The next dedicated battery-electric vehicle from Volkswagen has been caught testing at the company’s Nürburgring test center. Currently dubbed the Aero B, this vehicle is sized similarly to the mid-size Passat but will have the interior volume of a full-size model. This particular prototype is of the sedan, which is based on the ID. Vizzion Concept was first shown at the 2018 Geneva auto show. It features the same wedge shape with a coupe-like roofline and short rear decklid as the show car but it’s been toned down for production. The front fascia closely resembles the family face also found in the ID.3, ID.4, ID.5, and ID. Buzz. Don’t let that fake grille fool you because that’s there to through off people looking at the car and won’t make it to the final production model.
Unlike other sedans with a fastback profile, the Volkswagen Aero B has a conventional trunk as evident in this prototype not having an outline that stretches to the roofline. This prototype’s rear end also looks conventional and reminiscent of the Jetta and Passat. If you’re looking for more practicality, the Aero B will be available as a wagon, which will essentially be the production version of the ID. Space Vizzion Concept that Volkswagen revealed at the 2019 Los Angeles auto show. Expect the design to mostly mirror that of its sedan sibling but only with a longer roof and larger cargo area that you can conveniently access via the liftgate.
The ID. Vizzion, the vehicle inspiring the production Aero B sedan, used a 111-kWh battery pack backing an electric motor on each axle, effectively giving it AWD. Its combined output is 302 hp. Volkswagen says its estimated WLTP range is 413 miles. Its more practical sibling, the ID. Space Vizzion Concept, was closer to production, utilizing the same 82-kWh battery now found in several Volkswagen and Audi products including the ID.4, ID.5, ID. Buzz, and the Q4 e-tron family. In single-motor configuration, it made 275 hp and can achieve an estimated EPA range of 300 miles. A second electric motor mounted on the front axle increases the total output to 355 hp according to Volkswagen. The latter will likely be the GTX variant when it goes into production.
Like the rest of Volkswagen’s ID vehicle family, the Aero B will be underpinned by the MEB platform. This will be an updated version, which will have higher DC charging rates of up to 200 kW. That should enable the Aero B to regain 140 miles after 10 minutes of charging at a high-output DC charger. Currently, the ID. Buzz can take in the largest amount of energy at up to 170 kW. The other MEB-based models top out at 135 kW after an over-the-air (OTA) update that gave them a 10-kW bump.
The other major upgrade will be the battery cells, which are reportedly more efficient than the existing ones found in current models. In addition to a range bump to 435 miles in the WLTP cycle, these new battery cells will offer more power alongside efficiency improvements. A slightly longer wheelbase should also allow for larger packs to fit under the floor, resulting in a longer driving range when combined with improved rolling resistance and better aero performance.
Production of the Volkswagen Aero B will take place in Emden, Germany starting in 2023. The facility is reportedly getting extensive modifications according to Volkswagen to increase its annual capacity to 300,000 battery-electric vehicles by next year. In addition to the production Aero B, the ID.4, and ID.5 will also be made at the Emden plant.
Photo/source: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde