2021 is shaping up to be a watershed year for electric cars here in the U.S., and today the Volkswagen ID.4 officially tosses its hat in the ring. The automaker’s new electric crossover recently started production in Zwickau, Germany for the European market. Now, though, we have more details on North American market specs, and when we’ll see the first examples stateside.
Among the wave of models we’ll see in the next year, the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 joins the current crop of EV crossovers as well. Right now, it’s most direct competition is the Tesla Model Y and the upcoming Ford Mustang Mach-E, so we’ll see how they compare here based on the specs VW provided.
2021 Volkswagen ID.4 powertrain details
The meat of any new electric model comes down to power and range. The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 will bring both rear and all-wheel drive variants to the table.
The base RWD model packs a 201 horsepower electric motor behind the 82 kWh battery pack, putting out 228 lb-ft of torque. Stepping up to the dual-motor variant brings a combined system output of 302 horsepower. That 82-kWh gross capacity pack will result in slightly less usable juice in the real world, but the amount of usable energy is the same regardless of drivetrain configuration. By comparison, the Tesla Model Y uses a 75-kWh battery pack. The Ford Mustang Mach-E has two available units: either a 75.7-kWh in the base versions or a 98.8-kWh pack in the “Extended Range” models.
On the power front, the VW in all-wheel drive guise falls somewhere in the middle between its main rivals. The Mustang Mach-E should manage anywhere from 255 to 332 horsepower, depending on which model you’re shopping. There is a “GT” version with even more grunt, but that will be priced well outside the ID.4’s range. We believe the Tesla Model Y, for its part, produces around 500 horsepower, though Tesla does not publish official figures.
Thanks to the EV’s aerodynamic styling, Volkswagen manages a drag coefficient of 0.28 — substantially better than all its gasoline models, including the Tiguan and even the Arteon sedan.
Range: Up to 250 miles
As for endurance, the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 1st Edition shown above should manage up to 250 miles. The 1st Edition launches in rear-wheel drive configuration, so that is a best-case scenario based on the EPA cycle. Earlier reports pegged the ID.4’s range over 300 miles, but that was using the WLTP cycle, which is typically more generous.
The 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 supports 125 kW DC fast charging, as a complement to its 11 kW onboard AC charger. VW claims the fast charging option will bring the battery from 5% to 80% state of charge in 38 minutes. On a Level 2 charger, that time increases to about 7.5 hours.
While Volkswagen claims performance on part with a Golf GTI, the new ID.4’s styling still draws practical cues. The car rides on a 108.9-inch wheelbase with an overall length spanning 180.5 inches. That makes it 4.6 inches shorter than a Tiguan. It also sits 1.9 inches lower than a Tiguan, with an overall height of 64.4 inches.
Despite its smaller footprint, Volkswagen says its electric crossover has similar interior space to its gasoline-powered sibling. With 64.2 cubic feet of usable cargo space, it is slightly less practical than a Model Y, but it does have more space than a Ford Mustang Mach-E.
Outside, the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4’s design is a mix of rounded elements and broad, angular shoulder lines to give it a wider profile. The 1st Edition models also have a two-tone effect, shown here with a blue body and black roof, separated by a white strip. Standard ID.4 models will have a body color roof and black roof rails unless you get the “Gradient” package.
Inside, the 2021 Volkswagen ID.4 carries a fairly minimalist layout, as is fashionable with electric models. A 5.3-inch digital instrument cluster rests in front of the driver, along with a gear selector attached on the right side. In the center, you have a 10-inch “Discover Pro” infotainment display with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Options like 12-way power seats, a larger infotainment display, a panoramic fixed glass roof, adaptive LED headlights and power-folding side mirrors are available as part of the $4,500 “Statement” package.
2021 Volkswagen ID. 4 pricing
Volkswagen will launch the rear-wheel drive ID.4 Pro first, with deliveries starting in Q1 2021. Right now, pricing starts at $39,995, excluding VW’s destination fee and applicable federal and state tax credits. Through Volkswagen Credit, the automaker says a 36-month/10,000-mile per year lease runs at $379 per month with $3,579 due at signing. The pricing more or less starts on par with a Volkswagen Tiguan SEL.
The AWD ID.4 Pro starts at $43,695, and opens up both the Statement and Gradient packages. The latter requires the Statement package, and equipping both adds $6,000 to the end price.