Volkswagen’s first all-electric SUV comes to dealerships

The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4

The ID.4 is Volkswagen’s first all-electric SUV and the brand’s first global EV. Building on the modular electric drive matrix, the ID.4 was built to compete against compact SUVs — the world’s largest market segment.

It is hitting showroom floors across all 50 states through VW’s network of more than 600 dealers, but drivers don’t have to wait — a reservation platform is available at with a $100 deposit. As production ramps up, customers will be asked to confirm their order with an additional $400 refundable deposit while confirming when and which dealership they can expect their ID.4 to arrive at.

The 2021 model offers an 82kWh battery and a rear-mounted AC permanent-magnet synchronous motor with 201 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque. The Pro S and 1st Edition models are EPA-certified for 250 miles of range. An all-wheel-drive variant will be available later in 2021.

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With the modular electric drive matrix (MEB) architecture, Volkswagen is returning to its roots with the engine located in the rear, just like the original Beetle. With the motor located above the rear axle, it provides agile handling and traction and is nearly silent. In fact, a synthetic sound was added from start to 20 miles per hour to aid pedestrian and cyclist awareness.

One of the main strengths of the motor is its efficiency — well above 90% in almost all driving situations. This comes from Volkswagen’s hairpin winding technique, which enables the copper wires in the strator’s coils to be packed more tightly, increasing power and torque and allowing the cooling to be more efficient. The whole drive unit can fit in a duffle bag and only weighs about 200 pounds.

The battery is comprised of 288 pouch cells in 12 modules and weighs 1,087 pounds. A fifth of the battery weight is in the housing, which is bolted to the frame, helping to improve the bodyshell rigidity. The temperature of the battery modules is controlled using a floor plate with built-in water channels, keeping the battery in the ideal temperature range of 77 degrees Fahrenheit, benefitting power output, fast DC charging and battery service life. At 100,000 miles or eight years of service, whichever comes first, the battery will still have 70% of its original capacity.

The ID.4 can be charged using alternating current or direct current fast-charging and comes equipped with a combined charging system socket, allowing for both home and public charging. The vehicle is also sold with three years of unlimited charging at Electrify America DC fast chargers at no additional cost, which customers can find through the Electrify America app. Electrify America is the nation’s largest open DC fast charging network with more than 555 charging stations and more than 2,400 DC fast chargers, including two cross-country routes.

The ID.4 comes with Drive Mode Selection, giving drivers four model choices. In addition, it comes standard with the Vehicle Dynamics Manager control system. The Vehicle Dynamics Manager works with the stability control system, which controls the wheel-selective braking, allowing for optimum driving and steering capabilities. This, in turn, cooperates with the control units for the electric motor and power electronics. Although a rear-wheel-drive vehicle tends to oversteer in extreme circumstances, this network ensures that the rear wheels find grip, providing traction control that takes place automatically every millisecond, so the driver hardly feels any intervention.

To help protect occupants, the ID.4 comes with both passive and active safety systems including six airbags, IQ.Drive advanced driver assistance technology, a front camera and rear radar provides several of the warning systems like blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist and more;  Front Assist warns drivers of potential frontal collisions and Rear Traffic Alert detects items in the side blind spots while backing up.

The ID.4, which is currently built in Germany and China but will be assembled in Tennessee soon, comes with four trim packages in six exterior colors — the Pro, the AWD Pro, Pro S and the 1st Edition. The Pro model starts at $39,995 MSRP, before a potential Federal tax credit of up to $7,500. The 1st Edition model, which has sold out already, was priced at $43,995.

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