Ford and Volkswagen just signed off on a historic partnership a few weeks ago, but the automakers are wasting no time capitalizing on that deal. One of the most important components of the joint venture includes Ford’s access to Volkswagen’s MEB all-electric vehicle platform, which underpins the current ID.3, a compact C-segment hatchback. Now, VW’s first-ever compact electric crossover, the ID.4, has also entered production at the Volkswagen Zwickau-Mosel Plant in Germany.
“With the ID.4, Volkswagen is adding an all-electric vehicle to its offering in the compact SUV class, the world’s largest growth segment,” said Ralf Brandstätter, Volkswagen CEO. “Following the ID.3, this is already the second model based on the modular electric drive matrix (MEB). Going forward, the car will be built and sold in Europe, in China, and later also in the USA. That is how we are scaling the MEB platform globally and laying the economic foundations for the success of our ID. family.”
The Volkswagen ID.4 features a low drag coefficient of 0.28 and scalable battery system that gives it a range of 500 kilometers (310 miles) on the European WLTP cycle. It will initially launch in rear-wheel-drive configuration, with an all-wheel-drive model to follow at a later date. Like all models based on the new modular electric drive matrix (MEB), the ID.4 will be very spacious thanks to its compact electric drive technology.
The new Ford vehicle built on VW’s MEB platform is expected to be some sort of hatchback or small crossover, like the ID.3 or ID.4. The Ford Mustang Mach-E is already on its way to Europe, so perhaps the VW tie-up could consist of something smaller to slot beneath it. Or, maybe the automaker will add a hatchback as a smaller city-dwelling alternative. Currently, the new model is slated to arrive sometime before the 2023 model year.
In addition to the new Ford electric vehicle, the multi-billion dollar partnership between VW and Ford is expected to spawn a mid-size pickup truck developed by Ford, a city delivery van developed by Volkswagen, and a new Ford commercial van. Volkswagen also recently made a $2.6 billion investment in Argo AI, the self-driving software company backed by Ford.