Volkswagen presented its vision of a future flagship that is not only the spiritual successor of the VW Phaeton luxury sedan, but also heralds the German auto maker’s approach to both electrification and autonomous driving technology. The I.D. Vizzion isn’t production ready by any means, but rather is an exercise in what might be possible by 2030.

The large sedan concept features seating for four and in best show car tradition, has a B-pillarless cabin design with coach-style doors opening wide to ease access. VW says the I.D. Vizzion would be capable of Level 5 autonomous operation, which means no intervention by occupants, nor the need for a traditional steering wheel and pedals. The car can be operated by voice and gesture control and uses artificial intelligence to learn the preferences of its passengers, ranging from seat settings to navigation routes.

Long wheelbase

VW used its flexible MEB architecture that underpins its large cars and SUVs for the I.D. Vizzion. Consequently, it has an extraordinarily long 122.0-inch wheelbase on vehicle that measures 203.3 inches overall. The Vizzion measures 76.7 inches wide and stands at just 59.3 inches tall. Because of the electric drivetrain and mounting the battery pack beneath the floor, the I.D. Vizzion maximizes the passenger cabin while minimizing the front and rear overhangs. In addition, a rear hatch opens to reveal a 20-cubic-foot cargo area.

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The concept employs a 111-kWh lithium-ion battery with a 101-horsepower electric motor on the front axle and a 201-horsepower rear electric motor for a total system output of 302 horsepower. VW anticipates a range of 413 miles on a single charge and that the battery can be replenished by using a wireless inductive interface.

Lounge-like atmosphere inside

Since the vehicle is built with Level 5 autonomy in mind, there is no traditional driver’s position, but rather a lounge-like approach to the interior accommodations. The four ergonomically balanced seats are equipped with footrest and the vehicle has a large glass greenhouse providing panoramic views outward. To minimize heat gain, the glass can be darkened electronically.

There’s no traditional dashboard, thanks to the vehicle’s ability to be operated through voice and gesture control, although there are two rotary controls on the center console, one front and the other rear, to allow occupants to manually control functions like the volume of the entertainment system. Passengers can also use Microsoft-developed Hololens virtual reality glasses for infotainment and other augmented reality activities.

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The I.D. Vizzion also has three travel modes, Relax, Active and Family. In Active mode, the passengers can sit as usual to work, communicate or call up information during the drive. In the Relax setting, the footrests are extended, while the ambient lighting turns to a warm color and relaxing music is played. In the Family mode, occupants have access to games and learning apps for children. While there are no plans for production of the I.D. Vizzion, the electric concept opens the door for VW to someday offer again a full-size luxury sedan positioned above the upcoming 2019 Volkswagen Arteon.

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