Volkswagen announces new midsize ID.8 electric crossover

Atlas-sized three-row EV could seat seven, challenge the Model X

Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess recently headlined an event announcing the group's freshly minted global strategy, dubbed New Auto. Part of Diess' time at the mic was used to lay out the group's most important plans for electrification and mobility over the next decade. Apparently, though, the head honcho didn't stick to the script he'd written for the event, which he later uploaded to LinkedIn. Exactly halfway through the written comments, a bulleted list mentions a brand new vehicle known as the ID.8, to be an electric offering in the same segment as the Atlas midsize crossover (pictured). Diess didn't mention the ID.8 in the speech he delivered, and the only footnote to the ID.8 reference in the manuscript is "This vehicle is not for sale yet," so we don't know anything else about it.

If it ends up being related to the Atlas the same way the ID.4 is related to the Tiguan, we'll expect a roomy, three-row battery-electric crossover for sale in the same major markets as the Atlas — North America, China, Russia, and the Middle East. At the moment, the Tesla Model X is the only seven-seat crossover on sale in the U.S., with the Mercedes-Benz EQB crossover and EQV van next in line to join it.

With the ID.8 being a member of the ID family, the safe bet puts the MEB platform underneath the people hauler. Since VW's Chattanooga, Tennessee plant is being tooled up to assemble the ID.4 starting in September of 2022, we won't be surprised to see the ID.8 eventually added to the job list. If the brand wanted to get really funky, it could whip up a slimmer two-row version called the ID.9 to mimic the Atlas and Atlas Sport duo. With every other vehicle mentioned in the written speech — the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5, China-only ID.6, and ID.Buzz — either in production or announced as on the way there, it's possible we'll get more info on the ID.8 before the end of the year.  

Two vehicles that weren't mentioned at the event or in the written speech: the ID.Vizzion sedan and ID.Space Vizzion wagon. These Passat-sized models have been given the new concept names Aero B and Aero B Shooting Brake, and are supposedly meant for production at VW's Emden, Germany plant and for sale in Europe. It's possible one or both will find a home in China as well, even though the Passat-sized ID.6 crossover is already there. Last year, VW brand boss Ralf Brandstätter said the Aero B Shooting Brake will come to market first and be "noble and spacious like a Phaeton" (the Phaeton was a sedan, by the way), and be "a real range hero" by being able to go about 435 miles on the European cycle.

Among the event's other highlights, VW declared its intent to be a "global market leader in electric vehicles" by 2025. While chasing that target, company engineers are cooking up a single electric platform called the Scalable Systems Platform (SSP) to supplant the MEB and PPE structures currently in use. SSP will, in turn, benefit from a new integrated software platform called E3 2.0 for the moment. And in 2026, we'll see VW's Project Trinity, "a level-4 ready fully electric car" that brings the Artemis technology initiative started at Audi into the VW brand fold.

To find out more about New Auto you can watch the whole movie on YouTube, or go to Diess' script at LinkedIn for the bonus features and behind-the-scenes.

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