Paris Motor Show LIVE: Volkswagen I.D concept image

At the ongoing Mondial de l’Automobile, the German automaker is trying to fulfill its promises of a green future, with the brand counting on the I.D concept to preview a model just as important as the Beetle or Golf.

Volkswagen believes this to be a revolutionary model – and we’ll give them at least the benefit of the doubt and call this a vehicle with potential. The only issue is the production version is expected to come to the market in 2020 – which is years after the Chevy Bolt / Opel Ampera-e or the Tesla Model 3. The production model will also be deploying for the first time in dealerships the Modular Electric Drive architecture – which is going to trickle down to the entire range of upcoming electric vehicles.

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VW has fitted the I.D concept with an 168-horsepower (125-kilowatt) electric motor and a single-speed transmission into the rear axle (hello Beetle), while a flat battery is located underneath the floor – less space occupied and lower the center of gravity. The drivetrain performance credentials include a 62 mph (100 km/h) sprint in less than 8 seconds and a maximum speed of 99 miles per hour (159 km/h) – while multiple battery packs will suffice for 249 miles (401 km) to 373 miles (600 km) in the NEDC rating.

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The I.D is 161.4 inches (4.1 meters) long, 6 inches (152.4 millimeters) smaller than the usual Golf but has five inches (127 mm) of extra wheelbase compared to the popular compact. Without the usual ICE assembly needing a grille, the design moves away from the usual five-door hatchback – packing a very short overhang front end. Inside, the high-tech appearance is everywhere, packed in minimalist styling. Additionally, there’s autonomous driving tech on board, which should be ready – according to VW – for a 2025 introduction.