Volkswagen revealed the ID 5, a smaller, sportier version of its landmark ID 4 electric SUV that will only be available in Europe. It’s the latest vehicle to join VW’s growing “ID family” of electric vehicles as the company gets closer to its 2035 deadline to stop selling gas-powered vehicles in its home continent.
VW is releasing two versions of its new EV: the entry-level ID 5, and the more premium ID 5 GTX, with dual electric motors on both the front and rear axle. (GTX is for VW’s ID models what GTI, or Grand Tourer Injection, means for the Golf.) The entry-level ID 5 will be equipped with a single rear-wheel-drive motor with an output of 174 horsepower and a 77kWh battery pack — theoretically enabling over 320 miles of range. (VW has yet to release range estimates for the ID 5.)
On the surface, the ID 5 looks indistinguishable from the ID 4, but a closer look reveals some key differences. It’s slightly shorter than the ID 4, with 12 millimeters less headroom in the back, and the bumper, painted door paneling, and new roofline are distinctive. Other than that, the ID 5 is basically just a coupe version of the ID 4. Earlier this year, a VW spokesperson said there were “no plans” to sell the ID 5 in North America.
VW says the ID 5 in-car features will be improved over the ID 4
VW says the ID 5 in-car features will be improved over the ID 4, including an updated voice assistant that is now “learning-enabled” with “online access to information from the cloud.” The vehicle will also be equipped with VW’s “Car2X communication” to improve safety and data collection.
Data from compatible vehicles in the Volkswagen fleet and signals from infrastructure within a radius of up to 800 metres can be locally interpreted in a fraction of a second, enabling driver alerts about dangerous areas, accidents and stationary traffic. The ID. Light in the cockpit helps by providing visual warnings.
The ID 4 is the first vehicle built on VW’s modular MEB electric architecture to be available in North America. Its predecessor, the hatchback ID 3, is only being sold in Europe. The company sold over 6,000 in the first three quarters of 2021, which is fewer than the number of Mustang Mach-E SUVs sold by Ford but still a solid start for a brand-new EV in the US.
VW’s ID electric lineup also includes concept versions of a large SUV (ID Roomzz), a dune buggy (ID Buggy), and a revamped version of its iconic microbus (ID Buzz), for which VW has also promised a delivery variant. All are being built on Volkswagen’s modular electric vehicle platform known as MEB.
The ID family of vehicles won’t be VW’s first foray into battery-powered drivetrains. The e-Golf was first launched in 2012 but was discontinued in 2020 as the automaker shifts focus to its MEB-built vehicles. VW subsidiary Porsche’s first all-electric sports car, the Taycan, went on sale in 2019. The E-Tron, the first battery-electric SUV from Volkswagen Group-owned Audi, debuted in 2018, followed by the E-Tron GT. Together, these vehicles represent the tip of the spear in VW’s effort to dominate the emerging EV market.
They’re also crucial in helping VW turn the page on the now six-year-old Dieselgate scandal, in which VW was accused of installing illegal software in 11 million diesel cars in order to trick emissions tests.