The IAA Mobility 2021 show is currently taking place in Munich, allowing global automakers to show off their latest products and concepts in person.
Volkswagen is taking the time to present its Accelerate strategy, which involves making sustainable mobility and vehicles more accessible to people by 2025.
Part of that roadmap involves launching more EVs (electric vehicles, the first of which will be an ID. Model in the small car segment, and to preview the car, VW brought the ID.LIFE concept to the show.
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VW says the ID.LIFE concept is the first MEB-based (modular electric drive matrix) car that has front-wheel drive.
It's powered by a 172 kW (around 230 hp) electric motor that allows it to accelerate to 62 mph from a standstill in 6.9 seconds. Its 57-kWh battery delivers a WLTP range of 400 km or about 249 miles.
The concept's bodywork is made from sustainable materials, including in the clear coat, where VW used wood chips as a natural coloring agent.
Parts of the roof and front end are made from 100% recycled PET bottles, and inside, wood combines with ArtVelours Eco in the dashboard, rear seat surrounds, and door trim. The car's tires are partially made from bio-oil, natural rubber, and rice husks.
Cameras and a display system have replaced traditional interior and exterior mirrors, and drivers control various vehicle functions using a touchpad on the yoke-style steering wheel.
VW says that the ID.LIFE is a "reliable companion for digital experiences of various kinds."
Here, that means that the car's interior features a gaming console and a projector, with a screen that extends up from the dash panel.
A 230-volt/16-amp power supply is on board to provide juice for other devices. The car's seating is designed to accommodate the media lounge functionality, as the front and rear seats can be folded completely flat, which allows for cinema seating or even a bed that measures two meters in length.
Volkswagen plans to launch the car in 2025 with pricing that starts around €20,000 (around $23,700 / £17,000). For comparison, the brand's ID.3, which is currently its cheapest EV, starts at a little more than €35,000 / £29,635 (around $41,000).
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After working in the technology and software industry for several years, Chris began writing as a way to help people outside of that world understand the sometimes very technical work that goes on behind the scenes. With a lifelong love of all things automotive, Chris turned his attention to writing new vehicle reviews, detailing industry trends, and breaking news. Along the way, he earned an MBA with a focus on data analysis that has helped him gain a strong understanding of why the auto industry’s biggest companies make the decisions they do.