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Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Concept Debuts in Geneva

I.D._VIZZION_Concept--8005.jpg Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Concept | Manufacturer image

Looks like: Both the near- and long-term future of Volkswagens to come, in this one wild concept car

Defining characteristics: LED light strip spanning the width of the front end connecting narrow, bladelike bezeled headlights, along with a solid, trapezoidal piece where the grille would be on a fuel-burning vehicle

Ridiculous features: The absence of extraneous little details … like, say, a steering wheel or pedals

Chance of being mass-produced: An electric-powered sedan based on the I.D. Vizzion is coming to a VW dealer in the not-too-distant future, though certain elements of this dream machine — like full self-driving capabilities — remain many years away.

The Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion concept, debuting at the 2018 Geneva International Motor Show, is an electric-powered sedan with a clean, futuristic-looking exterior, along with a minimalistic cabin built entirely around the idea that this VW will be doing all the driving. Artificial intelligence allows this car to learn while it operates. Meanwhile, the now-redundant human occupants are free to relax, conduct business and scroll through various menus, apps and simulations using virtual-reality headsets.

Related: Volkswagen Offers Latest Glimpse of Vizzion Self-Driving Concept

The latest member of VW’s family tree of electric vehicles is a sleek, luxury-themed sedan. Two electric motors, one located at each axle, work together to deliver a combined output of 302 horsepower. A 111-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack provides a driving range of 413 miles using European testing methods. (Those used in the U.S. are stingier when it comes to overall range, so a theoretical average of 250-300 miles is more realistic.) A sedan close in detail and design to the I.D. Vizzion is set to arrive in 2022, but VW says this concept’s Level 5 autonomous system (the highest level of self-driving available) remains more than a decade into the future.

Look inside the I.D. Vizzion and you might think VW’s design team decided to go home early. There are four bucket seats, a lot of cream-colored leather — and not much else. Since the goal of the I.D. Vizzion is to take over all driving duties, the need for traditional controls has been thrown out the window. The car can even be started via facial recognition or smartphone, while its navigation system can preorder and pay for a coffee at your favorite cafe — all before getting about the task of driving you there.

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What you’ll find in the eventual production model is a powertrain similar to this concept, with two electric motors balancing power and torque via an intelligent all-wheel-drive system, along with a lithium-ion battery pack positioned centrally in VW’s new MEB architecture. This platform will underpin a wide range of upcoming EVs — it already forms the basis of all of VW’s I.D.-badged concept cars.

The highly flexible nature of this platform is proven by the fact that the I.D. Vizzion is not a small car by any means. At 203.3 inches long and 76.7 inches wide, it’s about 11 inches longer and 4 inches wider than the current 2018 Passat sedan.

VW puts 2030 as its goal post for bringing the I.D. Vizzion’s Level 5 self-driving hardware to production cars. So, to all those 4-year-olds out there, by the time you’re ready for your driving test, this Volkswagen might have made the process entirely meaningless.

While we love the outlandish extras fitted to this concept — who doesn’t want a car that can order coffee? — it takes a little reading between the lines to see the near-term impact of this EV.

Volkswagen now has a theoretical range of four upcoming electric vehicles on the way: the I.D. hatchback, I.D. Crozz crossover, I.D. Buzz minivan and now the I.D. Vizzion sedan. VW has confirmed the I.D. hatchback and I.D. Crozz will enter production by 2020, while the retro-themed take on the classic Microbus, the adorable I.D. Buzz, arrives in 2022.

Where does that leave the I.D. Vizzion? Considering it’s only just broken cover, a theoretical on-sale date of after 2022 seems most likely.

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