The latest electric Volkswagen offers a long range and a determination to take all the weight of the world off the driver. To what extent he succeeds, the first kilometers on Central Bohemian roads on the occasion of his Czech premiere revealed.
Leaving aside the microbus referring to the hippie era, the new ID.7 is the biggest electric Volkswagen today. With almost five meters in length, it surpasses even the recently introduced Passat, it is also slightly wider. On the other hand, but also cognitively lower. The number seven already looks flat, which proves the aerodynamics.
Thanks to it, it can travel a hundred kilometers further than the Volkswagen ID.5 with the same battery capacity. Because it is not a flat liftback, but a tall SUV. In city driving, body shape doesn’t play such a role, but on the highway it can make a big difference in fuel consumption.
The fact that it is not just another in a series of electric crossovers makes the ID.7 interesting. The interior is close to the Phaeton, the former pride of Ferdinand Piëch – common features can be traced to both cars. As in the old Phaeton, the air conditioning vents in the ID.7 are not controlled manually, but by means of servomotors. The seven has exactly two servomotors for each of the exhausts. “I recommend not sticking a pencil or a phone holder between the slats, it could damage the motorbike,” warns technical instructor Radim Sadílek, just to be sure, when he presents the car to journalists at the Czech premiere.
But of course there is more that is new. For example, the electric motor located above the rear axle has a new output of 210 kW, while in older models it only offered 150. The automaker has therefore significantly strengthened the water cooling of the stator. The engine block now also includes power electronics, until now it was located in a separate module attached to the engine with screws.
But Volkswagen relies most on the lightning-fast response of on-board systems and their clearer arrangement. “The hardware and software are completely new, this is really something completely different from what we have offered in cars so far,” notes Sadílek.
ID.7 has a large screen in the center of the instrument panel, the second display under the steering wheel is in the form of a narrow strip, where only basic data on speed, consumption and range are displayed. It doesn’t matter, because the role of a larger display is well replaced by a head-up display with augmented reality.
The new Volkswagen also offers a “smart” panoramic roof that can change milky glass to clear. It consists of freely scattered crystals, but under a voltage of 50 volts they can line up and the glass immediately becomes transparent.
An unobstructed view of the heavens can be activated with a touch pad on the ceiling or with the help of a voice assistant. Ida, a virtual lady with innovative ways, took on this role in ID.7. The sentence “Ido, show me the stars” should be enough for her to fog up the glass on the roof. However, Ida did not correctly understand the instruction given during the test drive. “Unless I’m under surveillance,” she replied.
So it can be assumed that it will be fun with Ida. He also has a few jokes in stock and is said to be constantly learning new ones. “Do you know what the best off-road car is? Well, a company car.”
However, the assistant demands careful diction from the crew – she wouldn’t understand the actors in the series, here they have to declaim like on a theater stage. Even so, all too often she drops the universal sentence that “the developers haven’t taught her this yet”.
In the new ID.7, it is easy to get the impression that it is not a car as such. But it’s more about a kind of relaxation park, where a lot of things work by themselves, and the driver’s destination rarely has a more pleasant world than the one behind the wheel. A well-silenced electric car with a decent suspension can create this atmosphere, and the ID.7 is one of those.
It is impossible to get a picture of the consumption from the roughly fifty-kilometer test route, the achieved average of 25 kWh/100 km can be considered rather extreme due to several dynamic tests and fast highway driving. Theoretically, the usable 77 kWh traction battery should be enough for 620 kilometers. With an 86 kWh battery, which will optionally appear at the end of the year, the ID.7 should even overcome the seven hundred kilometer mark.
The configurator is already working, viewing the car live should be available at all Volkswagen dealerships. Until the beginning, the ID.7 is available in the special People version with rich equipment at a discounted price. It will cost 1.53 million crowns.