VW previews new ID 7 electric saloon

Enough with all the SUVs already – here's VW's battery-powered take on an old fashioned four door

By Matt Bird / Wednesday, 4 January 2023 / Loading comments

It’d be fair to say we like a saloon on PH. From E39 M5 to Audi RS3, there’s something about performance in an unassuming body that really resonates. And while we’re not expecting Tesla busting acceleration from VW’s ID 7 (at least not yet), a more traditional silhouette is welcome for its latest EV. There are only so many SUV derivatives you can feign interest in.

To be revealed in this electroluminescent, digital camouflage at the Consumer Electronics Show – VW’s first CES in six years – the ID 7 is another EV built from the MEB architecture, the toolkit that forms the basis of everything from Cupra Born to ID Buzz. It’s the sixth VW built on it and the second global one (i.e., it’s going to be sold on three continents) after the ID.4, so you’re going to see plenty of it. Bear in mind Volkswagen has already delivered more than 500,000 MEB cars since September 2020, during about the worst time ever for new car production and sales.

Space looks like being the ID 7’s big advantage, its North America-pleasing near-3m wheelbase promises ‘an especially spacious interior that feels more like a luxury sedan’s’. The usual EV packaging advantages mean short overhangs, and design inspired by the ID Aero concept should benefit the all-important drag co-efficient. An estimated range of 435 miles on the WLTP test has already been suggested, which will be music to the ears of those drivers that spend their life on the motorway and might have to swap a trusty Arteon diesel for an ID 7 when the time comes.

It’s inside where perhaps the biggest changes from other ID models can be found. VW says it has ‘responded to customer feedback’ – it had to at some point – and ‘improved the customer experience’. So there’s now a larger 38cm screen to aim your punches at, illuminated touch sliders – thank goodness – an augmented reality HUD and a new ‘display concept’, which seems to have smartened up fonts and screens.

Additionally, there are digitally controlled Smart Air Vents, which sound like an irritant rather than improvement, but let’s reserve judgement on that. Apparently, they can heat or cool the car depending on conditions as the driver approaches. Certainly, this interior seems a lot more like the one everything built on MEB should have had to start with.

“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 10 new electric models that we are planning to launch by 2026. Our goal? To deliver suitable products for our customers in every single segment,” said Thomas Schäfer, CEO of Volkswagen passenger cars. CES opens in Las Vegas tomorrow, and a production version of the ID 7 will be shown in the second quarter of this year. Just don’t expect that one to have 40 layers of paint and QR codes everywhere.


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