POR Ricardo Rodriguez-Long – LABest
The new Volkswagen ID.4 AWD electric SUV comes with two electric motors, max 295 horsepower and an estimated 0-60 mph time of 5.7 seconds. So it provides all the power that we find on a gasoline model without any compromise.
The ID.4 AWD combines the permanent magnet synchronous electric motor on the rear axle of the standard ID.4 with a new asynchronous electric motor on the front axle; unlike a traditional all-wheel-drive system, there are no mechanical links between the axles. The rear unit generates a maximum output of 201 horsepower and 228 pound-feet of torque, while the front unit has a maximum output of 107 horsepower and 119 pound-feet of torque. Together, the system has a maximum output of 295 horsepower. Each motor connects to the wheels through a differential and a single-speed gearbox.
The variable all-wheel-drive system offers several benefits over traditional mechanical set-ups. The rear motor handles standard driving situations, leaving the front motor to engage only as needed, such as when the ID.4 senses wheelspin at any corner. The motors can react faster than any combustion engine—within a few hundredths of a second—so that the driver never notices the changes.
Both motors are linked to the rest of the vehicle through the Vehicle Dynamics Manager, which balances performance and battery efficiency. As in the rear-wheel-drive ID.4, the Vehicle Dynamics Manager works closely together with the Electronic Stability Control (ESC), and controls when the front-axle motor should engage. It also handles the XDS+ brake-based differential to optimize handling when cornering at speed: it gently brakes the wheels on the inside of the bend, thus turning the car slightly into the radius as required.
Drivers can decide themselves how comfortable or sporty they want the ID.4 AWD to be with the Driving Mode Selection. This influences the steering weight, electric drive motors and offers a choice of five modes: Eco, Comfort, Sport, Custom and Traction. Eco mode is designed for efficient driving. Comfort mode ensures high driving comfort, Sport adds a dash of excitement by leaving the front motor engaged, and Custom allows a driver to blend between Comfort and Sport. Traction mode is intended specifically for driving on loose or slippery surfaces and features permanent all-wheel drive up to speeds of around 12 mph.
VW is going full speed ahead with its electric car line up. This SUV packs impressive technology.