VW ID.2 X won’t be longer than the T-Cross, hints Herbert Diess [Update]

At the 2021 Virtual Annual Media Conference on March 16, 2021, Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen Group, talked about a smaller MEB platform model that could be the VW ID.2 X. He suggested that the smallest ID member won’t be longer than the entry-level SUV VW T-Cross, which is 4.2 meters (165.4 inches) long. As expected, it should roll out of Seat’s factory in Spain.

In 2025, we will like to launch an entry-level platform for electric vehicles which is derived from the MEB. The intention is, if everything goes well, it will begin in Spain and various group vehicles will be introduced.

We believe that this will be coming at exactly the right point in time because we are electrifying from the top-down, so premium, then the volume segment, and then the entry-level segment because it is the most cost-sensitive segment. But by this point in time, when it comes to cell technology (it) would have made significantly more progress, and thus (we) will be able to offer very attractive vehicles similar to the VW ID.3 but in the segment below it, up to around 4 meters or 4 meters 20 (cm).

Dr. Herbert Diess, CEO, Volkswagen Group

Design

Dr. Diess went on his Twitter page on March 24, 2021, to talk about his trip to the design lab of Volkswagen, where electric, digital and autonomous vehicles are taking birth. “Our Group design chief Klaus Zyciora showed me together with his brand colleagues how we are facing the new competition from startups like Xpeng, NIO, Lucid & Co. What’s your favorite?” he asked, among four renders.

Possible VW ID.2 front-end
The render tweeted by Dr. Herbert Diess on March 24, 2021, shows that a budget electric car with sharp cuts is taking shape in the studio. This could well be the VW ID.2.

One image (above) is a small car with a narrow front-end, sharply cut bumpers and headlamps, sculpted bonnet with a large grille section. We think the size and the design are descriptive of a budget electric car, perhaps the VW ID.2 X, or something that’s tailor-made for China.

On March 10, 2021, Autovisie reported that Volkswagen might have inadvertently teased a smaller electric SUV called ID.2 X. The Dutch publication claimed that a teaser was mistakenly released with that of the sedan being developed under the VW Trinity project.

The alleged VW ID.2 X in the teaser (set as the featured image of the story) has a modern crossover-like silhouette featuring a pronounced front-end with a convex nose, slender headlamps, sloping hood, fast A-pillar angle, high waistline, floating roof, and raked D pillars. Surprisingly, it looks more aggressive than the bigger VW ID.4, which has an MPV-ish appearance on the sides.

‘VW ID.2 X’ to be previewed by a concept car at IAA 2021

VW ID. EV product roadmap
Ralf Brandstätter, CEO, Volkswagen (brand), teases a “Small BEV” concept due for launch in 2025 at the Volkswagen Way To Zero Convention event in April 2021. Image Source: YouTube/Volkswagen News

Underpinning the VW ID.2 X would be the MEB-Lite platform, an extensively modified version of the MEB platform suitable for smaller EVs, technically and economically. The MEB-Lite platform is a few years away from production. However, a VW ID.2 X or the equivalent model could break cover as a concept car as early as September this year, VW’s CEO Ralf Brandstatter hinted in February 2021.

In an interview with Auto Bild, Brandstatter talked about the models Volkswagen could present at the 2021 Munich Motor Show (IAA 2021):

Our trade fair star could be a vision for an electric car that does not yet exist…around 20,000 euros, compact, with features that you would not expect in this class.

Volkswagen CEO Ralf Brandstatter speaking to Auto Bild about IAA 2021 plans

Production

VW ID.2 and ID.1 confirmed
VW ID.2 on the presentation given to UBS in September 2020 by Dr. Silke Bagschik, Head of Sales & Marketing, ID. Family. The ID.2 would be part of the troika of next-gen city cars from the VW Group brands.

Production of the VW ID.2 X and MEB-Lite platform models, presumably including Seat and Skoda brand derivatives, is tentatively assigned to the Seat Martorell plant. “A future common vision (of Volkswagen Group, Seat, and Spain government) includes local production of small electric vehicles in the Martorell factory, as well as the local production of battery cells and battery modules,” Seat announced on its 70th anniversary on the 5th of March.

MEB-Lite/MEB entry platform

With Seat leading the small EV program, it is likely to be the first to share many new developments related to all the upcoming Volkswagen Group small EVs for the next few years. About the MEB entry platform, Axel Andorff, VP – R&D, Seat, has told AutoExpress that “just a little improvement of the main MEB platform on costs and so on will not be sufficient” for what the company needs for a small electric car. This indicates that there could be extensive changes in the smaller, low-cost version of the MEB platform.

LFP Battery Cells

Volkswagen Group’s small EVs like the yet-to-be-named Seat crossover and the rumored VW ID.2 X are likely to 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 Diess at the company’s Power Day event in March 2021.

Volkswagen Group LFP-battery cost advantage
Volkswagen Group plans to launch small EVs with LFP battery cells. Image Source: YouTube/Volkswagen News

Volkswagen Group would use Lithium Iron Phosphate cells in the batteries of the budget ID. models. “We do have an entry chemistry with Iron Phosphate,” said Frank Blome, Head of Battery Cell and System, Volkswagen Group Components, at the event mentioned above. He acknowledged the “slight range disadvantage” of LFP (Lithium Iron Phosphate) compared to NMC (Lithium Nickel Manganese Cobalt Oxide). 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.

In China, Guoxuan High-tech, a local battery maker in which Volkswagen Group owns a 26.5% stake, is considering producing LFP and NMC batteries for the company’s MEB platform-based models, as per local reports. The Spanish-made VW ID.2 X will probably have EU-sourced batteries, though.

We will put battery in the middle of the heart of our development of cars. This is the major cost point in the EV world. If we have the volume, and we will roll it out, we need (to) put it in the middle, in the centre of our cars, and then defining the cars around the battery.

Thomas Schmall, Board Member – Technology, Volkswagen Group (Power Day)

U.S. launch

Volkswagen has traditionally ruled out sub-compact models like the T-Roc, T-Cross, Polo, etc., in the U.S. market, and so, chances for the ID.2 X ideally would’ve looked slim. However, the company could launch if there’s an increased demand for electric city cars as new trends emerge with electric mobility. On January 20, 2021, Volkswagen revealed that it would discontinue the standard Golf in the USA at the end of MY2021.

VW ID.2 FAQs

What is the VW ID.2 release date?

The VW ID.2 release is expected in 2025, and could be manufactured in Spain.

What will be the VW ID.2 price?

The ID.2 is expected to be priced between EUR 21,000-26,000

What are future rivals of the VW ID.2?

The reborn Renault 4, Seat Urbano, and a Fiat mini electric car are the expected competitors.

Featured image: Autovisie