Volkswagen shows off minimalist interior of its forthcoming ID 4 electric SUV

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Volkswagen’s ID 4 will make its global debut at the end of September, but before then the German automaker is giving a sneak peek at the new electric SUV’s interior. Unsurprisingly, it has a sparse, minimalist look that appears inspired by Tesla and other electric vehicles on the market.

VW didn’t offer any information about the vehicle’s touchscreens or infotainment system. But from the pictures, we can see that the ID 4 will have two screens: a trapezoidal one behind the steering column and a horizontal one in the center stack. The home screen will feature apps for vehicle settings, radio, battery information, navigation, and other functions.

VW isn’t going “maximal minimalist” as The Verge’s Nilay Patel once called the Tesla Model 3 by eliminating all physical buttons and channeling all vehicle functions through the center screen. There is a row of buttons below the dash for climate control and emergency braking, among others. And there’s a panel of buttons to the left of the steering wheel.

The lighting scheme appears to be a big selling point. VW calls it the “ID.Light system” that consists of a light strip below the windscreen that will change color to signal navigation prompts, in-coming calls, locked doors, or other functions.

The ID 4 will be VW’s first electric vehicle to hit the North American market. The automaker’s first EV, the ID 3 hatchback, is only being sold in Europe. The ID 4 will be unveiled later this month, after which it will go on sale in Europe and North America. US production at VW’s factory in Tennessee won’t start until 2022.

The ID 4 is expected to get around 300 miles of range on a full charge and is built on the same modular EV platform that will power VW’s other ID vehicles. There will be both all-wheel and rear-wheel drive layouts, with the former being the version available at launch. The battery is positioned in the center of the underbody to create a low center of gravity and optimize driving dynamics. The digital cockpit will operate using touchscreens and intuitive voice commands.

Hopefully the rollout of the ID 4 goes smoother than the ID 3, which was marred by software glitches that delayed deliveries to customers. It was a black eye for the project, and one of the reasons why VW CEO Herbert Diess was stripped of his role at the brand in June.

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