Volkswagen ID Aero Revealed: A Stretched-Out EV Passat Successor for America
VW is considering a China-first approach to new EV sales, but promises this EV sedan will also come to America.
Update 6/27/22: Volkswagen has revealed some images of the ID Aero Concept, and as you'd expect it's true to the earlier sketches seen below. And with the new images, we also have a few more hard figures to share.
For one, VW has shared the battery size: 77 kWh, presumably the same 82 kWh gross/77 kWh net unit as found in the upcoming ID Buzz electric van. The company estimates range will be about 385 miles on the (typically optimistic) WLTP test cycle, helped in part by a slippery drag coefficient of just 0.23—not quite as impressive as the more radical (and not as production-ready) as the Mercedes-Benz EQXX, but still impressive. Lastly, we learn that the ID Aero rides on 22-inch wheels. Perhaps that will make it to production, but 20s seem more likely.
Volkswagen will build and sell a production version of the ID Aero to consumers, starting in China in the second half of 2023, and globally (including North America) after that.
While Europe has been enjoying the first slate of new electric cars—like the ID4 and upcoming ID Buzz—from Volkswagen Group before those went global, we're starting to see a shift in that thinking. Volkswagen is now looking at releasing new electric vehicles in China first before going selling throughout the world, especially anything that could allow passengers to stretch their legs out such as the Audi Urbansphere concept. Next on that list is a new VW ID that will first go on sale in China that's being called the ID Aero. It's a "limousine" sedan that's aimed straight at China's upper-middle class and set to go on sale next year. It also looks a lot like a Passat.
Right now, the ID Aero is only being teased in sketches but VW has big plans for it already. It's going to be based off of their Modular Electric Drive Matrix, the MEB platform, and looks like an electrified version of the Passat, especially with how the front end is designed. The rear is a bit different, though, as the taillights stretches across the entire width of the trunk and into the quarter panels. However, with this being a "limo" EV, the rear doors are long to accommodate a long wheelbase. It's similar to what you'd find on the China-only Volkswagen Magotan, which was functionally a Passat with a 113-inch wheelbase (the standard Passat was 109.7 inches).
The ID Aero takes its name from the flowing lines that the sketch shows off with its aerodynamic front end, roof, and rear design—not unlike the direction Mercedes-Benz is headed with its future EV sedans. The idea is to reduce energy consumption and increase range, according to Volkswagen, but it didn't tease out a battery size or range target. It did tease out that the ID Aero will go on sale in China around the second half of 2023 with a production version for North America and Europe presented within the same year.
We do know that the North American and European version of the ID Aero will be built at VW's plant in Emden. Going back to the theme of the previous paragraph, that's the same plant that built the Passat, but it was retooled in 2021 to handle the MEB. The plant also built the original production run of the ID4.
That's all we know thus far about the ID Aero, but we expect more information to come on June 27 during a "digital world premiere" with VW.