Volkswagen’s ID Life concept previews future electric Polo



Volkswagen has unveiled its ID Life concept car at the Munich Motor Show, which previews a future Polo-sized electric urban city runabout


MUNICH, GERMANY

Volkswagen has pulled the wraps off its ID Life concept car at the Munich Motor Show, which previews a new electric city car that will compete in the same small hatchback segment as the Volkswagen Polo.

The ID Life sits on a modified and shortened version of Volkswagen’s MEB electric car platform, and is expected to go on sale in 2025, with Volkswagen claiming that it will retail for under 20,000 Euros. In the Singapore context that might net it a price tag of around S$100,000 or so, depending on COE premiums and rebates.

The ID Life will join the burgeoning lineup of Volkswagen’s ID all-electric models, which kicked off with the Golf-sized ID.3 hatchback. Volkswagen Singapore has not outlined a timeline for the ID.3’s launch here, but the car is already available via parallel importers, so an official introduction might not be too far away. 

The rest of the ID range currently includes the slightly bigger ID.4 crossover, and the China-only ID.6 seven-seater SUV. Future models in the ID pipeline include the compact ID.1, which replaces the Volkswagen e-Up!, the T-Roc-sized ID.2 crossover, and the ID.5 which is a coupe-SUV of sorts that’s similar in size to the ID.4.

Design

The ID Life features an angular and boxy design language, unlike the ID.3 and ID.4 which are more sleek and curvy. The front features futuristic graphics for the headlights, and an illuminated VW logo, while a similar theme features at the rear for the taillights.

The overall silhouette is reminiscent of similar small EV city cars like the Honda e, and the ID Life also features design details like a two-tone paintwork and hidden door handles. The roof is supposedly removable, like a targa T-top, while cameras replace mirrors on the inside, although some of these design elements may not transfer over to the production car.

Interior

The interior of the ID Life adopts a minimalist approach, and the surprising thing is that there is no central touchscreen. Instead, the dashboard is shaped like a shelf where users can attach their smartphones magnetically, and use them for their music and navigation needs, a design feature adapted from the Volkswagen Up!. Volkswagen says that the infotainment accessed as thus will be able to be seamlessly integrated with the car, but did not elaborate further.

Other vehicle features are accessed through the touch-sensitive buttons on the steering wheel, and a display in the centre indicates the status of various functionalities, although this is expected to be pared down and simplified for production given that the wheel appears to have no room to incorporate an airbag.

The other major highlight of the ID Life’s cabin is a built-in projector that can screen movies, TV shows or games onto a large screen that emerges from the bottom of the dashboard and stretches vertically across the windscreen. The front seats also fold down flat to create a comfortable lounge for two, and the projector is powered by a built-in 230V power supply that can also be used to power other household gadgets if desired.

Volkswagen has placed strong emphasis on the car’s sustainability as well, and note the extensive use of recycled materials in its production, such as the seat fabrics and the wood for the dashboard.

Drivetrain

The ID Life sits on a shortened version of the MEB platform that underpins all the other ID cars, but unlike the ID.3 and ID.4, which are rear and four wheel drive respectively, the ID Life is front wheel driven.

Driving the ID Life is a 234hp electric motor located up front, powered by a 57kWh battery that’s similar to the one found in the ID.3. Volkswagen quotes a range of 400km on a single charge, and claims that the ID Life can go from 0-100km/h in 6.9 seconds. Charging is expected to be similar to the ID.3 as well, meaning the capability to gain 80 percent charge in 30 minutes using a fast DC charger.

The ID Life is a key part of Volkswagen’s plans to expand its electric mobility options into more segments, and the car’s position as an entry level city car will bring the ID brand to an even greater audience. The ultimate target for Volkswagen is to have 70 percent of its total vehicle sales in Europe, and 50 percent in China, to be full electric vehicles by 2030.


about the author

Ben Chia
CarBuyer's senior staff writer went out to explore the Great Big World, including a stint working in China (despite his limited Mandarin). Now he's back, ready to foist upon you his takes on everything good and wonderful about the automotive world. Follow Ben on Instagram @carbuyer.ben