Volkswagen Aero B: ‘Passat EV’ spotted ahead launch

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Volkswagen is continuing development of a long-awaited electric alternative to the Passat, with new spy shots showing the model in modest camouflage wrapping.

Internally codenamed ‘Aero B’, the model will rival cars such as the Tesla Model 3, Polestar 2 and forthcoming Hyundai Ioniq 6 when it is released to the market in 2023.

Although the prototype seen in these images appears to be more reminiscent of a production car, VW’s clever application of its disguise means that we can’t say for sure that the front and rear profiles – in particular the lights – will look like this.

The Aero B was first shown as a concept, dubbed the ID. Vizzion, at the 2018 Geneva motor show. We expect the finished car’s name will stick with the traditional ID naming convention. In 2018, Volkswagen bosses promised that the finished car would be capable of 600km on a single charge.

VW ID. Vizzion Aero B 7If Volkswagen’s current battery technology is anything to go by, this range figure should be easily achievable, especially when considering the Aero B’s more aerodynamic shape. The ID.4 Life, when fitted with the brand’s 77kWh battery and rear-mounted 150kW electric motor, can cover up to 520 kilometres between charging stops.

The Aero B will likely use the same battery, electric motors and MEB platform as the rest of Volkswagen’s ID. models, as suggested by the proportions of this prototype.

VW ID. Vizzion Aero B 6 e1638302972513The nose is relatively short and low; the panelling around the C-pillar is broad and tall, and the driver sits quite far forward, as the cabin and bodywork have been manipulated to make space for the electric motor on the rear axle.

We can also expect a four-wheel drive (potentially GTX-branded) version of the Aero B, with an electric motor on each axle and a combined output of 220kW and 310Nm . The same powertrain is already on sale in the hot ID.4 GTX SUV.

VW ID. Vizzion Aero B 5Eventually, Volkswagen will launch an estate version of the Aero B, too, as previewed by the ID. Space Vizzion concept from the 2019 LA Motor Show. The concept was also fitted with a dual-motor electric powertrain, which produces a more potent 250kW.

It remains to be seen whether this powertrain will make it into production, though. The ID.X concept (which spawned the ID.4 GTX), had its output trimmed back to 220kW by the time it reached production, so it’s likely that Volkswagen will do the same with the Space Vizzion.

Volkswagen ID Aero B spy 3Inside, we expect the Aero B will share the same compact digital dashboard and 10-inch infotainment system as the rest of Volkswagen’s MEB models. It also looks like there’ll be plenty of space in the rear, with the high angle of these spy shots giving a clear look at the car’s rear bench seat and footwell.

Luke Wilkinson

 

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