VW reveals tiny, cheap electric SUV aimed at first-time car buyers
Uli Sonntag/Volkswagen AG

VW reveals tiny, cheap electric SUV aimed at first-time car buyers

At a Munich auto show Monday, Volkswagen unveiled the ID. Life, a tiny, boxy electric SUV, designed for driving on tight city streets. It’s just an endearingly cute concept vehicle now, but VW plans to put something like it into production around 2025.

Priced for young, first-time car buyers, the ID. Life will cost about €20,000, the equivalent of just under $24,000 at current exchange rates. VW did not say which specific markets the new model would be offered in.

Since it’s just a concept vehicle, the ID. Life’s designers have included some features that might not appear in the actual production vehicle.

For instance, the car is made from several different recycled and renewable materials. Wood chips were used as a coloring agent in the car’s paint, VW said, and the lightweight removable roof is made from recycled bottles. The tires are made from biologically based oils, rice husks and natural rubber, VW claimed.

The open-topped steering wheel has a touchscreen at its center to control a number of driving features, including the gear selector. The driver’s own cell phone can be used like a center touchscreen.

The concept vehicle also includes a number of features that, essentially, turn the car into a mobile entertainment center.

“The customer of tomorrow won’t simply want to get from A to B; they will be much more interested in the experiences that a car can offer,” said Volkswagen brand chief executive Ralf Brandstätter. “The ID. Life is our answer to this.”

The little crossover even has a video game projector along with a projection screen that rises from the dashboard. The front and back seats can fold down flat to be used as beds or to make room for large cargo.

The ID. Life is based on the same electric car engineering as some current VW models, such as the ID.4 crossover SUV. The ID. Life is smaller, though, and it has front-wheel-drive instead of rear-wheel-drive like VW’s other ID models. The car can go from zero to 60 miles in under seven seconds and will be able to travel about 248 miles on a single charge based on European testing parameters, according to VW.

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