Volkswagen ID. Aero to rival Tesla Model 3

VW’s latest concept car images show off the design for upcoming 385-mile electric saloon

  • Maximum range of 385 miles
  • Swooping saloon and estate bodystyles
  • Due to be revealed in 2023

Volkswagen is set to expand its ID-badged electric car range beyond that of SUVs and hatchbacks with an all-new model, dubbed the ID. Aero. This new car will take the form of a swooping saloon car, which will sit alongside the petrol, diesel and plug-in hybrid Volkswagen Arteon in the range, with the Aero rivalling the likes of the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2.

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The Volkswagen ID. Aero will be heavily inspired by the ID. Vizzion concept that debuted at the 2018 Geneva Motor Show. Just like that car, it will have an aerodynamic teardrop shape to maximise efficiency. However, to tie it in with the rest of the ID. lineup, the Aero will get the sub-brand’s characteristic front end design. First seen on the Volkswagen ID.3 hatchback, this consists of a pinhole grille at the bottom of the bumper and a set of slim LED headlights that stretch towards the brand’s central logo.

At the rear, the ID. Aero will wear an intricate full-width light bar, similar to that on Audi’s latest A6 e-tron concept. However, at this stage it is unclear whether the new car will have a separate boot compartment like a traditional saloon, or a hatchback tailgate, similar to that seen on the BMW i4.

Volkswagen ID. Aero - rear 1

To make it as slippery as possible, the ID. Aero will also get flush door handles, like those fitted to the Volkswagen ID.5 SUV. Like all ID models, the Aero will also sit on a set of aerodynamic alloy wheels, potentially ranging in size up to 22 inches in diameter.

Similarities with the rest of VW’s electric lineup will continue on the inside as the ID. Aero is expected to receive the same minimalist cabin as those cars. This is characterised by a small digital instrument cluster and a 12-inch central touchscreen mounted at the top of the dashboard. There will be very few physical buttons, and it is likely that there will be an option for a contemporary two-tone white interior, with a colour-coded steering wheel to match. 

Measuring nearly 5 metres long, the ID. Aero will be significantly longer than its main rival, the Tesla Model 3; it will, in fact, be closer in size to the larger Tesla Model S. This added length shall come as a benefit, however, as it will allow Volkswagen to fit a larger battery. The ID. Aero will use a 77kWh battery that should provide a range of around 385 miles – slightly more than what can be achieved in the Tesla.

Fast charging is likely to be a standard feature, too. Thanks in part to VW’s new MEB underpinnings, the ID. Aero could be capable of charging speeds of up to 200kW; this would allow for a 10-80% top up in just half an hour when connected to a compatible public charger.

We predict the ID. Aero will share the majority of its powertrain lineup with the ID.4 and ID.5. Entry-level cars could use a single, rear-mounted electric motor setup that produces 172bhp, whereas mid-level cars could benefit from an increased 201bhp.

Volkswagen ID. Space Vizzion

In late 2019, Volkswagen unveiled the ID. Space Vizzion concept, which gives us an idea of what an estate version of the ID. Aero could look like. It also reveals what we can expect from a high-performance GTX model; the concept uses a dual-motor electric powertrain producing 335bhp. This should allow for a 0-62mph time of around five seconds, thanks to all-wheel-drive grip.

Volkswagen remains tight-lipped about when we can expect a full reveal of the ID. Aero, although the brand has stated that it will go on sale in China in the latter half of 2023, before it arrives in the European market. Although there has been very little information surrounding pricing, we expect the ID. Aero to start from around £45,000 – in line with competitors from Polestar and Tesla.

Looking for an EV with space for all the family? Check out our list of the top 10 best electric SUVs

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