- A mid-size SUV concept from Volkswagen, the I.D. Roomzz, has made its world debut at the Shanghai auto show.
- The I.D. Roomzz is the sixth vehicle in Volkswagen's I.D. all-electric lineup of concept vehicles.
- Volkswagen claims to be working on a production version of this and other I.D.-branded electric vehicles with plans to start launching them as early as 2020.
Volkswagen is expanding its range of all-electric concept vehicles with the debut of the mid-size I.D. Roomzz SUV at the Shanghai auto show. The I.D. Roomzz's odd name is in character with those of the other I.D. vehicles VW has shown already; it joins the I.D. Crozz, the I.D. Buzz, and three other I.D.-branded concepts, many of which Volkswagen claims to be ushering toward production with assembly starting in 2020.
The Roomzz concept boasts an 82.0-kWh battery pack which should provide a driving range of nearly 280 miles and dual electric motors that provide all-wheel-drive traction. Volkswagen claims a top speed of 112 mph and says the Roomzz can go from zero to 62 mph in 6.6 seconds. The concept is capable of both inductive charging and traditional plug charging.
Four large sliding side doors provide easy ingress and egress to the Roomzz concept, although we doubt the production model will retain the dramatic apertures-a wise move considering the trouble rival Tesla has had with the Model X's fancy falcon-wing rear doors.
The I.D. Roomzz concept is shown with two rows of individual bucket seats that offer space for four, but Volkswagen says the production model will have three rows of seats and could sit up to eight if bench seats are selected for the second and third rows. The seats themselves are wrapped in a new material Volkswagen is calling AppleSkin that it describes as "artificial leather that contains 20 percent vegetable matter."
Full autonomous driving is part of the vision here, and the concept's interior is reconfigurable when the vehicle is driving itself; the seats can be rotated inward by 25 degrees to "enable a more communicative lounge-like atmosphere" while the Roomzz pilots itself to the set destination.
With a dashboard and a center instrument panel that appears completely devoid of buttons, the I.D. Roomzz concept borrows heavily from the design shown in the I.D. Crozz concept and follows a trend toward minimalism elsewhere in the automotive industry. The steering wheel, however, is unique and incorporates a 5.8-inch digital display screen and forgoes the traditional steering wheel rim for a solid, squared-off control that's gripped from the sides.
Navigation instructions are provided via an augmented reality head-up display that projects turn-by-turn directions for the driver in the virtual space ahead of the vehicle. We'll have to wait to see how much of the Roomzz's technology turns up in the production vehicle, but we won't have to wait long. The three-row SUV is said to be among the first vehicles leading the charge in Volkswagen's electrification efforts and perhaps will be built alongside the upcoming I.D. Crozz and the current three-row Atlas SUV in Tennessee. According to VW, this SUV concept is going to be released worldwide in 2021.
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