Volkswagen on Monday unveiled its new model, the ID.AERO, based on the German automaker's MEB platform and is the first sedan in the ID. family.
The ID.AERO will be the flagship model of the Volkswagen ID. family, with a production version in China to be unveiled early next year and deliveries to begin in the second half of next year, Stephan Wöllenstein, CEO of Volkswagen Group China, said, according to a video replay of the event.
The ID.AERO will be offered in two versions, like other Volkswagen models, from its joint ventures in China, FAW-Volkswagen and SAIC-Volkswagen, Wöllenstein said.
The Volkswagen ID. family of electric vehicles (EVs) is currently offered in China in three models, including the ID.3, ID.4 and ID.6. The ID.3 is produced in China only by SAIC Volkswagen, while the ID.4 and ID.6 are produced at SAIC Volkswagen and FAW Volkswagen, respectively.
The ID. series from SAIC Volkswagen are the ID.4X and ID.6X, and at FAW-Volkswagen are the ID.4 CROZZ and ID.6 CROZZ.
The production model of the ID.AERO will be Volkswagen's first global, all-electric sedan, and after its launch in China in 2023, it will also be sold in the United States and Europe.
The ID.AERO is a mid-size sedan with a length, width and height of 4,975 mm, 1,897 mm and 1,528 mm respectively, and a wheelbase of 2,966 mm.
Wöllenstein said the model is aimed at the high-volume market, with China seeing 2.5 million sales in this segment in 2021, or 12.1 percent of the total market.
The ID.AERO has a 77-kWh battery capacity, a maximum charging power of 150 kW and a range of 620 km in WLTP conditions.
The model features a new design style with a smooth overall shape and a low wind resistance coefficient of 0.23 Cd.
At the launch event, Wöllenstein did not introduce self-driving features about the car, but announced ID. Technologies, which includes Smart Driving, Smart Parking and Smart Connectivity, saying Volkswagen is working to make the vehicle smarter. Currently, Volkswagen's ID. models only have basic L2 assisted driving features.
China is not only the world's largest market for electric vehicles, it also has a trend toward smarter mobility and a more diverse and technology-focused consumer base, said Wöllenstein.
Faced with these significant opportunities, Volkswagen has chosen to consolidate its smart technology offerings under a unified label - ID. Technologies, he said.
Notably, during Monday evening's launch, Wöllenstein used a lot of Chinese in his introduction to ID.AERO, which, while not sounding as fluent as native Chinese, clearly conveyed his messages and showed the importance Volkswagen places on the Chinese market.
In China's rapidly growing EV market, Volkswagen has fallen behind many local companies.
FAW-Volkswagen ranked 14th in the China Passenger Car Association's (CPCA) ranking of the top 15 automakers in retail sales of new energy vehicles from January to May this year with 30,004 units sold, while SAIC-Volkswagen ranked 15th with 26,833 units.
BYD, SAIC-GM-Wuling and Tesla China ranked the top three with 501,224, 164,552 and 119,637 units respectively.