New: VW ID.7: Wolfsburg counterattack

A lot is happening at VW right now.

New: VW ID.7: Wolfsburg counterattack

A lot is happening at VW right now. After the new brand boss Thomas Schäfer has settled in, he adjusts a few levers. Only recently did the Wolfsburg-based carmaker present a study of the small electric car ID.2 with the descriptive name ID.2all, which takes up the gauntlet in the price war and is said to cost less than 25,000 euros. Incidentally, VW should also become a “love brand”, a brand that you simply have to like. This hashtag-worthy label is wowing the Instagram generation in particular, but if the announcement isn't followed by action, the wave of approval on mobile will soon die down. In addition, Volkswagen also has to make money, and a price fighter model like the ID.2 is only suitable to a limited extent.

That's why they're thinking about proven virtues and are bringing an electric Passat onto the market with the ID.7, without putting the old one on the eternal parking lot. A core competence of the Passat has always been practicality. Company car users in particular like to park a mid-range station wagon from Wolfsburg, preferably as a diesel, in order to be able to cover a lot of distance. To make this possible in an electric car, the Wolfsburg engineers had to make improvements. After all, the MEB kit is not known as a kilometer eater and competitors such as the Hyundai Ioniq 6 or the Nio ET 7 nominally manage up to 614 or 580 kilometers with one battery charge.

The Pro version of the VW ID.7 should even have a WLTP range of up to 700 kilometers. An important element in the battle for the electric meter is aerodynamics. The silhouette of the ID.7 reveals that the VW designers took a large swig from the same design bottle as their colleagues from Korea did with the Hyundai Ioniq 6. The body of the 4.96 meter long VW BEV also bows to the dictates of aerodynamics , but manage to breathe more contour into the electric Passat than is the case with the other ID models. "We're particularly proud of the bow, because one of the design principles is: what you destroy at the front, you can't save at the back," says designer Daniel Scharfschwert. These tricks result in a drag coefficient of 0.23, which is almost on par with the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and the Nio ET7 (both 0.21). There are two battery types to choose from: the one in the ID.7 Pro, which will be released in autumn, with a capacity of 77 kilowatt hours (82 kWh gross) and the one in the ID.7 Pro S (which will be released next year) with 85 kWh (91 kWh gross). . This means that the ID.7 Pro can travel up to 615 kilometers and the ID.7 Pro S up to 700 kilometers. When it comes to charging, VW also goes a step further: the ID.7 Pro has 170 kW, and the Pro S even up to 200 kW.

The VW ID.7 has 210 kW / 286 hp and a maximum torque of 545 Newton meters. In order to keep the difficult balance between performance increase and efficiency as possible, the VW engineers have improved the electric motor (three-phase permanent magnet synchronous machine, internal code APP550) of the rear-wheel drive, paying attention to stable thermal management. Because of this, the rotor has a stronger and more heat-resistant permanent magnet and the advanced stator has more turns with a larger diameter wire. However, this increases the weight from 100 kilograms to 104 kilograms.

The revised, combined oil and water cooling also contributes to thermal stability, as does the new generation of pulse-controlled inverters, a VW in-house development, including software. These control and power electronics make a significant contribution to increasing efficiency by controlling the entire flow of energy between the rechargeable battery and the battery. “We adapt the current control frequency to the driving situation,” explains technician Christian Scheibel. The two-stage single-speed gearbox keeps the speed low.

To ensure that the battery always has plenty of juice, the VW specialists are now pre-conditioning the energy storage devices in order to achieve a comfortable temperature of 23 degrees in all outside temperatures and thus shorten the charging time. This also means that the battery is only fully charged when it is clear that the car will be moved soon and the charge level is not permanent. A lot has also happened with the assistance systems: The automatic lane change is smoother because it is more natural: The VW ID.7 checks the surroundings, sucks itself onto the vehicle in front and then changes lanes without having to brake first. The new Software 4.0 is also accompanied by an improvement in the Travel Assist, which is now increasingly relying on swarm intelligence. The lane departure warning system now also helps on roads where there is no marking. As soon as ten cars record this, the data is recorded anonymously and transferred to the system.

Infotainment is also progressing. The 15-inch infotainment screen forms the command center, which is supplemented by a narrow digital display band and the standard head-up display with augmented reality. The operation is much more intuitive than before. In addition, a bar with quick-select symbols is integrated into the main screen, with which important functions such as navigation, the assistance systems or vehicle data can be accessed directly. However, the tiles are relatively small. The air conditioning works intelligently and cools the interior differently depending on the amount of sunlight. The comfortable front seats have a massage function and an optional large glass sunroof immerses the interior in natural light or darkens it. There is enough space in all seats in the 4.97 meter long VW ID.7, and even tall people do not complain about too little headroom at the back. All in all, the VW ID.7 offers a lot for well under 60,000 euros and does not need to hide from the competition from Asia. On the contrary: The Wolfsburg counterattack is in place.