SHANGHAI, CHINA—Volkswagen is expanding its electric ID. product range with a new multitasking all-around model: the ID. ROOMZZ.

While the ID. ROOMZZ on centerstage in Shanghai is a concept car, the production version is scheduled to hit the road in 2021. Volkswagen presented the concept car in a world premiere at Auto Shanghai in an homage to China, currently the largest market for zero-emission vehicles.

Alongside the ID. ROOMZZ, the ID. CROZZ and the compact ID. (all set to have a market debut in 2020), other members of this new electric vehicle family include the iconic ID. BUZZ van and the avant-garde saloon ID. VIZZION (both will make their market debut in 2022). As is the case with all ID. models, the new ID. ROOMZZ is based on the innovative modular electric drive matrix (MEB).

Volkswagen plans to introduce in China a range of new electric vehicles—the ID. family—from 2021. It starts with the introduction of a flagship SUV, the ID. ROOMZZ, which should roll off VW showroom floors in two years. The three-row-seating vehicle architecture, with the battery pack in the vehicle floor, results in abundant interior space, allowing for completely new seating configurations and turning the purely electric SUV into a zero-emissions lounge on wheels.

The ID. ROOMZZ also allows a glimpse at an autonomous driving future. When on ID. Pilot mode, the car can drive autonomously without an active driver.

When the driver switches to fully automatic driving mode, the individual seats can be rotated inward by 25 degrees to create a lounge-like atmosphere on board. When the car is driving fully automatically, the ID. Pilot Relax mode allows each passenger to adjust their seat individually to suit their needs. The seats can even reclined flat like those found in business-class airline seats. The production version of the ID. ROOMZZ will have up to seven seats.

The ID. ROOMZZ is not fitted with a conventional dashboard. In the manual “ID. Drive” mode, the digital cockpit along with the steering wheel appears to hover in front of the driver. The digital cockpit consists of a full-glass front panel. The digitalized steering wheel has been conceptually integrated into the panel.

The materials used in the interior are also unusual. The seat covers are made of AppleSkin—a new product that consists of a renewable raw material. Specially processed wooden veneers are also used in the “ID. Light” areas of the door panels. The CleanAir system uses an active filter system to ensure that the air in the vehicle interior remains clean even if the ambient air isn’t.

The ID. ROOMZZ is powered by two electric motors. The front motor generates 75kW while the rear one generates 150kW. The combination of both motors results in a system output of 225kW (306ps). The rear axle provides propulsion as standard. An “electric propshaft” distributes the power of the 4MOTION four-wheel drive between the front and rear axles within fractions of a second when conditions require all-wheel traction.

Volkswagen ID. ROOMZZ Showcar

Both motors are supplied with energy by an 82kWh lithium-ion battery in the vehicle floor. The ID. ROOMZZ can accelerate to 100km/h in 6.6 seconds; the maximum speed is capped at 180km/h. The range of the concept car is up to 475 kilometers. The battery is charged via an inductive interface. The car can be recharged to 80 percent of its capacity in 30 minutes by a fast-charging system. Conventional charging using a standard household plug is also possible.

Style-wise, the SUV’s bodywork adopts the clear, homogeneous lines of the rest of the ID. family. At the same time, the design features an extremely powerful, stylish dynamic. The front and rear shoulders in the bodywork are particularly striking, as they are created by two notably muscular and precise sections above the wings.

The ID. ROOMZZ combines its IQ.DRIVE systems, enabling the concept car to navigate traffic all by itself—fully automated—as desired. Volkswagen is consolidating all assistance systems and technologies involved in autonomous driving under the umbrella brand IQ.DRIVE. It is simple to switch from the manual “ID. Drive” mode to the fully automated “ID. Pilot” mode: All the driver has to do is place their hand on the VW logo on the steering wheel for at least five seconds—from this moment on, the computer of the ID. ROOMZZ assumes control of the vehicle.

The new “IQ. steering system” developed by Volkswagen engineers disconnects the steering column, moves the steering wheel to its off-position and thereby provides more space in the cockpit area. When in “ID. Pilot” mode, the concept car activates various laser scanners. Four of these emerge from the roof; the round roof sensors become aware of the environment through indirect illumination when in fully automated mode. The ID. ROOMZZ recognizes other road users and the environment via laser sensors, and receives assistance from ultrasound sensors, radar sensors, lateral area view cameras, and a front camera.

When the driver wants to reassume control, he or she again presses the VW logo. The steering wheel now moves out again and is synchronized with the position of the wheels.

Only when the driver touches the capacitive steering wheel, is the steering column reintegrated into the steering system—from this moment on, the driver must steer the vehicle themselves. In this way, safety is guaranteed when transferring vehicle control from person to car and back again.

About The Author

Manny de los Reyes

Manny de los Reyes has been covering the automotive and technology industries for over 20 years. He is an accomplished driver and a multiple award-winning journalist who writes for and is currently editor of various major broadsheets.