Volkswagen has revealed third member of its new I.D. electric car brand and it is a tasty little crumpet, as Henry N. Manney, III used to say. Known as the I.D.Crozz, the electric SUV concept is the perfect embodiment of what the market seems to want today — a crossover SUV that looks like a sport coupe. Think of it as mashup between a Chevy Suburban and a Mazda Miata.
Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess told the press in Shanghai the Crozz is a “production possibility” and could hit the market as soon as 2020. “If it was ever possible to make a one hundred percent certain prediction of what the future will look like, it is achieved here. We are showing with the ID Crozz how Volkswagen will be transforming the roadscape from 2020.”
So what is an I.D. Crozz? It is a car built on Volkswagen’s new MEB chassis dedicated exclusively to electric cars. The same architecture is found underneath the other two cars in the I.D. portfolio, a sedan known simply as the I.D. Concept and the I.D. Buzz — an updated version of the iconic VW bus that was featured at this year’s Detroit auto show.
It has an 83 kWh battery and a claimed 311 mile range in the European test cycle. (Subtract 20% to get an idea what the EPA range will be.) 0-60 is said to happen in less than 6 seconds and the Crozz has a claimed top speed of 112 miles per hour. The company says an 80% charge can be had in 30 minutes using a 150 kW fast charger. (Good luck finding one of those.)
That’s all good news, but it’s what’s inside that makes the I.D. Crozz interesting. Hold the VW crest in the middle of the steering wheel for 3 seconds and the car transitions to self driving mode, thanks to a suite of electronic sensors. The interior also features an augmented reality heads up display on the windshield and hand gesture activation of climate control and audio systems. Even the opacity of the glass roof can be controlled by hand gestures. Volkswagen refers to it as a cell phone on wheels.
Electric cars allow designers and engineers to do creative things when it comes to packaging the car’s components. Volkswagen says it has developed new high power electric motors that are more compact, which allows it to dedicate more of the space inside to carrying people and things. Although it is smaller on the outside than a Volkswagen Tiguan, it has more interior room. The rear doors open beyond 90 degrees to make loading bulky items like bicycles a breeze.
Volkswagen’s stylists have done a good job with the I.D. Crozz. It is a handsome design that has strong eye appeal. (Am I the only one who thinks it looks a little like a Tesla Model 3 with more creases in plan view?) The only question is whether the I.D. Crozz and its siblings will get to market in time to compete with the other electric SUVs other companies are rushing into production.