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Volkswagen launches this cool electric wagon

LOS ANGELES – Buzz. Crozz. Buggy. Vizzion. And now Space Vizzion. No, I have not overdosed on the letter Z; these are slightly fanciful names for a series of not-the-wacky electric concept cars with a Volkswagen ID, the most recent of which was just revealed Tuesday night in Los Angeles. ID Space Vizzion is the latest electrification installment from one of the world's largest car manufacturers, aiming to sell 20 million electric vehicles worldwide over the next 10 years.

The Volkswagen Group had little choice but to cover electric power engines after diesel – the alternative would be to fail to comply with European CO2 regulations for 2021, which would result in billions of dollars in fines. Audi and Porsche, two of the big premium brands in the group, received their EV batteries for the first time. The first of these – the Audi e-tron – is basically a brake, a Q8 with batteries and two electric motors in place of normal internal combustion engines. Porsche Taycan had an extra year to gestate, and it was better for him, mostly a clean sheet design that surprised everyone who ran it.

Meanwhile, at VW (the brand, not the group), engineers have been working on an MEB ( Modularer E-Antriebs-Baukasten or modular electrification toolbox) that will be used to build millions of BEVs over the next decade. VW has long accepted the use of modular architectures; its current MQB ( Modularer Querbaukasten or Modular Cross Toolbox) gives rise to such diverse vehicles as the VW Atlas and Audi TT-RS. And the MEB needs to be even more flexible, as the various concept cars for identification have shown.

Ignore the ID Space Vizzion overdose Z-name and think of it instead of a Passat electric van. That's a five door, more practical evolution of ID Vizzion from 2018, VW itself will take a Passat-sized electric sedan. But this one looks better, because as we all know, wagons> sedans. I'm also impressed by how aerodynamic it is – VW told me that the Space Vizzion's drag coefficient is only 0.24, and that is with conventional side mirrors.

There is a 77kWh battery between the axles. Add that to the low resistance body and the result is at least 300 miles on the EPA test cycle or 590 km on the WLTP test, VW says. The rear wheels are powered by 205kW (275hp), 550Nm (406lb-ft) motor, though there will be an option for all-wheel drive with a total power of 250kW (335hp).

The fact that VW is when we talk about concept car options should give you the idea that this is one of those subtle concealed concepts for production cars, not "it's made entirely of clay, but half the stuff in it has not yet been invented 'kind of concept car. In 2022, Space Vizzion will go on sale, probably with a slightly duller nose, almost certainly with a duller interior and definitely with a less Z-filled name.

If you don't want to wait that long for an electric VW, the ID.3 hatchback is for sale in Europe, and next year here in the US we get a crossover ID.4 (which will also be built in Chattanooga, TN from 2022 .)

Image listing by Jonathan Gitlin

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