WOLFSBURG – Volkswagen brand will offer a glimpse at what its largest full-electric SUV could look like when it debuts the I.D. Lounge at the Shanghai auto show next month.
The production version of the three-row, seven-seat SUV will compete against large electric SUVs such as the Tesla Model X. It is expected to launch first in China and the U.S. early next decade followed by sales in Europe in 2024.
The production car will be the flagship of VW's I.D. family of long-range electric cars that will include a Golf-sized hatchback, the Crozz and Crozz Coupe SUVS, and a retro-styled I.D. Buzz microbus. VW has also shown the I.D. Vizzion study for an electric sedan.
VW brand sales chief, Juergen Stackmann said the upcoming Crozz and Crozz Coupe, expected to launch by 2021, will not be enough to meet rising demand for SUVs and crossovers the most important pillar in VW’s product strategy.
"Larger dimensioned versions that offer more seating capacity are in great demand at the high end of the market," Stackmann said.
The I.D. Lounge concept, which will debut on April 16 in Shanghai, will demonstrate VW's plans to compete in that part of the market, he said.
Volkswagen Group plans to launch 70 full-electric vehicles by 2028 and build 22 million cars off various EV architectures including the VW brand’s MEB and the PPE platform jointly under development by Audi and Porsche.
China will be a key market for the Crozz and the Lounge, as the brand’s share of all SUVs there is expected to double to 40 percent by 2020 over last year. This year it will launch eight new SUV models in the country, five of which will be locally produced, according to a presentation by Volkswagen Group China CEO Stephan Woellenstein.
By 2025, Volkswagen expects the overall market for EVs in China to grow to more than 4.8 million units from 1.3 million in 2020. In the long term, it estimates that over 85 percent of all cars sold in China in 2040 will be EVs, compared with 70 percent in Europe and 60 percent in the U.S.
A VW source said China and the U.S. would get the Lounge first because Europe currently has conventionally-powered models such as the Sharan large minivan and T6 microbus in case a customer needs a third row of seats.