When parked, the headlight graphic is designed to give the impression of a closed eye, as if to indicate that you are asleep. At start-up, the headlights flash and the graph is modified to transmit the action of an eye opening. At the same time, the front and rear VW logos are illuminated in white, while the bottom of the front bumper, sides and rear diffuser are illuminated in blue.

When drive is selected, the LED daytime running lights turn on automatically and the VWlogos remain blank. In stand-alone mode, a laser scanner is deployed from the roof and the front bumper, the sides and rear diffuser are again illuminated in blue. During recharging, the LED units pulse in a simulation of the flow of energy supplied to the battery.

Inside, Volkswagen has taken advantage of the inherent packaging advantages of electric transmissions to provide the ID with an impressively spacious four-seater interior that offers accommodation similar to that of the larger Passat, as well as a complete connectivity package that Volkswagen suggests will be an integral part of all upcoming electric models.

“Before taking a pen in hand for the identification project, we discussed intensively the importance of future mobility. One thing is for sure: the car of the day after tomorrow will be a place of mobile communication. The open space offered by the ID card is such a place,” said Bischoff.

While the ID provides seating for four people in individual seats, the production version will have a more conventional design with space for up to five people. Volkswagen has not revealed the nominal capacity of the luggage compartment, but says the concept offers up to 980 litres of luggage space when the rear seats are folded down.

Despite the contemporary appearance of the ID, Volkswagen suggests that the production version will be based on existing unique body construction techniques using a combination of high-strength hot-formed steel, aluminium and magnesium. This will allow the company to build it in existing factories without the need for significant investment in production infrastructure.

The basis for the identification is the MEB (Modular Electric Architecture) platform developed by Volkswagen and originally presented in the Budd-e concept at the Consumer Electronics Fair in January 2016.

A 125 kW brushless electric motor mounted on the rear axle housing gives ID the ability to emit zero emissions. The self-developed unit drives the rear wheels via a fixed ratio gearbox. Although Volkswagen has not yet indicated the kerb weight for identification, computer simulations suggest that the production version is set to achieve 0-62mphin below 8.0sec, while the maximum speed will be limited to 100mph.

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