The long range is expected to come from a major advance in terms of aerodynamics with an extremely low coefficient of drag. Engineers have given the car the codename Aero-B to reflect their focus on its aerodynamics.
According to VW designers, air resistance is the strongest at about 50 kph (31 mph) and above.
VW Group’s Porsche managed to reduce the drag coefficient of its Taycan electric sedan to 0.22 cd, among the sleekest possible value on a production car. However, the drag coefficient is only one factor: another important lever engineers can pull is minimizing the front’s cross-sectional area. The combination of the two determine a vehicle’s wind resistance.
By the time the production Aero-B debuts, it should be able to recharge to a maximum capacity of 200 kilowatts, meaning 10 minutes at a DC fast charging station could add a further 230 km.
VW’s current plans foresee a vehicle capable of accelerating to 0 to 100 kph (62 mph) in 5.6 seconds for the all-wheel drive version and a less competitive 8.5 seconds for the rear-wheel-drive version.
Output levels for the electric drive could reach 200 kilowatts for the rwd version and as much as 300 kW (402 hp) for the awd car, according to a senior VW engineer.
These metrics would slot it underneath the Tesla Model S, Polestar 2 and next year’s Mercedes EQS, and closer to the likely similarly sized BMW i4 due to launch in 2021.
The production Aero-B will eventually replace the combustion engine Passat and the sportier, more upscale Arteon fastback in Europe.