There’s a Screen In the Steering Wheel of VW’s Autonomous EV Concept

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
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Volkswagen is slowly but surely releasing one new all-electric concept after another while it readies its all-new line of electric vehicles. Last month, VW unveiled a beach buggy EV concept. While fun, it was probably more fanciful than indicative of the types of electric vehicles mainstream buyers are after.

The full-size, all-electric SUV ID. ROOMZZ concept that debuted in Shanghai, however, is quite the contrary. In fact, VW says it intends to launch a production version of the ID. ROOMZZ in China in 2021.

It’s Electric And Autonomous

While not as theatrical as Falcon Wing Doors, minivan-like sliding doors make a lot more sense. They work in garages and require far less space alongside the vehicle to open. Volkswagen ID. ROOMZZ Showcar. | Photo: Volkswagen

It’s powered by 82 kWh battery pack that sends electricity to two electric motors, which makes it an all-wheel drive SUV with 301 horsepower on tap. It’s rated to travel 279 miles on a single charge. And an 80% recharge can be achieved in around 30 minutes on a fast charger. Additionally, ID. ROOMZZ is said to do 0-62 miles per hour in 6.6 seconds and hit a top speed of 111 mph.

More than just being electric, ID. ROOMZZ boasts Level 4 autonomous driving capabilities. When in autonomous mode, the two front seats can turn inward up to 25 degrees, which creates a bit more of a lounge-like atmosphere. If the two front occupants don’t want to face one another, though, the seats can also recline — again, only in self-driving mode.

Enjoy The Drive Or Ride

Note the screen inside the steering wheel. | Photo: Volkswagen

VW wanted to create a distinctive and seamless infotainment experience. From what I can tell, designers wanted to fill the dash wish so much screen that they even incorporated one into the steering wheel. Why waste precious Netflix viewing space, I guess?

Seating surfaces are covered in what VW is calling “AppleSkin,” which it describes as a renewable raw material. Door panels are finished in wood veneers that allow points of light to pour through. And since the ID. ROOMZZ is intended for the Chinese market, the car also has an air filtration system called “CleanAir.” This is used to keep air in the cabin clean even if the air outside isn’t.

Taking all things into account, including the dual-motor drive system, exterior color, sparing interior dominated by a screen and wood-trimmed doors, and the ID. ROOMZZ is beginning to remind me very much of a Tesla … Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right?

ID. ROOMZZ kind of looks like a Tesla, right? | Photo: Volkswagen

About the Author

  • Nick Jaynes has worked for more than a decade in automotive media industry. In that time, he's done it all—from public relations for Chevrolet to new-car reviews for Mashable. Nick now lives in Portland, Oregon and spends his weekends traversing off-road trails in his 100 Series Toyota Land Cruiser.

can be reached at nickjaynes@gmail.com
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