Confirmed: VW ID.8 electric SUV gives Atlas an EV future

Chris Davies - Jul 14, 2021, 2:08pm CDT
Confirmed: VW ID.8 electric SUV gives Atlas an EV future

Volkswagen’s all-electric ID. range is set to gain a big SUV, with the VW ID.8 teased as part of the automaker’s big EV reinvention. The sixth member of the ID. family to be confirmed, the ID.8 will be the all-electric equivalent to the VW Atlas.

The Atlas is a mid-size SUV, and currently the largest vehicle on the automaker’s MQB platform. It’s available both as a three-row SUV, and as the VW Atlas Cross Sport which has a two-row configuration.

It’s proved to be a success, particularly in the US. Total Atlas sales in America for 2020 reached over 87,000 units – combining both the two- and three-row configurations – following only the Jetta and Tiguan.

Unsurprisingly, then, the market seems ripe for an all-electric equivalent. That was confirmed as part of Herbert Diess’ speech at the Volkswagen New Auto strategy presentation this week, with the chairman of the Volkswagen AG board dropping the detail of the previously-unannounced EV, Motor1 spotted.

It’ll join the ID.3, as the electric Golf equivalent, and the ID.4 and ID.5 which VW sees as occupying the Tiguan category. The Passat sedan will have an ID.6 electric replacement, while the T7 will see its EV counterpart being the hotly-anticipated ID.Buzz microbus. All are based on the MEB platform, Volkswagen’s flexible, modular architecture for all-electric vehicles.

Exactly what the specifications for the ID.8 will be are unclear. The ID.6 is already expected to be a three-row crossover, at least based on the previously shown ID. Roomz concept. That suggests the ID.8 will be a larger three-row option, something that sells particularly well in North America.

It comes as VW lays out its plans for how the transition to electrification will take place over the next decade. Internal combustion engines, the automaker says, will continue to wane: its range there will be trimmed by 60-percent in Europe, by 2030. At the same time, EVs will accelerate.

By 2025, VW predicts, electric vehicles will comprise around 20-percent of overall global sales. Come 2030, meanwhile, that should reach 50-percent, the automaker estimates. Helping there will be a shrinking of the margin difference in production between EVs and internal combustion models, with VW predicting parity between the two in 2-3 years.

Beyond MEB, meanwhile, will be SSP, or the Scalable Systems Platform. That – described by Diess as “our super-platform” – will be the basis for everything from 85 kW to 850 kW cars.

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