hungaria announced that it will produce the electric motors of the EVs based on the ID.2 SUV’s platform from 2025. It will build a new production area to manufacture the drive units at the Gyor plant. Audi Hungaria will also produce the plate pack and the rotor for the motors and will, in the future, include power electronics. Audi Hungaria is producing electric motors since 2018 and has built 300,000+ units in Gyor. The company will start making electric drives for PPE platform-based EVs before the small EVs.
The VW ID.2 SUV will face stiff competition from a slew of small electric SUVs, mostly models conceived primarily for European markets. Bespoke EVs like the Tesla entry-level model, Renault 4, Fiat Panda Electric, and a Skoda small SUV will be among the chief rivals. Additional competition will come from entry-level variants of e-SUVs like the Jeep Avenger EV, Hyundai Kona Electric, Opel Mokka-e, Peugeot e-2008, and Citroen e-C4, which are budget conversion BEVs.
The VW ID.2 SUV can be positioned as a pure-electric small SUV that’s as affordable to buy or lease as a T-Cross, but noticeably more spacious and cheaper to run. Additionally, its futuristic design and advanced in-cabin technologies would make it more appealing to young buyers.
VW ID.2 SUV FAQs
What is the VW ID.2 SUV release date?
The VW ID.2 SUV should be launched in Europe by 2026, following the hatchback.
What will be the VW ID.2 SUV price?
The VW ID.2 SUV is expected to be priced at around EUR 25,000 (USD 27,435).
What are the future rivals of the VW ID.2 SUV?
The expected competitors are the reborn Renault 4, and the new Fiat Panda Electric.
Featured Image: TopElectricSUV’s rendering of the ID.2 X.