Coming soon: Volkswagen ID 4 and Honda E

Don't buy a new car until you've read this – our ultimate guide to the new models coming in 2020 and beyond...

Volkswagen ID 4 front

Volkswagen ID 4

On sale Early 2021

The second model in Volkswagen’s new family of electric cars will be a family SUV. The ID 4 follows the Golf-sized ID 3 hatchback and uses much of the same technology. Both are the initial steps in the firm’s plan to sell 100,000 electric cars in 2020 and up to a million annually by 2025.

The ID Crozz concept car that Volkswagen has been displaying at various motor shows for the past two years will spawn both the ID 4, with a more conventional roofline and tailgate design, and the coupé-styled ID 5. Both SUVs will have conventional rear doors, instead of the sliding items of the concept, and conventional door mirrors are likely.

The ID 4 has a flush panel rather than a front grille, hosting an LED strip that joins the LED headlights. The distinctive alloy wheels are similar to those used on the ID 3 and designed to reduce drag and therefore improve range. The rear has traditional SUV styling with LED lights and a small spoiler.

At 4625mm long, the ID 4 will sit between the five-seat Tiguan and seven-seat Tiguan Allspace in terms of size, but Volkswagen says it will have just as much space inside as the latter, due to the absence of a combustion engine in the nose.

Volkswagen ID 4 rear

The ID 4 uses not one but two electric motors – one for each axle, giving it fourwheel drive – which together produce 302bhp. They’re powered by an 83kWh battery that’s expected to provide a range of 311 miles and can charge to 80% in half an hour. Smaller batteries are likely to be available, offering a range of around 250 miles in return for a lower purchase price.

With the battery housed in the floor, giving a low centre of gravity, the ID 4 is purported to have handling characteristics more like those of a hatchback than an SUV, along with a comfortable ride. There will also be a performance model, badged GTX.

Other new technology featured on the ID 4 includes a digital instrument display and a large touchscreen infotainment system with voice control software that can be used to open the doors and engage semi-autonomous driving functions.


Honda E

Honda E concept

On sale: June

This £30k city car will be the first electric Honda sold in Europe. It has an official range of no more than 136 miles – compared with 211 for its main rival, the new Peugeot e-208. However, it is more fun to drive, combining rear-wheel drive with a low centre of gravity.

In addition, energy is supplied to a single motor by a high-density, lightweight battery pack that's able to transfer electricity both to and from the vehicle. This could allow owners to buy electricity from the grid when it’s cheap and sell it back when demand is high – a concept already explored by Nissan with its new Leaf.

Although the interior isn't as futuristic as that of the Urban EV show car that inspired it, it still has a ‘floating’ dashboard, a set of simple air conditioning controls, a panoramic one-piece infotainment and instrument display and camera-based door mirrors that project images onto small screens on the front door panels, much like those on Audi’s electric E-tron SUV.


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