Volkswagen has upped the ante in the EV stakes by introducing its ID.7. The large, sleek saloon will go head-to-head with the Tesla Model 3 as VW bids to grab a larger slice of the executive EV market. No prices have yet been released, but expect the ID.7 to start around £50,000.
And right from the off, the ID.7 has the Tesla beaten, certainly when it comes to range. VW claims the newcomer has been designed for "for long distances”, so no surprise then that it has a claimed range of up to 435 miles. That means the range-topping Pro S ID.7 can travel further than the Tesla on a single charge.
The Pro S will also be the first VW EV to be fitted with a new 86kW battery pack, plus it will also be the fastest-charging with speeds of up to 200kW. As you would expect, elsewhere in the range the smaller 77kWh battery — already slotted into the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5 and ID Buzz — will be available in the ID.7 Pro This will deliver a range of 382 miles and has a charging capability of 170kW. Charging times have yet to be confirmed.
Both Pro and Pro S will be available with rear-wheel drive. A quicker, more powerful ID.7 GTX, fitted with dual-motor four-wheel drive, is scheduled to join the ID.7 range later. VW has yet to release performance figures for any of the ID.7 models, but it’s expected to cover the 0-62mph sprint in around six seconds.
VW designers have given the ID.7 a slippery fastback look. The sloping roof leads to a large hatchback boot. Interestingly, all ID.7s will feature black roofs with black door pillars.
Inside the cabin there are plenty of soft-touch surfaces as VW has focused on giving the iD.7 a more premium feel than the ID.4 or ID.5. There’s a new 15-inch touchscreen which, thankfully, has the climate functions permanently positioned across the bottom of the display.
VW has also taken on board criticism from earlier ID owners. The latest infotainment systems now feature a backlit lower part of the bezel. At last drivers and passengers will be able to see the temperature shortcuts and volume slider at night.
The ID.7 is also fitted with new "ergoActive" electric seats. These promise to be super comfortable as they’ve been certified by the German Campaign for Healthier Backs. And just for good measure, tick the option box and you can add a massage function which features 10 adjustable air cushions.
Another point of interest is the fact there are no physical air vent controls. Airflow is instead controlled via the touchscreen. In some modes the car changes this automatically. Crucially though, you won’t necessarily need to take your hands off the steering wheel to change the airflow. VW’s improved ‘IDA’ voice command system will allow the occupants to instruct the software to adjust the speed, direction and temperature of airflow.
The ID.7’s minimalist dashboard also houses a small digital instrument cluster, similar to that found in the Skoda Enyaq iV. This is supplemented by a standard-fit, augmented-reality head-up display, projecting features such as satnav instructions.
Also available will be an optional panoramic sunroof which is fitted with a special ‘polymer-dispersed liquid crystal’. At the touch of button, this becomes either opaque or transparent.