Tag Archives: production

Crozz Fit: Volkswagen Announces Production EV Crossover for 2020

Volkswagen I.D. Crozz concept

Before Volkswagen offers North American consumers the all-electric Microbus redux we’ve been eagerly awaiting, the German giant will send us an EV crossover SUV. VW announced the plan at the Los Angeles auto show, saying the production model will follow the design philosophy of the I.D. Crozz concept. The forthcoming crossover will arrive in 2020 and be the first U.S.-bound Volkswagen to ride on the company’s MEB modular platform. Designed specifically for electric vehicles, the MEB platform also will form the basis of the reborn Bus, which will reach U.S. roads in 2022 and draw heavily from the I.D. Buzz concept.

Expect the production Volkswagen EV crossover SUV to share its fastback styling with the I.D. Crozz concept and cast a shadow similar in size to the Tiguan compact crossover SUV. The I.D. Crozz concept, originally revealed in Shanghai and shown for the first time in North America in L.A., features a pair of electric motors that produce a combined 302 horsepower. The concept primarily relies on its 201-hp rear-axle-mounted motor for forward momentum. If additional traction or power is needed, the 101-hp front-axle-mounted motor can step in and assist.

Volkswagen I.D. Crozz concept

Power to the two motors comes courtesy of an 83-kWh lithium-ion battery pack that lives in the floorboard. Volkswagen claims the battery pack is capable of pushing the concept approximately 300 miles on a single charge. Additionally, Volkswagen maintains that the battery pack can recuperate 80 percent of its charge in half an hour when plugged into a 150-kWh DC charger.

Unsurprisingly, the I.D. Crozz is rife with concept car kit. Although we suspect the production model will gain a B-pillar and lose the concept’s sliding rear doors, one feature that Volkswagen promises will see the light of day is I.D. Pilot. Expected to arrive in 2025, I.D. Pilot uses four retractable roof-mounted laser scanners, ultrasonic and radar sensors, and side- and front-view cameras to autonomously pilot the vehicle through traffic.

  • All the Buzz: Volkswagen I.D. Buzz Confirmed for Production
  • Volkswagen I.D. Crozz Concept: The EV Crossover That Can Wink
  • Space Exploration: A Close-Up Look at Volkswagen’s I.D. Buzz Concept

We still have some months until we know official information about Volkswagen’s production-bound electric crossover. However, if the mass manufactured product can offer the performance, driving range, and recharge time of the I.D. Crozz concept at a reasonable price point, then we suspect Volkswagen will have a hit on its hands come 2020.

Volkswagen I.D. Crozz concept

2017 L.A. Auto Show Full Coverage


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Stand and Deliver: Elon Musk Hands Off First Tesla Model 3 Production Cars

Model 3 Profile Midnight Silver

Eleven years ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed the Secret Tesla Motors Master Plan. In it, Musk laid out the vision for his upstart electric car company: Build an electric sports car (the Tesla Roadster), use the profits “to build an affordable car” (which became Models S and X), and use that money to make “an even more affordable car.” Tonight, the first Tesla Model 3 sedans were delivered to owners at the company’s factory in Fremont, California. It’s the culmination of Tesla’s decade-long quest to build that more affordable electric car.

Model 3 Dashboard - Head on view

The company has taken more than 500,000 deposits for the Model 3, Musk said at a press conference early Friday, although he pleaded with reporters not to read too much into that number. “We did everything we could to unsell the car,” he said. “Don’t impugn demand from the reservation number.”

Tesla built a handful of Model 3 cars in July, and Musk claims production will slowly ramp up to 10,000 units per week by the end of 2018. That would be somewhere around 500,000 Model 3s per year, five times the number of Model S and X vehicles the company makes today and almost as many cars as Volvo sold in 2016.

Musk describes the Model 3 production ramp as an S curve: slow growth in the beginning, followed by a rapid rise and a plateau. As he has done in the past, Musk noted that vehicle production can move only as quickly as its slowest supplier can deliver parts. About 60 percent of the car comes from the U.S., with 30 percent coming from outside North America and 10 percent from Canada and Mexico.

“I know I’m sandbagging a lot,” Musk said. “But we inherit force majeure risk from everywhere else in the world: floods, fires, tornadoes, sinking ships—you name it. If there’s anything that interrupts the supply chain before we accumulate enough parts, that will interrupt the production ramp.”

Still, Tesla’s engineers and designers worked together to strip out unnecessary parts and to simplify production. Musk said a yearly production rate of 250,000 Model 3s can be built in the same factory square footage as can turn out 50,000 Model S sedans, and he promised further improvements over time. The Model 3 has a big horizontal central touchscreen instead of the giant vertical display plus a screen for the instrument cluster, as in the Model S and X. There are fewer buttons: Things such as the sideview mirrors and the steering wheel are adjusted through the center screen and via buttons on the steering wheel, meaning fewer parts and switches are required. The car is half steel and half aluminum—steel is easier to work with. The battery pack has three modules instead of the 16 present in the Model S.

“There’s nothing in the Model 3 that doesn’t need to be there,” Musk said, thinking back to the production difficulties Tesla had with the extremely complicated Model X. “Everything there has a compelling reason to be there.” Initially, all Model 3 production will be rear-wheel drive only and have the larger, longer-range battery installed.

  • Threemium Model: Musk Says “Affordable” Model 3 Won’t Get Free Supercharging
  • Tesla Model 3 Features, Pricing—and a First Drive!
  • Tesla Model 3 Research: Photos, News, and More

“We’re trying to have as close to a single configuration as possible as we boot up the production line,” said Musk. “We’re going to do everything we can to make cars as fast as we possibly can.”


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Electric-car startup Lucid shows off first production model: can it top Tesla?

Lucid AirHistorians will probably have lots to say about Tesla Motors and its effect on America’s auto industry. For starters, the company has chipped away at decades-old franchise laws, which prohibit automakers from selling directly to consumers. Those laws have resulted in the current model of car sales, which many people find off-putting, if not…
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