VW’s ID.Code Concept Previews Its Self-Driving EV Future

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Key Takeaways

  • Volkswagen has unveiled an ID.Code concept SUV.
  • The electric model is built for self-driving and shows VW's new design language.
  • It's only designed for China, at least for now.

Volkswagen has unveiled a new direction for its electric cars by introducing its ID.Code “design show car” at Auto China 2024.

The large SUV concept reflects a new design language and an ID.UX branding aimed at young Chinese drivers. This involves a “fluid” but strong body that doubles as a surface for projecting AI-powered light and display systems, VW said.

While you can drive the ID.Code manually, it’s built for Level 4 autonomy that offers full self-driving in some conditions. Accordingly, the interior is minimalist with a steering yoke and an edge-to-edge dash display.

VW hasn’t detailed specifications, although this isn’t surprising given the vehicle’s concept status. However, the automaker promised a new interface and faster development that involves local teams as well as partners like Xpeng. The company should react more quickly to the Chinese market, in other words.

The first ID.UX-badged car, the ID.Unyx, will reach China sometime later this year. It’s an electric crossover that largely parallels the Cupra Tavascan coming to international audiences.

A total of five electric ID.UX models should launch by 2027. VW also plans electric versions of existing combustion cars as well as plug-in hybrids with electric ranges over 62 miles.

There’s no mention of how the ID.Code might influence VW models elsewhere in the world. However, it shows that the company’s EV designs are evolving from the initial ID lineup, such as the ID.4 crossover. It also shows that VW is committed to driverless cars, although the Chinese market is considerably friendlier to the technology with service already available in multiple major cities.

VW might not have much choice. It faces stiff competition both from international EV brands like Tesla as well as rapidly growing Chinese opposition like BYD. Cars similar to the ID.Code could both do more to attract Chinese drivers and keep the company ahead of the electrification curve.