Volkswagen is trying to move on from its controversial past and bet its future on electric vehicles for the masses. It started with the Volkswagen ID3 hatchback for the European market, followed by the slightly larger 2021 Volkswagen ID4 SUV better suited for North America.
Now that we’ve gotten our first look at the all-wheel-drive 2021 Volkswagen ID4 GTX, launching this summer for Europe, we also have some clarity on the upcoming ID4 AWD for the U.S. market.
VW GTX Performance Sub-Brand Name Is for Europe Only
Adding a model with AWD and performance is a logical next step for the ID family, Volkswagen Brand’s R&D Board Member Thomas said in a roundtable with media. It is the first model of the new performance-oriented GTX sub-brand in Europe—reviving the GTX name for electric vehicles, with styling cues that future GTX models will adopt. And it is the first all-wheel-drive model in the ID family of electric vehicles. The ID family will continue to grow with the larger ID6 shown at the Shanghai auto show and an ID5 in the works.
The GTX augments the rear permanently excited synchronous motor with a second asynchronous motor up front to offer all-wheel drive and greater performance. An intelligent control system decides where the torque is distributed, tapping the front motor when needed. Horsepower goes from 201 to 295, and top speed increases from 99 mph to a capped 112 mph.
The GTX name will not be used in North America, where it is simply the 2021 VW ID4 AWD. The specs of the ID4 AWD are largely the same as the ID4 GTX, Ulbrich told us.
2021 VW ID4 AWD Coming to U.S. This Fall
The ID4 with AWD will be available in the U.S. this fall on both the Pro and Pro S trim levels, and Volkswagen already has received orders. One difference: the U.S. does not get Dynamic Chassis Control (DCC), which pairs control of the electronically adjustable adaptive dampers with drive mode. Ulbrich says the North American version will be tuned to be as dynamic as its European counterpart, but the marketing emphasis will be on its all-wheel-drive capabilities, more so than on its performance.
The ID4 GTX is expected to do 0-62 mph in 6.2 seconds, VW officials claim. On our first drive of the 2021 VW ID4, albeit a prototype, we found the small electric vehicle to be impressive. And when we tested the 2021 Volkswagen ID4, it hit 60 mph in 7.4 seconds.
2021 VW ID4 AWD Pricing and Range
The 201-hp, 229-lb-ft ID4 starts at $41,490 and has a range of 250 miles. Adding AWD ups the starting price on the base model by $3,680 to $45,170. Pro S AWD starts at $49,370.The ID4 GTX has an estimated range of 298 miles on the European WLTP test cycle, and comparing apples to apples, the regular ID4 has a range of 323 miles per WLTP. So, while we don’t have an EPA rating for the AWD model, it will be slightly less given its increased weight.
More Electric Vehicle Platforms to Come for VW
Volkswagen is on tear with plans to introduce 20 EVs through 2025 as it attempts to erase memories of its diesel scandal. Many of the forthcoming vehicles use VW’s MEB architecture, meaning they were styled from the ground up as electric vehicles. And Ulbrich says the ID4 will be profitable by the end of its lifecycle.
The Volkswagen Group also has the PPE platform for luxury and larger electric vehicles, such as the Audi A6 E-Tron. The automaker is also already working on an electric platform called SSP (Scalable Systems Platform) that will bring increased range and advanced tech. The SSP platform will eventually replace many of the vehicles on the current electric platforms, including the vehicle currently known as Project Trinity. But we can expect a mix of cars and crossovers, starting with a sedan for Audi expected to be unveiled in 2024.
VW hopes to offer vehicles with a range of about 435 miles in the next two or three years, Ulbrich says. The automaker is working on improving existing technology but also solid-state battery cells with the potential for greater range.
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