The I.D. Crozz is Volkswagen's third fully-electric autonomous car study and the first to adopt a crossover form factor as the brand gets ready to launch its first serious long-range affordable plug-in vehicle at the end of the decade.
VW has started from scratch in its efforts to create not just one, but an entire fleet of electric models for the future and each of the concepts it has revealed over the past 18 months has been an attempt to demonstrate the flexibility and possibilities its newly developed electric vehicle platform (the MEB) can offer in terms of vehicle type, shape and features.
The I.D. Crozz follows an electrical reimagining of the Komi microbus (the I.D.) and of the Beatle (The I.D. Buzz) and is, according to the company, the clearest conceptual demonstration yet of what the VW of the future will look like and what it will be capable of doing using this MEB platform as a base.
"If it was ever possible to make a one-hundred percent certain prediction of what the future will look like, here it is, in 2017," said Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design for the Volkswagen Brand. "For us, the three prototypes of this new generation of zero-emission vehicles -- I.D., I.D. Buzz and I.D. Crozz -- mark the start of a design and technology revolution that is going to change individual mobility and the Volkswagen brand forever."
Though just a show car, making its global debut at the 2017 Auto Shanghai, VW claims this vehicle has a 112mph (180 km/h) top speed, a maximum output of 302hp and a range of 311 miles (500 km) on a single charge based on the latest European Driving Cycle criteria.
What's more, it has a smart all-wheel drive system. There are motors powering both the front and rear axles, but only the rear wheels usually turn. When more grip is needed or traction starts to fade, the front wheels come to life too. And because it's meant to be a genuine all-terrain machine, if the driver heads off road, the all-wheel drive system can be activated manually.
"By 2025, we want to have sales of pure electric vehicles up to one million units a year. The I.D. CROZZ will play a key role in that. [Electric car] production will start in 2020," said company chairman Herbert Diess.