Volkswagen previews its ID.7 electric saloon with a range of 435 miles


 Volkswagen has given a first glimpse of its forthcoming electric family saloon model – the ID.7 – which will go head-to-head with Tesla’s Model 3 when it goes on sale later this year.

Revealed in prototype form – and heavily camouflaged – at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the German car giant says the ID.7 is aiming to provide a range of 435 miles.

That sort of driving distance from a single charge is 61 more than the Tesla Model 3 Long Range can cover on a fully-charged battery, as VW takes aim at Elon Musk’s car brand. 

Volkswagen’s sixth electric-only car is coming: The ID.7 will be the next model in the German brand’s line-up, which is due to be unveiled in full before the middle of the year

Showcasing the car in the US this week, Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, said: ‘With the new ID.7, we are extending our electric model range into the upper segments. 

‘The sedan will offer top-class technology and quality. The ID.7 is one of ten new electric models that we are planning to launch by 2026. Our goal? To deliver suitable products for our customers in every single segment.’

It is set to be sold in both saloon and estate forms, with the model unveiled in full in the second quarter of the year and order books for UK customers likely opening towards the end of 2023.

The ID.7 will be the sixth fully-electric ‘ID’ car from the manufacturer and will be based on its tried-and-tested MEB platform that underpins the five models before it.

The production-ready model should share the same dimensions as this prototype vehicle, which measures in at 4,940mm long, 1,859mm wide and 1,529mm high.

Its wheelbase of 2,969mm is the same as the recently-launched ID Buzz MPV and it is longer than the two internal combustion engine family saloons VW currently offers – the Arteon and Passat.

Revealed in prototype form - and heavily camouflaged - at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the German car giant says the ID.7 is aiming to provide a range of 435 miles

Revealed in prototype form – and heavily camouflaged – at the 2023 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, the German car giant says the ID.7 is aiming to provide a range of 435 miles

The ID.7 is longer than the two internal combustion engine family saloons already in VW's range - the Arteon and Passat

The ID.7 is longer than the two internal combustion engine family saloons already in VW’s range – the Arteon and Passat

VW says the ID.7 is expected to have a full-charge range of up to 435 miles using its largest battery pack (77kWh)

VW says the ID.7 is expected to have a full-charge range of up to 435 miles using its largest battery pack (77kWh)

While the vehicle has been revealed to show-goers in Las Vegas, Volkswagen has remained tight-lipped about most of the technical details.

However, it has confirmed it is targeting a full-charge range of up to 435 miles.

As is the case with its other ID models, it will be sold with different battery sizes – and the 435 mile claim will likely be for the largest of these, which currently is a 77kWh pack.

It is expected to be sold with the option of two or four-wheel-drive, and there should also be a ‘hot’ GTX versions launched. 

Its biggest rival will be the Tesla Model 3, which is the best-selling electric saloon in Britain currently.

Prices for the Tesla start from £48,490 for the rear-wheel drive option, which offers a range of 305 miles. The furthest distance of a full charge is achieved in the Model 3 Long Range – 374 miles – and costs £57,490. 

With the VW potentially gazumping that by 61 miles, Elon Musk might likely see it taking sales off his most affordable electric vehicle. 

Its biggest rival will be the Tesla Model 3, which is the best-selling electric saloon in Britain currently. The 'Long Range' version is claimed to go for up to 374 miles between charges

Its biggest rival will be the Tesla Model 3, which is the best-selling electric saloon in Britain currently. The ‘Long Range’ version is claimed to go for up to 374 miles between charges

With the VW potentially gazumping that single-charge driving distance by 61 miles, Tesla boss Elon Musk (pictured) might likely see it taking sales off his most affordable electric vehicle

With the VW potentially gazumping that single-charge driving distance by 61 miles, Tesla boss Elon Musk (pictured) might likely see it taking sales off his most affordable electric vehicle

The Hyundai Ioniq 6, BMW i4, Mercedes EQE and Polestar 2 are just some of the other competition the VW will go up against.

Production for the European market will take place at the company’s Emden factory in Germany alongside the ID.4 SUV.

The prototype unveiled in the US shows the car having a svelte silhouette, as previewed by the ID.Aero concept last summer.

The prototype unveiled in the US shows the car having a svelte silhouette, which should make it aerodynamically efficient, which in turn should help it to achieve its quoted range

The prototype unveiled in the US shows the car having a svelte silhouette, which should make it aerodynamically efficient, which in turn should help it to achieve its quoted range

It had a drag coefficient of 0.23, which is expected to be the case for the full production version. In layman’s terms, this means it will slip through the air with ease, which should help improve its range. 

Details of the car’s exterior have been hidden by a busy camouflage, which is a special QR code-inspired feature VW calls ‘Electroluminescent’ made up of 40 layers of paint. 

When an electric current is sent through it, 22 separate sections of the car can light up independently to turn the vehicle into an interactive canvas. For what reason, we’re not too sure.

Details of the ID.7's exterior have been hidden by a busy camouflage, which is a special QR code-inspired feature VW calls 'Electroluminescent' paint that can light up across 22 panels

Details of the ID.7’s exterior have been hidden by a busy camouflage, which is a special QR code-inspired feature VW calls ‘Electroluminescent’ paint that can light up across 22 panels

The ID.7 will have 'Smart Air Vents'. These detect when the owner is approaching the car on a hot day, and automatically turn on the air-conditioning to cool the cabin

The ID.7 will have ‘Smart Air Vents’. These detect when the owner is approaching the car on a hot day, and automatically turn on the air-conditioning to cool the cabin

The infotainment touchscreen has been improved on customer feedback, meaning drivers will can access the temperature controls directly from the home screen

The infotainment touchscreen has been improved on customer feedback, meaning drivers will can access the temperature controls directly from the home screen

One clever feature that’s used in the prototype and will make it through to the showroom car is its ‘Smart Air Vents’. 

These can detect when the owner – holding the key – is approaching the car on a hot day, and automatically turn on the air-conditioning to cool the cabin. It will also be able to do the same with the heater, heated seats and heated steering wheel on particularly chilly days.

It will also get an augmented reality head-up display as standard across the range, and the 15-inch touchscreen system has been improved on customer feedback, meaning drivers will be be able to access the temperature controls directly from the home screen rather than having to navigate through sub menus.

While order books are expected to open before the end of 2023, there is not yet any indication on pricing.

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