If you thought VW was trying to change the way you think about the once criminal brand, there isn't any better evidence than the fact that they've started testing their first EV model from the I.D. Concept family introduced just a couple of short years ago. Volkswagen has released photos of the new all-electric I.D. Neo hatchback on roads in South Africa. Though it's cloaked, it's easy to tell from the shape that it's the EV hatchback.
The front end is heavily cloaked with only a peek of the headlights and a bit of the lower fascia popping through. The aero wheels aren't nearly as dramatic or shapely as the concept car's, but they're clearly designed for efficiency and reduced drag. The steep rake of the front windshield is also just like the concept car's.
Unlike the concept, there are conventional side mirrors, but the back end looks similar with the sloping roofline and the taillights. It looks like the large glass from the concept car is retained, and the overall shape and size see to be on par with the original vehicle design. Though it's by no means radical, the Neo is clearly designed for efficiency, and it even looks good with the camouflaged shroud. It looks like VW plans on producing the EV hatchback as early as November of 2019.
The I.D. Neo will be priced "at the level of a comparable diesel car," according to Volkswagen's Thomas Ulbrich. Pricing will be around $30K, and VW's goal is to sell 150,000 units globally in 2020 and eventually as many as 1 million in 2025. Those are big numbers, but since it's priced like a higher-end Golf only gas-free and with better efficiency and tech, it might just work.
Range will be between 250 and 370 miles, great numbers for a production EV. Consider the fact that the Chevy Bolt is rated for 238 miles on a full charge. But the claims are even larger than that. VW's E-mobility director, Christian Senger, said the I.D. Neo will be "the first fully interconnected electric vehicle that is 100 percent suitable for day-to-day use, and millions of people will be able to afford it."