Volkswagen Adds to BEV Cred With Capable ID.7 Sedan

Volkswagen’s sixth ID. model is planned for U.S. sale in 2024 at a price likely to range around $50,000.

Greg Kable

April 4, 2023

6 Min Read
VW ID.7 front 1.4 (2)
Rear-wheel-drive, single-motor drivetrain in ID.7 makes 282 hp, 405 lb.-ft. of torque.Volkswagen

ALICANTE, Spain – It may have been slow off the mark, but Volkswagen’s aim to become a key player in the global battery-electric-vehicle ranks is gradually gaining momentum. 

Since its first dedicated electric model, the ID.3 hatchback, was launched in 2019 in Europe, it has introduced another four BEVs: the ID.4 CUV, ID.5 CUV coupe, Chinese-market ID.6 SUV and ID.Buzz commercial vehicle.

During fourth-quarter 2022 they collectively accounted for almost 10% of the automaker’s global sales, with signs first-quarter 2023 will be even higher.   

Now VW is looking to build on this success with the ID.7, a new liftback-style sedan that is planned to go on sale in North America alongside the ID.4 in 2024.

The name might hint at a luxury offering to challenge the likes of the upcoming BMW i5 and Mercedes-Benz EQE sedan, but the latest ID. model is squarely aimed at the Hyundai Ioniq 6 and Tesla Model 3.

VW ID.7 side.jpg

VW ID.7 side_0

VW wants you to think of it as an electric alternative to its traditional internal-combustion-engine Passat. It is even planning a wagon version of the ID.7 for introduction early next year. However, the wagon is not currently planned for the U.S.

Official pricing has yet to be announced, though VW suggests its new electric sedan will start at “significantly less than €60,000 ($65,300)” in European markets, hinting the German-produced model will be priced at about $50,000 in the U.S.

The ID.7’s origins go back to the 2018 Geneva auto show, where VW unveiled the ID. Vizzion concept – at the time, its most futuristic take on how it intended to radically alter its lineup in readiness for an all-out electric-vehicle offensive. The definitive styling was subsequently previewed at last year’s Los Angeles auto show, where VW also confirmed the ID.7 name.

The prototype we’ve been invited to drive remains camouflaged ahead of a planned world debut later this month, but the new model adopts a two-box sedan shape along with many of the styling cues found on the ID.3, ID.4 and ID.5. 

The packaging advantages of VW’s MEB EV platform, which underpins the new model, are evident in its proportions; with the A-pillars set well forward, the ID.7 boasts a much shorter hood and a longer curved roofline than the current Passat sedan. It rolls on 19-in. wheels as standard, though buyers will be able to option the aerodynamically optimized 20-in. wheels.

A drag coefficient of 0.23 makes the ID.7 the most aerodynamically efficient model VW has ever placed into large-scale production (the 2-seat XL1 was rated at 0.19 but was produced in a limited run of just 250 cars back in 2013).

At 195.3 ins. (4,961 mm) long, 73.3 ins. (1,862 mm) wide and 60.6 ins. (1,539 mm) tall, the first sedan model from the ID. BEV sub-brand is 1.7 ins. (43 mm) longer, 1.1 ins. (28 mm) wider and 2.6 ins. (66 mm) higher than the current U.S.-market Passat sedan. Its wheelbase measures a considerable 6.5 ins. (165 mm) more than that of VW’s traditional sedan model at 116.8 ins. (2,967 mm).

Like the ID.4 and ID.5, VW has developed the ID.7 to support both single-motor rear- and dual-motor all-wheel-drive models. 

The initial single-motor RWD Pro and Pro S launch models confirmed for the U.S. receive a newly developed electric rear motor delivering 282 hp and 402 lb.-ft. (545 Nm) of torque. 

Drive is sent through a reworked single-speed gearbox, with power provided by a 77-kWh and 85-kWh lithium-ion battery in the ID.7 Pro and ID.7 Pro S, which get maximum charging capacity of 170kW and 200kW, respectively. 

VW says the 77-kWh battery provides the ID.7 with a WLTP range of about 382 miles (615 km), with the 85-kWh unit claimed to offer about 435 miles (700 km). By comparison, the 53-kWh and 77-kWh batteries offered with the Ioniq 6 provide official WLTP ranges of 267 miles (430 km) and 382 miles (615 km).

Underneath, there is a MacPherson strut (front) and multi-link (rear) suspension with an optional Dynamic Chassis Control Plus system offering electronic damping control across 15 different settings via the Driving Dynamics Manager menu within the infotainment displays.

Stepping inside (pictured, below), a high waistline and relatively shallow glasshouse provide an agreeably secure and well-enclosed feel. The interior reflects a higher level of perceived quality than in earlier ID. models, with less hard plastic and more appealing materials throughout. 

VW ID.7 G.Kable at wheel.jpg

VW ID.7 G.Kable at wheel_0

Embedded within the ID.7’s newly designed dashboard is a small digital instrument display as well as a head-up display unit with augmented reality functions for navigation. The main highlight, though, is a new 15.0-in.(38-cm) infotainment display, a feature that is set to become a familiar sight on many VW models within the next year.

The driver sits well back from the cowl and the dashboard boasts a good deal of depth, instantly giving the ID.7 a feeling different from that of the Passat.

The cabin is roomy, particularly in the rear, which boasts excellent legroom. As in other ID. models, the floor is flat and without dedicated footwells. 

Unlike its Hyundai Ioniq 6 rival, the ID.7 has no front cargo compartment or frunk.

A twist of the gear selector, a column-mounted stalk instead of the rotary dial on other ID. models, and we’re ready to drive VW’s sixth electric-powered ID. model.

There are two main modes, the so-called Drive mode and Battery mode, the latter of which triggers stronger brake-energy regeneration for so-called one-pedal driving. 

Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual drive modes serve to alter steering, throttle, drivetrain and, in so-equipped models, the electronic damping control responses.

With 545 lb.-ft. of torque on tap the moment you nudge the throttle, the ID.7 is obligingly smooth and responsive in Sport mode. Despite a curb weight of over 4,410 lbs. (2,000 kg), it gathers speed urgently and, with a torque vectoring function providing selective drive to each rear wheel depending on prevailing grip, excellent traction. 

Once up to speed, the BEV delivers luxury car-like levels of rolling refinement. Any prevailing wind buffeting and tire roar is well isolated from the cabin, making the ID.7 appealingly quiet.

An undefined feel to the brake pedal in the prototype we drove is a weak point. It lacked feel, making it difficult to judge the exact pressure required. In stop/start urban driving, it’s better to switch to Battery mode and let the brake-energy regeneration do the work for you.

There is an appealing rear-wheel-drive fluency to the handling, with the steering delivering well-weighted and direct properties if ultimately little in the way of feel and feedback.

The new VW hides its size and weight well with straightforward dynamic properties. They’re attributes that have seen the Passat prove popular for half a century now, and they’re at the forefront of the driving character with the ID.7. 

It is still at a final prototype stage, but the ID.7 sedan already is shaping up as VW’s most impressive electric model yet.

VW ID.7 rear 3.4.jpg

VW ID.7 rear 3.4

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