Amid the success enjoyed by the 2022 Volkswagen ID.4 electric vehicle and its reservation system in the US, Volkswagen has embarked on a mission to more adequately meet the needs of American consumers by establishing a new site for assembly operations in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Starting this year, Volkswagen Group Components Sites in Kassel, Braunschweig, and Salzgitter, Germany, will produce electric drive units, battery systems, and other essential components to be assembled at the company’s new Chattanooga plant. The vehicles will then be directly distributed to the U.S. consumer market, satisfying an increasingly high demand from the American public for electric vehicles. The change promises an easier to obtain and more affordable ID.4 that proudly boasts assembly origins in the United States by the 2023 model year.
How the ID.4 Puts a Modern Spin on Volkswagen’s Old Roots
The overall look of the Volkswagen ID.4 is visually reminiscent of early VW style with its rounded, aerodynamic lines and bubbly appearance, but the company’s classic inspiration goes even further than its exterior. Like the original Beetle, the ID.4’s primary electric motor is located above its rear axle, immediately to the front of the centerline of its wheels, a placement Volkswagen says maximizes agile handling and traction. The modern twist? Its motor is nearly silent, to the point where engineers have implemented a mechanism that creates a synthetic sound, audible as the vehicle travels up to twenty miles per hour, in order to alert pedestrians and cyclists to the presence of a moving car in their vicinity.
The efficiency of the AC Permanent-Magnet Synchronous Motor in the ID.4 is more than 90% in almost all driving situations, yet somehow its electric drive unit is surprisingly small and light. It transfers its torque to a two-stage single-speed gearbox, putting out 229 lb-ft of instantly available torque and 201 horsepower. The entire module, including the motor, gearbox, and the power and control electronics, weigh only 200 lbs and can fit into a duffle bag. Volkswagen attributes the efficiency of the ID.4’s motor to a complicated engineering technology known as a hairpin winding, in which the motor’s stator uses coils constructed from square copper wires that mimick the appearance of a hairpin after becoming bent. The wires can be packed more tightly using this method, boosting the amount of copper in the stator, thus increasing power and torque. This method also makes cooling more efficient.
Overall, How Efficient Are ID.4 Trims?
The Volkswagen ID.4 is a compact SUV that comes in four simply organized trims: the ID.4 Pro and the ID.4 Pro S. Each is subdivided by drivetrain, featuring a rear-wheel drive (RWD) and all-wheel drive (AWD) version of both. In the realm of battery life, the standard RWD Pro features an EPA-estimated range of about 280 miles per single charge, while the AWD Pro trim features a range of 251 miles per charge. For the Pro S trim packages, the RWD has an EPA-estimated range of 268 miles per charge, and the AWD has a range of 245 miles per charge. Also available is a $1500 upgrade opportunity called the Gradient Package that features larger wheels and further design differentiators that Volkswagen says will be included.
For commuters, fuel efficiency equivalents can be important factors to consider when shopping for an electric vehicle. The combined EPA-estimated fuel efficiency for city and highway driving for the standard RWD ID.4 Pro is 112 MPGe with a rating of 121 MPGe (miles per gallon equivalent) for city driving and 102 MPGe for highway driving. With the all-wheel drive version of the Pro, you’ll get around 106 MPGe while driving in the city and 96 MPGe for highway driving, and a combined EPA-estimated fuel economy of 101 MPGe. The D.4 Pro S has an EPA-estimated efficiency of 115 MPGe for city driving and 97 MPGe when driving on the highway, with a combined EPA estimated 106 MPGe for the rear-wheel-drive model. Lastly, the all-wheel drive Pro S yields a combined fuel-economy rate estimated at 95 MPGe, with 90 MPGe for highway driving and 100 for city driving.
Features for Comfort and Convenience
The ID.4 is efficient, but what about features that hone in on comfort and convenience while focusing on customizing the vehicle’s interior to the driver and passengers? Yes, although the ID.4 packs an automotive punch in its motor, it does not lack comfort. Features include a standard heated steering wheel, heated side mirrors and washer nozzles, heated front seats, and (on the AWD Pro and AWD Pro S) a heated windshield. Create your own temperature-controlled bubble on cold days using the Dual-zone Climatronic Touch climate control, which includes an electric resistance heater that heats up faster than conventional heaters in gas-powered vehicles. The best part? You can use your Volkswagen Car-Net mobile app to preheat your ID.4 before you get on the road. Furthermore, if you plug it into a charger, grid-sourced power can be used instead of battery power, keeping your travel range intact. Both trims of the ID.4 Pro come with six-way adjustable seats with power recline, as well as armrests located on the inner sides of both front seats. For more luxury, the Pro S trims feature impressively personalizable twelve-way power seating that includes a massaging lumbar section and memory.
Rain-sensing wipers, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and the Kessy keyless access system with proximity unlocking add additional convenience to your commute. All models of the ID.4 also come equipped with LATCH anchors and tethers for child seats. A great deal of storage comes standard in all models, including a configurable center console, as well as stowage spaces and bottle holders on each door. A below-floor storage compartment in the cargo hold comes standard on all models, perfect for storing the car’s charging cord and large enough to accommodate additional small objects.
If you’re looking for more storage for carpooling or road trips, opt for the RWD or AWD Pro S. Both have cell phone pockets on the backs of the front seats, as well as a center armrest with two cup holders for rear passengers to enjoy their ride without the danger of spilled drinks and lost cell phones. For drivers with active lifestyles, the RWD and AWD Pro S models also feature a ski pass-through and a trunk floor that adjusts into a flat load floor while the rear seats are in the down position and can be reoriented down for the capacity to store larger items. For easy, remote access to the trunk, a power tailgate with Easy Open and Close engages the tailgate with a foot movement, as long as you have possession of your key, like in your pocket or purse. Of course, the tailgate can also be opened and closed manually from the inside of the car with a button located in the cockpit.
The upcoming American-produced Volkswagen ID.4 is affordably priced for a fully-electric SUV, with a starting MSRP slated at $41,230.[a] Volkswagen says that a potential $7,500 in tax credits can be claimed as well for the purchase, adding a sizeable notch to the affordability of the vehicle. For some buyers, this could even make higher trims and additional packages more easily accessible, a bonus for average consumers who might not otherwise consider treating themselves to an upgrade. Whether you’re thinking about buying an electric vehicle in the near or distant future, the added venue for assembly operations in Chattanooga should make it significantly easier and faster than ever to obtain an ID.4. Electrifying the future of your commute just might be closer to the horizon than you expected.