The latest addition to the Volkswagen ID The alignment of futuristic concept cars will not be just a piece of futuristic and distant design, destined to penetrate what should be a completely autonomous car. Today at the Geneva Motor Show, the company announced that it also plans to launch a production version of the I.D. Vizzion, too. The all-electric Vizzion will hit the road "no later than 2022," says VW, and unlike the concept version that was originally mocked last month, it will come with a steering wheel and pedals.
VW still states that, like the concept, the production car can reach more than 400 miles on a single charge thanks to a battery pack that, at 111kWh, is larger than anything that Tesla currently offers. A 75kW engine will drive the front wheels, while a 150kW engine will power the rear, which would give this all-wheel drive sedan about 300 horsepower.
The exterior of the I.D. Vizzion is reminiscent of the Lowid riding Lucid Air EV, although it is distinguished by some very VW curves in body work. It is a design language much more exciting than the new and loaded Jetta that VW showed in Detroit with certainty. The Vizzion looks at home in the same alignment as the I.D. Crozz, the concept of VW's crisp and futuristic crossover SUV. It is also much less gauche than the I.D. Buzz microbus prototype. In all, the Vizzion looks and sounds like it's fun to drive.
The Vizzion will eventually become completely autonomous, but VW will sell a more familiar version first
Having said that, VW is trying to shape the initial conversation about the I.D. Vizzion includes what could one day become once the car is able to fully handle itself. In fact, each of the new Vizzion photos that VW released today shows a version of the car without a steering wheel, pedals or even buttons, echoing the promise the company made when it launched the first images of the claim in February.
This is how VW thinks that a trip in such a version of the Vizzion could go. The company estimates that, at some point within twelve years from now, you can jump into a completely driverless Vizzion. The car knows who you are thanks to facial recognition, so adjust the seats, lighting, environmental controls and even the aromas to your liking. Also, maybe, it instantly stops your favorite video streaming service, which in turn can load the program that you left in pause at home.
There are no screens; The conceptual representations published today show something that looks like the projection on the windshield or some kind of hologram. As such, throughout the entire trip to your destination, you will not have to touch a single button. All you need is your voice, and maybe one or two waves from your hand.
This future potential is not unique to the automotive industry, which has spent most of the last decade imagining similar ideas about how driverless cars can change the driving experience. Many of the more ambitious suggestions made by VW have been mocked by major automakers and startups. In any case, VW's vision of a fully autonomous car is conservative, considering that the interior of the car seems almost indistinguishable from something that could hit the road today.
Some of Vizzion's most futuristic blossoms are the kind of ideas we've already seen
There are other futuristic blooms in Vizzion, although they are no less derivative. The rear window has built-in OLED screen technology, which VW imagines is used to act as a large brake light. (A peculiar idea considering that the car points to a future in which roads are full of driving cars). A matrix of LED lights on the Vizzion grid will be able to project specific images or messages in front of the car, such as an illuminated pedestrian crossing that aims to show pedestrians that the car is leaving them the right of way. Both ideas have been mocked by previous concept cars.
VW is making a big bet on electric cars over the next decade, and the ID. Vizzion – like his I.D. brothers: it seems that it will be a central piece of that push. Anyway, it could become a kind of flagship for the eventual fully autonomous fleet of VW, which VW obviously wants everyone to be thinking about, but that future is still far away.
Meanwhile, thinking about the ID. Vizzion in terms of being a fully autonomous car, at least in the way that VW presents it this week in Geneva, makes it harder to understand why anyone would care that the car is a VW. The exterior design is the most distinctive feature of the car; everything else inside is really the same kind of thing that the competition promises. Even VW knows that this problem is still to come, although Chief Herbert Diess sees it differently. "The identification." Vizzion shows that we will not only use uniform tin boxes in the electric, self-driving future, "he said in a statement.
No doubt there is a lot of time for these companies to find ways to distinguish their fully automatic offers, which is good, because those things are more important when they no longer have control of the car. That's why it's a relief to know that, meanwhile, at least we're getting a more familiar version (flyer and everything) of the Vizzion sometime in the next few years.