Volkswagen unveiled a new electric car concept at the Shanghai Auto Show this week. The quixotically named ID Roomzz is an all-electric SUV with Level 4 autonomous capabilities that is destined for the Chinese market by 2021, the German automaker announced.
The ID Roomzz will come with an 82 kWh battery, providing a range of up to 450 km (279 miles) according to the European Union’s WLTP standard, or 475 km (295 miles) per the New European Driving Cycle as well as China’s range standards. The concept car can be recharged to 80 percent of its capacity in 30 minutes via a fast charging system with 150 kW, the automaker says.
“This SUV is a monolith, appearing to be seamlessly machined from one solid block,” Klaus Bischoff, chief designer at the Volkswagen brand, said in a statement. “The battery-powered ID. ROOMZZ moves effortlessly – silently and without emissions.”
The Roomzz is meant to show off the versatility of its MEB, or “Modulare E-Antriebs-Baukasten,” which is German for “modular electric drive matrix.” The company is betting big on its MEB platform, which will serve as the basis for the 10 million electric cars it wants to sell.
The Roomzz will join VW’s growing ID lineup, a new generation of connected, autonomous electric vehicles. Other members include the Vizzion, a 400-mile range, 75-kWh motor sedan; the Crozz, a self-driving crossover SUV; the Buzz and the Buzz Cargo, a pair of microbus concepts; and the Buggy, a modern reinterpretation of the classic American dune buggy.
But as a concept, the Roomzz is really just a template on which VW can project its futuristic goals. For example, the two front seats can swivel 25 degrees to enable a more conversational, lounge-type environment when the car is in autonomous mode. To be clear, there are no autonomous vehicles for sale today and AV operators are growing more cautious about predicting when self-driving cars will be deployed en masse.