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:
A new, softer design for the VW ID.2 SUV is in the works, as the VW ID. Life concept 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 higher range.
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
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). The ID. 2all will evolve into a series-production small electric hatchback, but its design should also inspire the VW ID.2 SUV.
Volkswagen’s new design language is more aggressive than 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 for generations of Volkswagen models over several decades.
Spy shots have revealed that the German automaker has started testing a new small EV in the body of the ID.3, but, while we can see it has a shorter wheelbase, it’s difficult to say at this point whether it’s the VW ID.2 SUV or the rumored VW ID. Golf hatchback, which will be the production version of the ID. 2all.
The interior of the VW ID.2 SUV will likely 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 will likely 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.
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 even more interesting change from the existing VW EV design language 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.
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 space enough 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.
MEB Entry platform & specifications
Volkswagen Group’s upcoming MEB Entry platform will underpin the VW ID.2 SUV. This platform will be a lower variant of the MEB, where the electric motor powers the front wheels by default. Volkswagen Group has confirmed four models based on it:
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 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).
While the ID. 2all’s internally estimated WLTP range is approx. 450 km (280 miles), the ID.2 SUV’s maximum official WLTP range will likely be around 425 km (265 miles). Customers may get two different battery pack options, with the top-end unit having an energy storage capacity of around 57 kWh.
LFP battery cells
The cells used in the battery pack should have a more sustainable and cost-effective lithium iron phosphate (LFP) chemistry instead of the commonly used lithium nickel manganese cobalt (Li-NMC) chemistry. The Iron-based chemistry is heavier and doesn’t allow the highest range, but the cost and durability advantages outweigh the downside in entry-level EVs.
During Volkswagen Group’s Q1 2022 investor and analyst conference call in May 2022, (via YouTube), former CEO Dr. Herbert Diess said that there is a fear that the high cost of EV technology may become a hurdle in entering segments like that of the VW T-Cross. He admitted that LFP battery cells won’t be nearly as good as the nickel-based cells. Moreover, gasoline-powered models will get more expensive after the adoption of the proposed Euro 7 emission norms, which could make EVs seem less expensive in the future, Dr. Diess concluded. LFP cells will allow competitive pricing for small EVs.
“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.
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 (at the Power Day 2021) on March 15, 2021
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.
On the battery cost
Volkswagen Group wants to move battery production in-house to achieve stability in supply and better control over the cost. Porsche Consulting says that the battery is around 40% of the production cost of a vehicle. This makes it the largest cost factor, which no automaker would want to lose control over to an external supplier. Asian suppliers currently dominate the market, but Volkswagen Group plans to become self-sufficient in the future.
The MEB Entry platform 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.
The VW ID.2 SUV range would include a performance-focused VW ID.2 GTX SUV. Volkswagen has confirmed that it plans to offer a GTX variant of all its electric models.
Fewer hardware configurations
The VW ID.2 SUV may come with fewer hardware configurations than a VW 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 other MEB Entry platform-based EVs will take place at 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 March 5, 2021.
ID. 2all will be one of four cars that we’ll produce in Spain together with our partner with Cupra-Seat. So, they will be produced in Spain. We have support, we were given support by the Spanish government for the car industry, for transformation. That was a very clever strategic move. And we will produce them in Spain with local content as well. We’re building up a battery factory, a cell factory, in Spain. That’s happening in Sagunto. We’ll have the groundbreaking this week.Thomas Schäfer, CEO, Volkswagen Passenger Cars (Volkswagen Annual Media Call 2023 on March 15, 2023)
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 kWh, but it will possible to expand to 60 kWh in the future.
Volkswagen Group, Seat S.A., PowerCo, and the partners of the Future: Fast Forward project will invest EUR 10 billion (USD 10.8 billion) in Spain to transform it into the regional e-mobility hub. Seat S.A. will lead the development of Volkswagen Group’s models based on the Small BEV 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 MEB Entry platform-based EVs 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 MEB Entry platform-based EVs.
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 and be manufactured in Spain.
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 26,951).
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 Source: Twitter/Volkswagen Group