VW ID. Life Test ride and review


Become like the historic hit car "VW Beetle" !?

It's rare to drive a concept model that costs hundreds of millions of yen to complete, and it's a very valuable experience, but at the same time it's certainly very tense. After all, there should be no mistake because there is only one in the world. In particular, this "VW ID. Life" is a remarkable model that made a spectacular world debut at the VW stand at the IAA Munich Motor Show.
It is hoped that this new EV crossover concept will play a role similar to the affordable and globally successful "VW Beetle" 80 years ago. The EV model released by VW so far will cost nearly 40,000 euros (about 5.2 million yen) if the cheapest "ID.3" is equipped with appropriate options.
It is not yet known if this concept ID. Life will be in its original shape, but it is expected to be released in 2025 for about 20,000 euros (about 2.6 million yen).

Aiming for a design that will work even after the SUV boom is over

Initially, VW planned to sell a relatively inexpensive entry EV in 2027, but it was moved forward in 2025 due to strong EV sales. But VW isn't just looking at the affordable EV market. As far as I interviewed on this day, the model name given when this ID. Life is mass-produced is "ID.2", and it will be a model located under ID.3.

It was explained that the design of Concept ID. Life was the result of searching for something more than just an SUV crossover. In other words, even after the SUV boom is over, it is intended to be a universal series that will be valid in the future.

Unlike other ID. Models, it has a box-shaped design with many straight lines, ensuring the maximum cabin space for the body size. Even if it is mass-produced, there is a high possibility that a model that is quite close to this concept model will be born.

The chassis is compact MEB eco and adopts front wheel drive

The highlights of the concept model are the flash surface, that is, the headlights and taillights that are smoothly embedded in the surface of the body, and the front and rear VW logos. The body with a total length of 4.1 x 1.85 x 1.60 m is 20 cm shorter than ID.3.

The production version of the EV platform uses a modified version of the "MEB (Modular Electric Drive Matrix)" used by the ID. Series, and the wheelbase is 2.65m, which is 10cm shorter than the MEB. "It is called.

Another point that makes ID. Life different from ID. 3 is that the electric motor is placed on the front axle instead of the rear, and the front wheels are driven by the 1st gear. It has been announced that the maximum output of the drive motor is 172kW (234ps), the maximum torque is 290Nm, 0-100km / h is 6.9 seconds, and the maximum speed is 180km / h. However, it is just a signboard as a show car, and the mass-produced model should be more quiet.

The electric motor was laid out at the front mainly for cost and packaging purposes, and we were able to secure a space for four adults and a trunk with a sufficient space of 400 liters at the rear. On the other hand, there is a space left on the front to store the charging cable.

Low-priced liver adopts lithium iron phosphate battery

The commercial version of ID Life will be equipped with batteries of various capacities starting from 57kWh, all placed under the floor, and a flat floor, which is an advantage of EV, will be prepared. Low-cost lithium iron phosphate (LFP) is used in the lithium battery cells to replace the nickel, manganese, and cobalt (NMC) currently used by VW.

Since LFP cells do not use expensive rare metals such as nickel, manganese, and cobalt as electrode materials, manufacturing costs can be reduced. It is essential to install this new battery in order to offer a mass-produced model of ID. Life at a low price. Nevertheless, it has been announced that the cruising range will reach 400km.

A smartphone fixed with a magnet, steering like a control stick

The interior design is very modest and unobtrusive. The center of the steering, which looks like an aircraft control stick, is a digital screen, the upper pad of the dashboard is made of recycled polyester, and a wooden shelf underneath extends to the full width of the vehicle.

There is no dedicated infotainment display, and the owner uses a magnet to fix his smartphone to the dashboard instead. In addition, the front window has a screen so you can watch videos while parked. In that case, the rear bench seat becomes the viewing seat.

The starter button is a switch carved into a wooden shelf. The drive selector is operated by the touch pad in the steering. The driving position is high, the visibility is good, and you can see well beyond the corners.

The concept car was well made and expectations for commercial models increased.

The reason for the good impression I got from driving ID. Life is that it is not tentative like the concept car equipped with an internal combustion engine so far, but the platform has already been decided and the rigidity as a car is secured. Let's go.

The shortened MEB Eco platform incorporates MacPherson struts in the front and torsion beams in the rear, and the steering system is equipped with EPS (electric power steering) inherited from ID.3.

The tires installed were Continental Eco Contact, the size was 235 / 45ZR20, and the road holding was excellent. However, since this test only made a few laps around the closed circuit at a low speed of 40 to 50km / h, it was not possible to confirm the performance claimed by VW.

The steering feel is light and direct, but steering like an aircraft control stick is design-oriented and not easy to use. However, the steering force including the self-centering when running straight was appropriate, and the steering feeling when turning was not bad, so I wanted a normal round steering.

The figures have not been announced, but as far as driving is concerned, the turning radius is small and it seems easy to ride in urban areas. In addition, there is no rear view mirror, so check the images sent from the three front and rear cameras. In the future, it will also be projected on the screen of the head-up display.

Last but not least, I would like to report that expectations for the commercial version that will appear in 2025 have risen considerably, partly because the concept model is a good test drive.

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