The basis for the upcoming ID 4 saloon is Volkswagen’s new Scalable Systems Platform (SSP), a skateboard-style architecture that Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess has said will replace the existing Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten (MEB) structure as well as both the J1 and Premium Platform Electric (PPE) architectures developed by the Volkswagen-owned Audi and Porsche brands.
“The next generation of our hardware platforms will allow us to reduce complexity over time as we will consolidate our existing platform to one architecture for the entire e-product portfolio, from entry level to top of the range, from 85kW [114bhp] to 850kW [1140bhp],” he said.
While the MEB platform used by all of Volkswagen’s existing ID-badged models uses a 400V electric architecture, the SSP will be able to support systems at up to 800V. This will enable the ID 4 saloon to be offered with a much higher charging capacity than the 135kW of the recently upgraded ID 4 SUV, and with it significantly faster charge times than those achieved today, providing a high-powered DC charging system is used.
Nothing is official, although insiders talk about a reduction in charging time by a “factor of three”. As a point of reference, the new ID 5 SUV is claimed to offer a 5-80% charge (enough for a claimed 242 miles) in 29 minutes.
Details of the battery technology to be adopted by the ID 4 saloon have yet to be revealed. Sources suggest it will use cobalt-free chemistry similar to the lithium iron phosphate (LFP) blade battery produced by Chinese car maker BYD. As with the existing ID models, the new Volkswagen is expected to be offered with batteries offering differing energy capacities and ranges.
It is still early days, but Volkswagen says the most advanced ID model yet will offer a range of up to 435 miles on the European WLTP test cycle – a more than 20% increase on its existing electric models. It also says the ID 4 saloon will be capable of accelerating from 0-62mph in less than five seconds.
The ID 4 saloon takes full advantage of the SSP platform’s ability to package its battery completely within a flat floor, with cab-forward proportions aimed at providing generous interior accommodation.