Volkswagen previewed another facet of its upcoming electric car offensive when it unveiled the spacious ID Roomzz concept during the biennial Shanghai Auto Show. The design study takes the form of a spacious SUV developed with a focus on technology, comfort, and customization.
The ID Roomzz is a little bit smaller than the Atlas currently found in American showrooms, though its compact electric powertrain gives it an ample amount of interior room. Its design falls in line with previous ID-badged concept cars — like the Vizzion, the Crozz, and the Buzz — by adopting styling cues such as full-width LED lights and back-lit Volkswagen emblems on both ends. Interestingly, users can download a smartphone app to customize the design of the rear lights. It’s a fun, futuristic feature shown on a concept for the first time, but it’s already on its way to production.
Level four autonomous driving technology allows the ID Roomzz to drive itself in certain situations, like on the highway or in urban centers. To become a passenger, the driver simply needs to place a hand on the Volkswagen logo in the middle of the steering wheel for at least five seconds. If the right conditions are met, the steering wheel retracts into the dashboard, and the computer handles all aspects of driving.
When the SUV is traveling autonomously, the driver-turned-passenger can rotate his or her seat by 25 degrees to face the other occupants in a lounge-like atmosphere. Alternatively, the individual seats recline to let the passengers nap on the move. When it’s time to drive again, the driver can turn on an augmented reality head-up display to project navigation directions and other useful information right in front of the car.
Volkswagen made the ID Roomzz on its modular MEB platform. Power comes from a pair of electric motors that draw electricity from an 82-kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery pack to channel 306 horsepower to the four wheels, which is enough for a zero-to-60-mph time of 6.6 seconds. The firm quotes a driving range of up to 280 miles, but quick-charging technology gives the battery an 80-percent charge in about half an hour. Wireless inductive charging technology sends the power cord the way of the carburetor.
Though it’s presented as a concept car, the ID Roomzz concept will enter series production in 2021, and it will go on sale on the Chinese market shortly after. It will offer an electric powertrain and space for up to seven passengers. Whether it will be sold in other markets remains to be seen, but we think it’s a model that would do well in the United States if priced right.
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