It’s fair to say that VW’s new generation of electric cars have gotten off to a shaky start. But does the Volkswagen ID.X Performance point them in the right direction?
Other than the (admittedly pricey) ID.Buzz, Volkswagen’s new ID-badged electric line-up has rather fallen flat. The ID.3 was a particularly sorry attempt at redefining the people’s car, while the ID.4 is as bland as you’d expect an electric SUV runabout to be. Underpinning it all, a hapless VW infotainment system irked pretty much every journalist that was given a new ID to review for any length of time. Yikes.
However, since then, there’s been some significant personnel changes at the head of the Wolfsburg marque, and already there are some green shoots suggesting that the brand might be back on track. The upcoming ID.2 supermini (and accompanying ID GTI concept) look quite promising, and dare we say it, so does this. The Volkswagen ID.X Performance is also a concept for now, taking on the form of a modified ID.7 sedan.
Concept or not though, even EV dissenters have got to admit there’s something about it that intrigues and even feels refreshing. Much in the same way that Hyundai’s RN22e does. Sure, it’s got batteries instead of pistons, but it’s a dynamically styled sedan with a characterful interior and genuine claims to performance. In other words, it’s a bit of a palette cleanser in an SUV-heavy landscape.
Design & Styling
In a development which feels very ‘un-Volkswagen’ to an extent, the ID.X Performance has a fair few styling and aero additions to beef up its appearance, compared to the smooth and sleek stock ID.7. Those additions come in the form of a carbon front splitter and rear diffuser, as well as a carbon rear wing. When was the last time you saw any of that on a Volkswagen sedan?!
Elsewhere, tinted tail lights add to the car’s more menacing tone, while the gold alloy rims and red accent stripe come as a welcome contrast to an otherwise subdued matte grey exterior finish.
Inside, carbon bucket seats hug the driver, and that red accenting continues around the interior panels and stitching.
Powertrain & Handling Tweaks
Like the ID.7, the ID.X Performance is based on VW’s MEB platform, but in this instance it comes with 80 millimeters more toe, and stiffer sports springs that sit 60mm lower. Those aforementioned gold rims are pretty special too. They’re 20 inches in diameter, but more unusually, they come with one central lock rather than your regular five-bolt pattern. To help put the car’s power down, those wheels sit within 265 tires all-round.
Speaking of power, this sports sedan cranks out 411kW of power (558 horsepower), which makes it the most potent road-legal Volkswagen that there has ever been. The powertrain makes use of two motors; one attached to the rear axle, and a secondary motor attached to the front. This design allows for a short overload of power, which Volkswagen has utilized in the form of a ‘boost’ function. Call us childish, but we think that’s pretty neat! Meanwhile, the rear diff lock is adjustable from within the cabin via the car’s touchscreen, giving the driver more control over how it performs dynamically.
So, while the ID.X Performance isn’t coming to dealer forecourts in this exact guise anytime soon, it does give us a bit more of an idea about what Volkswagen’s future sporting models might be like. In our book, this is a pretty solid first impression.