NEW YORK – The auto industry’s shift to electric vehicles continues at full speed, with major manufacturers releasing new models almost monthly. Volkswagen, Europe’s largest carmaker, aims to be at the forefront of this transition and has added another exciting EV to its growing ID. lineup – the ID.7 sedan.
Unveiled at the 2023 Detroit Auto Show last week, the ID.7 represents Volkswagen’s vision for the electric family sedan of the future. I had the chance to test drive one of the first models available in the US market. Here are my impressions after spending a week behind the wheel of this groundbreaking new vehicle.
A Striking and Aerodynamic Design
The first thing that grabs your attention is the ID.7’s striking exterior design. Low, wide, and impeccably streamlined, it cuts through the air with a drag coefficient of just 0.23 cd, making it one of the most aerodynamic production cars on the market.
The ID.7 embraces the same minimalist styling of the rest of the ID. lineup, but it looks much more upscale and premium. The silhouette is elegant, with a fastback roofline and short overhangs. Full-width LED lightbars front and rear give it a distinctive nighttime signature.
Open the flush-fitting door handles and you’re greeted with an interior that looks and feels just as premium as the outside. Available in two or three-tone color schemes, the ID.7’s cabin uses high-end materials like leather, aluminum, and open-pore wood.
The interior layout is clean and uncluttered, dominated by a massive 15″ touchscreen display in the center stack. The screen provides access to navigation, entertainment, cabin controls, and more. Its graphics are crisp, menus are logically arranged, and response is quick.
Spacious, Cutting-Edge Cabin Packed with Tech
The ID.7 provides impressive interior space, especially for rear seat passengers. With no transmission tunnel, the floor is completely flat. This, combined with the extended wheelbase, makes the back seat extremely roomy. Headroom is good for all but the tallest passengers.
Volkswagen says the ID.7 has the most advanced driver assistance and infotainment features ever offered in one of its vehicles. Highlights include:
- Augmented reality head-up display which overlays turn-by-turn directions onto the real-time view out the windshield
- IRIS intelligent voice assistant which understands natural speech and can access vehicle functions and navigation
- Over-the-air update capability that allows new software and apps to be added seamlessly
- Phone key technology that lets you use your smartphone as the vehicle key
- 5-zone climate control with HEPA filtration
- Multi-color ambient lighting with 30 color options
- Beats premium audio system with 16 speakers and a subwoofer
With the ID.7, Volkswagen has truly created an interior environment focused on comfort, luxury and seamless human-machine interaction.
Powerful and Efficient Electric Drivetrain Delivers 600+ km of Range
Initially, the ID.7 will only be available with a rear-mounted electric motor powering the rear wheels. But this is no economy-minded setup.
The permanent-magnet synchronous motor produces 286 hp and 228 lb-ft of instant torque. This allows the ID.7 to accelerate from 0-60 mph in a brisk 5.5 seconds. Top speed is electronically limited to 112 mph.
The motor draws power from an 82 kWh lithium-ion battery pack (77 kWh usable). Volkswagen says this is good for over 600 km (373 miles) on the WLTP cycle. While EPA range estimates aren’t available yet, something in the 300 mile range seems likely.
DC fast charging capability is a quick 175 kW, adding around 180 miles of range in just 10 minutes of charging. With this powertrain, the ID.7 offers sports sedan performance along with generous driving range.
AWD and More Powerful Versions Coming
Looking ahead, Volkswagen has big plans for the ID.7 lineup. In 2024, an all-wheel drive model will arrive, along with a more powerful 302 hp variant.
The AWD system uses two electric motors, one for each axle, providing greater traction and allowing torque vectoring between the front and rear wheels. Expect 0-60 times in the 4.5 second range.
Later on, a lower-priced rear-wheel drive model with a smaller battery pack will join the range as an entry-level option. So in time, the ID.7 family will broaden to cover more price points and performance levels.
Smooth, Quiet Cruiser Focused on Comfort
On the road, the ID.7 lives up to its billing as a technological tour de force. Acceleration is instantly responsive thanks to the electric motor’s copious torque. The low center of gravity imparted by the underfloor battery pack gives the chassis a planted feel.
Ride quality errs on the side of comfort over sport. Multi-link rear and front suspensions smoothly absorb impacts from road imperfections. Cabin quietness is excellent, with little wind or tire noise audible.
The ID.7 soaks up highway miles with relaxed composure. Steering effort is light but accurate, providing decent feedback. Handling is surprisingly nimble for such a large vehicle.
Brakes take some acclimation, with a numb, modulated feel to the pedal. But performance is strong, hauling the 5,000 lb sedan down from speed with control. For most driving scenarios, one-pedal operation maximizes efficiency.
Pricing Starts Around $60,000
Volkswagen has not released full pricing details yet, but says the ID.7 will start around $60,000 when it goes on sale this summer. That’s for the base Pro rear-wheel drive model.
Compared to rivals like the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2, the ID.7 commands a premium price. But it also packs more standard equipment and luxury features. The ID.7’s combination of interior luxury, leading-edge tech, and generous range make it compelling.
As more variants join the lineup, Volkswagen will undoubtedly broaden the ID.7’s appeal to a wider audience. The rumored entry-level model expected next year could lower the starting price toward $50,000.
The Electric Future is Here
With the sophisticated and groundbreaking ID.7 sedan, Volkswagen shows it is committed to remaining at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution. This spacious, high-tech cruiser points to an all-electric future that promises exhilarating performance, unprecedented convenience, and sustainable transportation.
The ID.7 represents the electric family car, elevated to a new paradigm. As Volkswagen’s ID. lineup expands in the coming years, expect more affordable and practical EVs for the masses. The electric future we’ve long awaited is unfolding now, and Volkswagen aims to lead the way.