VW Gave Us Our Best Look Yet at Their New Tesla-Fighting Sedan

It will be a direct challenge to the Model 3.

volkswagen id aero parked in front of a futuristic building along the waterfront
VW

Volkswagen has teased a wild range of vehicles possible on its versatile MEB electric car platform. Thus far, our introduction to VW's ID range in America has been the ID.4 compact crossover. But an ID. Buzz revival is on the way. And Volkswagen just unveiled the ID. Aero Concept, a close-to-production preview of a Tesla-fighting electric sedan that VW should be bringing to America.

If you said "show me an ID.4 but a sedan," you'd get something that looks much like the ID. Aero — though the side profile feels a bit Passat-like (and the ID. Aero should be a similar length). We don't know a lot about it yet. But VW did reveal a few details.

side profile of the vw id aero concept
One could consider the ID. Aero the electric Passat, even if VW is unlikely to revive that nameplate.
VW

The ID. Aero has a super-low drag coefficient of 0.23, the same number as the Tesla Model 3. And its 77 kWh battery pack produces a range of 385 miles under WLTP testing. That should work out to a figure above 300 miles under EPA standards. The ID. Aero — at least in concept form — also features illuminated touch surfaces instead of door handles.

We don't quite know when (or 100% whether) the ID. Aero will come to America. Volkswagen mentions it will begin producing Chinese and European market versions of the ID. Aero in 2023. There's no American production timeline.

Curiously, the international press release has VW's CEO of Passenger Cars Ralf Brandstätter stating that the ID. Aero will be "the next global car for Europe, China and the US." The VW of America press release has Brandstätter describing the ID. Aero as the "next world car," with no explicit mention of bringing the vehicle to America.

vw id aero sedan shot from the rear with a futuristic building in the background
The ID. Aero concept replaces conventional door handles with touch-sensitive pads that illuminate.
VW

VW has steered away from sedans and cars in America to focus on more profitable and better-selling crossovers like the Atlas and Tiguan. VW killed off the Passat in America and has struggled to sell the Arteon.

But EVs will be a different market, and VW does have a track record of producing driver's sedans. A Model 3 but not made by Tesla and more conventional than the Hyundai Ioniq 5 or Kia EV6 could be a niche that works. And VW will need more than a compact crossover EV on the road in America by 2025 if they plan to overtake Tesla.

While the ID. Aero has us intrigued, we'll be hoping VW sends over the upcoming and sporty ID. 7 Tourer wagon.

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