New VW sure to keep vegans happy
ELECTRIC motoring is coming to the masses - and it'll have an eco-friendly twist sure to keep vegans happy.
In unveiling the sixth of its all-electric ID concept cars in Shanghai overnight - a large SUV with three rows of seats - Volkswagen also signalled its intention to use eco-friendly materials made from plants.
The ID Roomzz uses a new material "that consists of a renewable raw material" called AppleSkin on the seats.
Already used in shoes, AppleSkin is produced from the cores and skins of apples to create something similar to leather.
The ID Roomzz also has "specially processed wooden veneers" on parts of the door panels, while a system called CleanAir actively monitors air quality and is claimed to remove impurities to ensure those inside are always breathing clean air.
In a nod to the connected era it has play and pause symbols on the accelerator and brake pedals.
The ID Roomzz will also have three rows of seats, potentially accommodating seven occupants.
Designer Klaus Bischoff describes it as a "monolith, appearing to be seamlessly machined from one solid block".
The seats will also be customisable to consumer tastes and the driving situation, the ID Roomzz designed with driverless technology in mind.
There's also no traditional dashboard, with the steering wheel able to be temporarily stashed away once computers take over.
The concept car showcases level four autonomous driving, allowing full autonomy "on request" in certain situations, including traffic.
When in the so-called ID Pilot mode, the car allows the seats to be tilted inward by 25 degrees to "enable a more communicative, lounge-like atmosphere".
Getting in and out also promises to be easy with innovative doors that don't have a pillar between the front and rear, allowing a broad space to climb in.
The doors also do without traditional hinges, instead allowing them to slide out and to the side, for a very wide opening.
Electric motors at either end combine to produce 225kW, enough to power the ID Roomzz to 100km/h in 6.6 seconds.
A sizeable 82kWh battery is claimed to take the large SUV up to 450km between charges and can accept an 80 per cent charge in about half an hour.
Volkswagen says it will begin selling a production version of the ID Roomzz in China from 2021, with other markets no doubt set to follow soon after.
ID is the electric sub-brand created by Volkswagen.
The first ID hatchback will launch internationally in 2020 and is expected to be priced from about $35,000.