The reveal of the Volkswagen ID.4, the first member of VW’s new family of battery-powered vehicles slated to come to the U.S., is getting closer. Before we see the exterior of the crossover EV later this month, Volkswagen is giving us a preview of the interior. Naturally, screens feature prominently, but the most notable characteristic may be the wholesale embrace of touch-sensitivity.
The images show a large freestanding center screen that is able to display multiple functions at once — in this case, navigation, audio, and phone, along with what may be an equalizer. Another image shows that the central display has three pages of menus. The center screen dwarfs the instrument cluster, which is another screen. Contained within the image of the instrument cluster, by the way, is a rendering of the ID.4 that gives us our best look yet at the exterior of the vehicle in its production form.
Extending from the right of the cluster screen is a trapezoidal-shaped knob that functions as the gearshift. Touch the end of the knob to actuate the parking brake. The parking brake button appears to be touch-sensitive, as are all the buttons we can see in these pictures. Below the central screen, for instance, there’s a horizontal panel with blue and red temperature-adjustment touchpads for the driver and passenger climate control which flank a volume touch-slider (no volume knob — ugh). Below that are buttons to call up menus for the park-assist, the climate control, and the driver-assist systems, along with a mode button and the switch for the hazard lights. There appears to be no direct access for fan speed.
Another climate-control oddity is that buttons for the front and rear defrosters and for max-defrost are on the left, grouped with the light switches. Again, this entire panel appears to be touch-sensitive. On the driver’s armrest, there’s a traditional knob for side-mirror adjustment, but the buttons to select which mirror, to defrost the mirrors, and to fold them all are touch-sensitive. The power-window switches appear to be traditional, but there are only two. Another button is marked REAR, which suggests that you touch that first and then those same two switches operate the rear windows. Thus saving VW the cost of two window switches.
The steering-wheel controls appear more conventional, with those on the left largely devoted to the cruise control, while those on the right include a multi-function switch, voice control, and another to change what’s shown on the digital instrument cluster. Again, those all appear to be touch-sensitive. It’s almost surprising to see two old-school stalks for the wipers and the turn signals. Surely, VW must be working on some type of touch-sensitive replacements for those.
Elsewhere, we see that the center console features two cupholders, a mobile-phone slot (presumably with wireless charging available), and a compartment with a sliding cover. The car shown here features gloss-black trim, but VW says gloss white will be available as well. The ambient lighting offers a choice of 30 colors, and will change to signal various states of vehicle status, such as the car being locked or unlocked.
Production of the ID.4 has already begun in Germany, and the model will additionally be built in Chattanooga starting in 2022. The big reveal is set for September 23, and VW USA is ready to accept your $100 deposit immediately after — via an online reservations portal, naturally.