- The popular VW Polo small car will be phased out by the middle of the decade. VW is currently working on an electric successor, which will probably be called ID.1. A small crossover is also likely to be based on it.
- However, the platform of the ID.3 can only be shortened by a few centimeters. Therefore, the model will probably be slightly larger than the current Polo.
- It is possible that VW will use lithium iron phosphate batteries for the first time in its small electric models. These are cheaper and do not require cobalt. Seat is using the shorter version of the MEB for the successor to the Arona.
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The Polo in its classic form will probably be phased out just in time for its fiftieth birthday. In view of the very strict Euro 7 emissions standard and fleet consumption regulations, it will be virtually impossible for manufacturers to offer a small car with an internal combustion engine from 2025. At the same time, the current, now sixth generation, is likely to have slowly reached the end of its model cycle after eight years in production. This spring, the small car built in Pamplona is to be made fit for its final years with a comprehensive model update, but extensive electrification of the driving range is not really likely to be worthwhile in view of the high development costs.
Little room for maneuver downwards
Instead, the VW Group has brought forward the development of a shortened version of the Modular Electric Building Block (MEB). However, the platform offers relatively little room to maneuver when it comes to downsizing due to space-consuming batteries and current Euro NCAP requirements. Herbert Diess has already announced that a smaller ID model offered from 2025 would probably end up around four meters in length. By comparison, the electric Golf counterpart ID.3 is 4.26 meters, while the current Polo stretches to 4.05 meters. The dimensions of the newcomer, which will probably be called the ID.1 and cost around 20,000 euros, could therefore be similar to those of its traditional predecessor.
However, the trade magazine Auto Motor und Sport considers this to be difficult to achieve. Compared to the ID.3, the wheelbase could be shortened by just seven centimeters to 2.70 meters. Since a certain crumple zone must be maintained, the overhangs at the front and rear can hardly be reduced at all. In the end, the car magazine arrives at an overall length of a stately 4.19 meters. Quite apart from the size, the rear-wheel-drive "small car" is likely to come in VW's typical ID design: That means, of course, no grille, short overhangs, and a flat snout.
A smaller battery and less horsepower
Obviously, the power storage units are also likely to shrink somewhat. The maximum capacity of the lithium-ion batteries could drop by ten units to around 38 kWh compared to those of the ID.3 Pure. It is possible that Volkswagen will use lithium iron phosphate batteries for the first time in the smallest ID model. These are not only cheaper to manufacture, but also do not require the rare raw material cobalt. On the other hand, they are heavier and reduce the range of electric cars.
On LinkedIn, the Group's CEO highlighted the advantages of this cell chemistry in the small car segment some time ago. The ID.1 is also likely to get a technically closely related crossover brother. This will probably be called the ID.2 and will start at just under 25,000 euros.
The e-small cars come from Spain
Seat has now announced at its annual press conference that they are also using the base for a small SUV. At the same time, they have published a first design sketch of the "Urban Electric Vehicle", which could replace the Arona from 2025. The closely related e-cars from VW, Seat, and Cupra are expected to be built in Martorell, Spain. This is supported by the fact that the group wants to convert the Seat plant completely to the production of battery-powered vehicles. In addition, VW announced during its "Power Day" that one of its six planned factories for battery production will be built in southwestern Europe. Other candidates for ID.1 production include Emden and Bratislava, Slovakia. Due to the high labor costs, the factory in East Frisia probably has the smallest chance.