Small but spacious and with a large usable range of 248 miles, using durable materials and built into a user-friendly design with big ideas. Identity. The Concept of Life is a taste of a profitable small electric car future that doesn’t have to be boring. Even though most of the concept’s features fall short of production, we need more concept cars like this.
Identity. Life is more than just an exercise for the Volkswagen design team. In fact, this concept car is in many ways no joke: the future of the brand’s small cars depends on it.
With the difficult arrival of Euro 7 emissions regulations in the years to come, cars as big as and smaller than the T-Cross and Polo are in serious danger of being billed for no reason to the manufacturers who make them. The complex catalytic converters and CO2 reduction measures that will be needed to keep small gasoline cars on the roads will drive up their prices dramatically.
But, salvation could be close at hand for the small car, and in electric form to start. More and more electric vehicles are produced and benefit from the economies of scale of flexible platforms, and the cost of the battery is expected to decrease as well. This means that by 2025 Volkswagen expects to be able to offer you a Polo-sized electric car on a modified version of the MEB platform called MEB Entry for around € 20,000 – around £ 17,000 at exchange rates. current.
The hatchback and crossover concept car features both an ID.1 supermini badge or an ID.2 small SUV badge. If we could do what we wanted, both would adopt as many design elements as possible from the concept.
It’s also an impressive running show car, lacking some of the more typical rough edges you’ll notice on a concept. It’s also a functional concept, and we took a short drive to get a first impression of what the city car of the future will look like.
Our first taste of ID. Life isn’t fast paced: the concept is only capable of a top speed limited to 18 mph, which is not at all representative of the 231 hp front axle mounted electric motor that the concept uses.
Nevertheless, even at the low top speed imposed on us, we can feel that even as a concept, the ID. Life is going very well. The fit and finish displayed on the car is still more impressive than how it feels in motion, but for a unique car it is properly controlled and solid.
Getting to grips with tangible things is easier. The airplane yoke-style steering wheel with an integrated display catches your eye. It’s a cute touch, its production relevance maybe a bit strained though. The integration of the indicators on the steering wheel is another clue that VW will seek to use as few parts as possible in the construction of the ID.1 and 2, to save money and keep the price low.
You can’t help but ignore the dashboard, which is completely devoid of instruments and displays, perhaps representative of the most extreme cost-saving features we can expect to see in the versions. production of this small and affordable EV. Instead, a head-up display projects vital driving information onto the windshield, while the center display should already be in the driver’s pocket in the form of their smartphone. It hooks onto a central phone holder and can run VW infotainment software through an app.
It’s a good taste of what to expect in 2025, but it’s not a concept car that lacks a fun side entirely. The onboard cinema function is invoked at the push of a button, introducing a projection screen in place of the windshield, and the idea being that owners will be able to watch shows and movies while they charge.
While this is a nifty and well-thought-out feature, the delicate convertible top needs some work if it is to be part of the production model. Volkswagen is considering a convertible version of the ID.3, but open-top versions of the ID models. Life will spawn seems less certain.