Two VW ID.4s are on the ground in Zetland, in Sydney, as the German carmaker prepares for its introduction to the local market in October.
The vehicles have been spotted being prepped by the Volkswagen Group Australia (VGA), and a spokesperson for the group has confirmed with The Driven that the vehicles are here for media and customer test drives.
The all-electric SUV will be VGA’s second all-electric vehicle to become available to Australian drivers, following hot on the heels of the edgy Cupra Born hatchback which was on show in Sydney at the subsidiary brand’s showroom launch in July.
One blue and one white ID.4 have been brought into the country, with new photos shared with The Driven showing the blue ID.4 being “booted up” in preparation for its introduction to customers and reviewers.
VW ID.4 Pro confirmed
Notably, the images of the blue ID.4 show the vehicle is a mid-spec Pro variant. While local specifications and pricing have not yet been shared by VGA, the overseas spec ID.4 Pro comes with a 150kW motor, 310Nm torque with acceleration from 0-100/hr in 8.5 seconds.
Powering the ID.4 Pro is an 82kWh battery, which means it will have similar specs to the Cupra Born in terms of range. with an additional 20kWh on top of the ID.4 Pure, the Pro is rated in the US for 450km driving range, and in Europe for 522km WLTP (the former figure being more indicative of real world range.)
Importantly, it can also charge at a rate of 170kW as opposed to the entry-level ID.4 which charges at a top rate of 110kW. On an AC charger is also does better than the entry-level Pure, with a top rate of 11kW compared to just 7.2kW.
Arrival of Volkswagen ID.4 a milestone
The vehicles’ presence is something of a milestone for the German carmaker, which repudiated the former LNP federal government’s stance on electric vehicles, which is to say it had none.
In 2021, then VGA boss Michael Bartsch took aim at Australia’s persistence in ignoring the potential of electric vehicles to help reduce carbon emissions, calling the country an “automotive third world.”
But the change to a Labor government in May has seen a full turnaround for EVs in Australia. This has included the first ever Electric Vehicle Summit, the slashing of fringe benefits and import tax and finally, fuel emissions standards are on the table for discussion.
Importantly, current VGA boss Paul Sansom said at the recent Electric Vehicle Summit in Canberra that “If we had standards today, we could start bringing in (electric cars) tomorrow.”
It all bodes very well for Australian drivers, who are set to benefit from more choice on the local EV market.
Still working on bringing forward production date
But for some, perhaps not soon enough. Production for Australia for the ID.4, which is set to arrive alongside the ID.5 before the group introduces the ID.3 hatch towards or after the end of 2024, is still earmarked for October 2023.
However, VGA says it is still working on moving the production date forwards for the ID.4,
“Start of Australian production is scheduled for Q4 2023,” VGA’s spokesperson said. “It is Volkswagen’s intention to bring that forward to mid-year so that the cars are in showrooms in some 13-14 months from now.”
How much the ID.4 will cost though is also still an unknown. The Cupra Born – which likewise will first only be available with a large battery option – is likely to come in around the $60,000 mark, and the Spanish-based brand positions itself somewhere between premium and volume segments.
While the ID.4 falls in Volkswagen’s “mass-market” branding, it is larger than the Cupra Born, and will command a price in line with this.
Bridie Schmidt is associate editor for The Driven, sister site of Renew Economy. She has been writing about electric vehicles since 2018, and has a keen interest in the role that zero-emissions transport has to play in sustainability. She has participated in podcasts such as Download This Show with Marc Fennell and Shirtloads of Science with Karl Kruszelnicki and is co-organiser of the Northern Rivers Electric Vehicle Forum. Bridie also owns a Tesla Model Y and has it available for hire on evee.com.au.