FRANKFURT -- Volkswagen Group will introduce the first of at least three battery-electric vehicles for the U.S. next spring: a compact crossover with a new name and a more traditional shape than the ID Crozz concept on which it's based.
The new crossover will be called the ID4, said a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because the information has not yet been made public. A heavily camouflaged version is on display at this month's Frankfurt auto show, though it is obscured behind a fogged glass box.
But the ID4's shape, which is distinguishable, appears to be more of a traditional three-box design with a largely vertical hatchback, rather than the long, arched roofline of the ID Crozz concept.
The two-row ID4 follows the launch of the German brand's Golf-sized subcompact EV, the ID3, which was revealed in its production-ready state at the Frankfurt show. The smaller ID3 will go into production this year and will go on sale in Europe early next year at a base price below 30,000 euros ($33,000) in Germany, Volkswagen executives said here. It will not be sold in the United States.
Instead, U.S. dealers are scheduled to see the ID4 crossover on their lots in late 2020. Pricing for the larger crossover, which will be imported from Europe for at least the first two years, is not yet known. Later, the ID4 is expected to be the first EV built by Volkswagen on a new $800 million EV assembly line in Chattanooga.
The ID4 is expected to share a number of the ID3's technological features, including its interactive head-up display that, among other things, overlays navigational direction arrows onto the windshield to signal upcoming turns.
VW plans to launch a product family of battery-electric vehicles worldwide using the ID brand and the MEB global modular electric platform. The automaker says ID is an acronym for Intelligent Design.
Volkswagen Group's $50 billion EV onslaught began this year with the Audi e-tron and is expected to encompass some 70 planned EV models by 2028 across its brands, group CEO Herbert Diess said. The automaker, still recovering from its global diesel emissions scandal, has pledged to be carbon dioxide-neutral globally by 2050.
"In 10 years in Europe and China, every other [Volkswagen] car will be electric," Diess pledged though an interpreter. "For the environment, there is no alternative."