Volkswagen ID 2all concept previews new EV

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Volkswagen’s new ID 2all electric hatch is the first to use MEB Entry platform; embraces VW heritage and showcases future design language.

We’ve been waiting for a couple of years now to see how Volkswagen plans to make electric motoring more affordable for the masses – and, after one false start with the ill-fated ID Life concept, here’s the company’s proposed solution: the ID.2all, an all-electric hatchback that will be a rival for the likes of the Peugeot e-208 when it goes on sale in 2025.

The ID.2all is VW’s first take on the MEB Entry project, a process that was originally announced in 2019 with the target of delivering EVs for less than 20,000 euros (AUD$32,000). That price goal has now crept up to “less than 25,000 euros” (AUD$40,000).

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The MEB Entry project is an offshoot from the MEB platform that delivered the likes of the VW ID.3 and Skoda’s Enyaq – but it’s designed from the outset to support smaller, cheaper vehicles. As such, it switches layout from rear- to front-wheel drive and makes use of the less complex torsion beam rear suspension design (without any need to package an electric motor) to boost practicality and keep a lid on costs.

The new concept is said to have been created in less than two months, under the guidance of VW’s latest design boss, Andreas Mindt, who only joined the brand on 1 February. The former Audi and Bentley man has created a much cleaner, simpler-looking vehicle than the futuristic, more visionary ID.Life, which was canned by VW’s latest brand boss Thomas Schäfer within days of him starting in the position.

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Mindt describes the new concept as “an homage to the Beetle, Golf and Polo” that encompasses what VW calls its key values, stability and likeability. And sure enough, the ID.2all looks pretty detached from any of the ID. models that we’ve already seen – certainly much more conventional than the ID.3 hatchback. It’s 4050mm long and has a wheelbase of 2600mm – so a couple of centimetres shorter than the current Polo overall, but with five centimetres more between the front and rear axles.

The front end and profile could easily pass for those of VW’s conventionally powered supermini, although there’s a single strong crease running along the flanks and the rear door handles are ‘hidden’ beyond the side windows. There’s also a fresh interpretation of the signature C-pillar from the Golf, too; this alone is a strong hint that the concept may not carry the ID. badge in production form. In contrast to many recent offerings, the ID.2all doesn’t make overt statements that it lacks a combustion engine.

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Even though the ID.2all won’t go on sale for two more years, VW has taken the unusual step of confirming several of its key technical details. The concept’s single front-mounted motor produces 166kW – enough, the firm says, for a 0-100km/h time of around seven seconds. The battery pack will come in two sizes: 38kWh and 56kWh, but the chemistry involved is as yet unknown. VW says that it expects a WLTP range figure of around 450km for the larger pack, and that DC charging will take the battery pack from 10 to 80 per cent of its capacity in around 20 minutes thanks to a 125kW peak charging capacity. With two battery options, these figures will almost certainly relate to models fitted with the larger battery pack.

Inside, the front cabin is dominated by the pair of displays – a 10.9-inch screen for the instrument panel, and a 12.9-inch infotainment system. Significantly, there are simple physical switches below the central display for front-occupant temperature adjustment and heated seat controls – and there’s a rotating knob to raise and lower the volume. These items mark a significant departure from the poorly received touch-sensitive, multi-function panel in the current ID. line-up. The steering wheel also does away with touch sliders; they’re replaced by rotating thumbwheels and just four regular buttons. And in another small but significant move away from the ID.3’s interface, there are four electric-window controls for the driver – instead of just a pair and a front/rear selector.

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The gear selector appears to have been moved to a stalk mounted on the steering column – again, a simpler solution than the ID.3’s dash-integrated rocker switch – while between the front seats, there’s a dial controller that’s said to be for switching between the car’s drive modes.

The boot capacity is 440 litres – nearly 60 litres up on the ID.3, and more than 100 litres larger than many Polos – rising to 1330 litres when the rear seats are folded down. The boot floor has an adjustable height and there’s also a novel 50-litre storage area beneath the second row; VW says while this lockable compartment has been conceived to house the charging cables, it could also be ideal for items like laptops, allowing them to be charged while they are stored.

VW is being open about its fresh push into more affordable EVs. It says that within a year of the ID.2 all’s production launch, the new model will be joined by a similarly sized all-electric SUV. And beyond these cars, it has also confirmed that it is working to deliver an even cheaper EV, with a proposed price of less than 20,000 euros (AUD$32,000).

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