Earlier in the year at CES, Volkswagen previewed a camouflaged prototype of what would eventually become the ID.7, an electric sedan intended to compete with the Tesla Model 3, effectively serving as a more upmarket (in North America) electric alternative to the Passat.
The electrified mid-size sedan is set to debut on April 18 at the Shanghai Auto Show, but the production design has been revealed through China’s Interior Ministry patent office, giving us a sneak peek at what to anticipate from the North American and European versions that will come later.
As we can see in the pictures, the styling of the production ID.7 incorporates cues from the ID.Aero, ID.Vizzion, and ID.Space Vizzion concepts. It’s also noteworthy that the model designation on the Chinese-market car reads “ID.7 Vizzion” rather than just “ID.7”, although it remains unclear if this naming scheme will apply to other markets.
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Examining the design, we have to admit its silhouette looks oddly tall, though we presume that was done in the name of aerodynamic efficiency. And while the upper part of the front end is about what we were expecting, the lower part comes as a bit of a surprise. Rather than the sportier fascia of the ID.Aero concept, the production ID.7 sports T-shaped graphics that are almost reminiscent of the Polestar 2. In between the lower intake and the headlight area, we can see the faint outline of a Lamando-style “smiling” grille.
Some features that stayed true to the concept are the rear end design with its patterned full-width light bar, as well as the all-black greenhouse with its contrasting chrome strip. The flush door handles also carried over to production, though that was fairly easy to deduce, even from looking at camouflaged prototypes.
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Volkswagen has already shown the interior of the U.S. spec ID.7
With all that being said, even with different paint colors and wheels, the design still looks a bit off in our opinion. And given that multiple wheel designs and paint colors are being shown, that seems to suggest that the bodywork won’t change (at least not drastically) from trim to trim. Perhaps we’ll see an eventual GTX version that ends up looking more like the concept, but for now, this is all we’ve got.
Thankfully, the interior styling of the car is much closer to the concept, and is in fact almost unchanged for the production model. As seen in the previously released official photos, an unbroken chrome strip running the width of the cabin highlights the flat dashboard, whose intelligent air vents are integrated into the negative space between the top and bottom halves. This space also houses the gauge cluster, which is small and unobtrusive to provide only the most vital information to the driver. Those seeking more information can turn to the large infotainment screen, which appears to feature a mix of capacitive buttons and full-touch controls. The car also retains the concept’s steering wheel design and roll-top center console, as well as the play/pause pedals found on many other production ID. models.
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Regardless of your opinion on the design, the specs for the car are promising. With up to 435 miles (700 km) of range and an optional dual-motor powertrain confirmed by VW, the German automaker is setting its sights on competing with the Tesla Model 3 and Hyundai Ioniq 6. If the price is right, the ID.7 could give these established models a run for their money.
From the spec sheet, we see that the Chinese market model will be powered by a 77 kWh battery pack, which will provide a maximum output of 201 hp (204 PS / 150 kW). Top speed is reportedly limited to just 96 mph (155 km/h), and while none of these three figures have been officially confirmed by VW, they seem to be in line with other existing ID. models and are likely to be correct, at least for the base version.