Images leaked into an online forum last week showing undisguised versions of Volkswagen's upcoming ID4, a battery-powered compact crossover due to start production this fall in Germany and arrive in U.S. dealerships by year's end.
The ID4, built on the German automaker's global MEB platform for electric vehicles, is to be Volkswagen's first worldwide full EV on the platform. Ultimately, it will be made in Germany, Tennessee and China.
And therein likely lies the explanation of how photos of a crossover that wasn't set to be shown until later this summer ended up online for the world to see.
According to a report in Autocar, the leaked images "were contained in VW filings to China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT). The images are part of documents all firms must submit to gain type approval for models in China."
A Volkswagen spokesman declined to comment on the report but didn't dispute the authenticity of the images.