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Volkswagen's latest all-electric concept car is a large, seven-seat SUV called ID Roomzz, just revealed at the 2019 Shanghai Auto Show. It could eventually become a replacement for both the Touareg and the large seven-seat Atlas (which is only sold in the US).
The ID Roomzz is the largest concept yet to be based on Volkswagen's new MEB all-electric vehicle architecture. The new ID hatchback, VW's first all-electric family car, goes on sale later this year, and VW has been steadily building up a stable of potential concept spinoffs, from the Buzz MPV (which looks like a classic T2 camper van) to the more conventional Crozz SUV and the luxurious Vizzion.
The Roomzz is a big family SUV with three rows of seats and massive sliding aside doors that sweep open fore and aft to open up virtually the whole side of the car. Inside, there's a pared-back interior that uses a single huge touchscreen for both instrumentation and infotainment. Even the steering wheel - a compact, oblong shape rather like an aircraft's control yoke - has its own touch-sensitive panel on the front.
VW claims that the car is capable of 'Level 4' autonomous driving (check out the little circles on the roof that hide the LIDAR laser-and-radar scanners, which allow the car to 'see' the road ahead of it) and when robot driving mode is activated, the seats can swivel through 25 degrees to face each other more, creating "a more communicative, lounge-like atmosphere on board."
Look down at the accelerator and brake and you'll find they're embossed with 'play' and 'pause' logos (the modern equivalent of the old Golf's golf ball gear knob?) and the seats are upholstered in a new recyclable material called 'Appleskin', which is made, in part, from recycled apple juice.
Underneath, there's a big 82kWh battery pack, which VW says is good enough for a 450km one-charge range under the new WLTP regulations. The Roomzz gets two electric motors, one for each axle, which develop a combined 306hp. That'll shove the Roomzz to 100km/h in 6.6 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 180km/h.
"This SUV is a monolith, appearing to be seamlessly machined from one solid block. The battery-powered ID Roomzz moves effortlessly - silently and without emissions", said Klaus Bischoff, chief designer at Volkswagen. "It shows us what we can expect from full-size electric SUVs in the future. The puristic look emphasises the clear function and the user experience is intuitive and natural."
VW wants to have a production version of the Roomzz in showrooms by 2021.