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Roomzz Service: VW Debuts Tesla-Fighting Electric SUV Concept in Shanghai

Volkswagen ID. Roomz concept; Manufacturer images

The latest member to join Volkswagen's fast-growing ID. all-electric family is the ID. Roomzz, debuting at the 2019 Shanghai auto show. Targeted squarely at Tesla Model X buyers — and those among us who complain about the Atlas' thirst for fuel — the German automaker calls the seven-seat three-row SUV a "multivariable all-rounder."

Related: Which 2019 Electric Cars Have the Greatest Range?

VW design head Klaus Bischoff also called it a "monolith," which seems hardly a flattering aesthetic, but this behemoth sports room aplenty. A sleek grille and insignia coupled with a low air inlet and funnel-shaped pattern of mesh openings leaves copious space up front for a license plate, while the mesh pattern continues to the rear window and taillights. A high beltline bisects the body-colored paint from the roof, and the side mirrors have been replaced by cameras situated out of the driver's line of sight down the front doors.

More interesting is what lies within. Two electric motors and all-wheel drive power the ID. Roomzz with a total system output of 306 horsepower. The motors allow the SUV to accelerate to 62 mph in 6.6 seconds, VW says, with an electronically limited top speed of 112 mph. An 82-kilowatt-hour battery boasts a range of up to 280 miles by European testing procedures, and VW says you can recharge the ID. Roomzz to 80 percent capacity in about half an hour using a 150-kilowatt fast-charging system.

The cabin, meanwhile, relies on what Volkswagen calls its "future IQ.Drive systems." The ID. Roomzz is capable of Level 4 autonomous driving — that means, in certain conditions, no driver input or attention is needed — and "occupants are provided with information via interactive light zones," though it's not clear how much these resemble glorified Lite-Brites. Should you wish, the individual seats can also rotate inward to enable a more confrontational political discourse with your family.

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Volkswagen now has six potentially upcoming electric vehicles on the way, as the ID. Roomzz joins the original I.D. hatchback, I.D. Crozz crossover, I.D. Buzz minivan, I.D. Vizzion sedan and ID. Buggy off-roader. VW has confirmed the I.D. hatchback and I.D. Crozz will enter production by 2020, while the I.D. Buzz arrives in 2022. At Shanghai, VW exec Jurgen Stackmann reportedly said the ID. Roomzz will go to the U.S. market after its launch in China. Presumably, that will come after Volkswagen decides which periods to keep in "I.D."

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