Volkswagen announced on Nov. 13 a new addition to its product line, the all-electric midsize sedan ID.7. The ID.7 offers a new drivetrain, long-range and fast-charging capabilities, as well as new driver assist technologies.
“In the first nine months of the year, we increased deliveries of our all-electric models by 31.8% to 273,000 vehicles,” said CEO of Volkswagen Passenger Cars Thomas Schäfer in a recent news release. “The ID.7 has the potential to give this another significant boost since this new product line marks the arrival of electric mobility in this important class.”
The VW ID.7 can be ordered now, with development for the European and North American markets to be produced in Volkswagen’s electric mobility factory in Emden, Germany.
The lithium-ion battery, located in the floor, delivers a net energy content of 82 kWh and a tested full range of up to 386 miles. The ID.7 can also accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds and reach a top speed of 112 mph.
While the vehicle is on the road, a new charging and thermal management function makes sure the battery is pre-conditioned ahead of the next DC charging stop. This pre-conditioning brings the battery to the optimum temperature, thus making it so the vehicle can charge as quickly as possible.
When route guidance on the navigation system is active, pre-conditioning is started automatically on the way to the next quick-charging station. Without active route guidance, the function can also be manually activated using the charging menu in the infotainment system.
The new electric motor is the central module of this drive unit and is integrated into the rear axle together with the dual-stage one-speed gearbox and pulse inverter. The performance of the motor is increased with the addition of features such as:
- Permanent magnets in the rotor, which offer a high thermal load capacity.
- An improved stator with a large number of windings in combination with maximum wire cross-section.
- A water heat sink for the outside of the stator, and an oil-and-water cooling system, that both ensure higher thermal stability.
Thermal stability is safeguarded by a new inverter generation, and the higher thermal load capacity is a contributing factor to the increased efficiency of the new powertrain. Numerous gearbox components have also been friction-optimized and reinforced and thus adapted for power and the 402 lb-ft of torque.
The module for the new inverter converts the direct current (DC) stored in the battery into the three-phase alternating current (AC) needed by the electric motor. It also controls the complete energy flow between the battery and motor.
Any acceleration or recuperation is processed by this electronic brain. During recuperation, the inverter converts the generated alternating current into direct current that is then stored in the battery. It additionally monitors the temperature of the electric motor.
One addition to the driver-assist features is the new spectrum of park assist systems available on the standard model, Park Assist Plus and the memory function for Park Assist.
Park Assist Plus is a system that enables drivers to receive assistance when driving into or out of parking spots, with the vehicle taking over control of acceleration, braking, and steering.
Furthermore, the new Volkswagen is equipped with the memory function for Park Assist. With this function, the system records the last 54 or so yards of a journey and records the parking situation.
The parking maneuver can be saved by the driver when the vehicle has come to a stop. When the ID.7 then reaches the same location again—for example, the entrance to a garage or a parking space at work—it automatically offers to take over parking independently.
A total of five parking maneuvers can be saved at a wide array of locations.
In addition, Travel Assist facilitates assisted lane changing when traveling on multi-lane freeways at speeds above 56 mph, in conjunction with adaptive lane guidance.
When Travel Assist is active, it predictively integrates upcoming parameters, such as corners, roundabouts, and junctions, into vehicle control and displays.
Assisted lane changing on freeways visually offers the driver a lane change if this is permitted by the traffic situation. If the driver then activates the left or right turn signal, an independent lane change is performed in the corresponding direction within the limits of the system. Drivers must keep their hands on the steering wheel during this process.
When a vehicle door is opened, the new exit warning system warns passengers of vehicles of any kind approaching from behind—including bicycles—and can thus help to avoid a collision.
This new function is a system enhancement of the Side Assist (lane change assist) system. The exit warning system detects objects in a defined area to the side of and behind the Volkswagen. There are two different warnings: a visual warning via the Side Assist LEDs in the exterior mirror and an acoustic one, with an automatic delay in the door opening process also activating.
Dimensions and Handing
The ID.7 is 195.3 inches long and has an extended 117 in wheelbase. The sedan also features a 73.3-inch wide body, along with a height of 60.5 inches.
Despite the battery being integrated into the vehicle floor and the lower body height compared to all other ID models, the ID.7 still offers headroom of 40.4 inches at the front with the panoramic roof and 37.8 inches at the rear. The electric trunk lid allows access to a luggage compartment with up to 18.8 cubic feet of capacity; when loaded up to the first row of seats, the volume increases to up to 56.0 cubic feet.
The basic layout of the running gear consists of a strut-type front suspension and a five-link rear axle.
The control system for the optional DCC system has also been revamped with new software that uses algorithms to control the dampers.
For the steering system, the new setup responds more directly on center.
The interface features a 15-inch infotainment touchscreen display, with a restructured graphic interface and menu navigation. The display has been divided into two permanently visible strips (one at the top and the other at the bottom) and the home screen.
A new direct access key on the left of the display’s top bar lets the user open the main menu with an overview of all apps. Next to this is a button for the new Car Control Center.
The main menu and Car Control Center are always accessible without having to close the active app. To the right of it are five additional direct access keys, to which users can freely assign available apps.
The home screen in the middle combines the content of the most important apps on differently-sized tiles. The home screen can also be individually configured by the user. Here, the layout and number of pages can be adapted in addition to the content of the tiles.
The bottom bar on the display contains air conditioning, seat functions, and a home button that lets the driver return to the central home screen at any time.
Provided the function is activated, cooling or heating already starts as soon as the driver approaches the ID.7 with their key. The airflow can be adjusted individually in the interior by corresponding settings in the central infotainment system display.
Volkswagen offers a Harman Kardon 700W sound system for the ID.7, with 12 loudspeakers plus a center front speaker and a subwoofer in the luggage compartment. The 16-channel sound system offers four preconfigured sound settings:
- Pure (neutral studio sound)
- Relax (easy listening)
- Speech (focus on spoken words)
- Vibrant (dynamic live sound)
The sound can be individually adjusted using an equalizer, in addition to being able to direct the listening focus specifically to one or more of the four outer seats of the ID.7.
Standard on the ID.7 is an augmented-reality (AR) head-up display, which projects any information relevant to the journey into the driver’s field of vision.
The new AR head-up display changes the cockpit layout by using smaller traditional instrumentation. The cockpit display is at the same level as the air vents and shows standard information, such as speed and warnings.
The status bar in the AR head-up display also shows information such as the battery charge level and consumption. Further, the display has a new feature: lane-level navigation, which can help guide the driver into the right lane for a freeway junction at an early stage, for example.
In addition to the individual cooling and heating temperature settings, occupants also have the option of an automatic mode.
When active, temperature and moisture sensors in the seats detect the cooling and/or heating requirement and control the climate accordingly. Three modes can also be selected: maximum heating, maximum ventilation, or maximum drying.
All three modes are activated for a limited time and switch off automatically. In addition, the intensity of the heating and ventilation can be adjusted separately for the seat cushion and backrest. The bolsters of the seat cushion and backrest are also heated and ventilated.