Concept Cars

This is the futuristic concept car Volkswagen is unveiling in a few weeks

This concept car will make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

You've seen the ID Buzz and the ID Buggy. Volkswagen is about to show off another concept car. All will be revealed the week before Thanksgiving at the Los Angels Auto Show but they've set the stage revealing a few facts ahead of time.

The ID Space Vizzion is Volkswagen's take on a zero-emissions vehicle. The company says that it's built for "a new era, new thinking, and new mobility" and that "is a crossover of tomorrow". Still, it looks much like a traditional wagon.

Volkswagen ID Space Vizzion VWThis car is destined for the U.S. market.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

"So far, with our ID. family, we have shown what is possible with electric vehicles in each known car category," said Klaus Bischoff, Head of Volkswagen Design. "With the ID Space Vizzion we create a new, fully electric segment."

Volkswagen is touting the concept's ability to combine the aerodynamics of a grand touring car with the spaciousness of an SUV. With a five-door-like visual profile, the ID Space Vizzion is a more realistic look at the future of Volkswagen than what the ID Buggy offered, giving the markets a tangible look at the future of the company, which has been touting its future electrified powertrains and new platforms for the last few years.

Volkswagen ID Space Vizzion VWThe five-door style is likely to be more popular in Europe than in the U.S. when the car goes into production.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The German automaker has built the car on its Modular Electric Drive Matrix (MEB). MEB is designed to allow for long driving ranges, dynamic performance, and digital networking.

VW has given the model 300 miles of range.

Volkswagen ID Space Vizzion VWThe model seats four.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Its completely digitalized cockpit consists of appointments that are made from sustainable raw materials including AppleSkin, a vegan alternative to leather.

Volkswagen ID Space Vizzion VWVW filled the interior of this model with sustainable raw materials.Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The ID Space Vizzion isn't just a concept. It's a look at a model that Volkswagen will mass produce, presumably under another name, in late 2021. It will make its way to North America, Europe, and China in different variations.

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First-year Ford F-150 Lightning production numbers doubled
Ford

Ford has begun serial production of the new F-150 Lightning electric pickup truck, marking what could be one of the most important days in recent automotive history. The first trucks rolled off the assembly line at Ford's Rouge Electric Vehicle Center in Michigan today, so America's best-selling truck has finally gone electric. Ford wants to sell two million EVs per year by 2026 and have half of its global sales volume to be electric by 2030.

Ford F-150 LightningPast meets future: Ford's new electric pickup will be the F-150 Lightningautomotivemap.com

Ford has seen extreme demand for the trucks, with 200,000 reservations since the books opened. To deliver, the automaker plans to increase production to an annual rate of 150,000 units by next year, which involved huge investments in the Rouge Center and created hundreds of jobs. Ford's total investment for the F-150 Lightning crests $1 billion across Michigan alone, and has created 1,700 jobs across various facilities in the state.

Ford F-150 LightningThe first production trucks left the factory today.
Ford Motor Company

Though the Lightning starts around $40,000, the most mainstream models will cost much more than that. The F-150 Lightning Pro, while affordable, is a stripped-down truck intended for commercial buyers. It's still a forward-looking electric truck with amazing capabilities, but it lacks much of the creature comforts and features that everyday drivers expect. Higher trims get the latest driver assistance features, including BlueCruise, which is Ford's semi-autonomous hands-free driving assistant. A 12-inch touchscreen is standard, along with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, navigation, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and more.

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Electric pickup truck

Ford F-150 Lightning could get tank turn

Ford patented a tank turn feature in late 2020.

Ford

The F-150 Lightning is packed with cool tech and capability, but we're learning that Ford has even bigger plans for its first electric pickup. Inside EVs found an exciting document on the Lightning Owners Forum that shows ford applied to patent a tank turn feature like the one we saw Rivian pull off a few years ago, where the truck spins around a center point using its electric motors. Rivian's tank turn feature still hasn't made it to market, so it's possible that Ford beats them to the punch.

Ford F-150 LightningTank turn allows the truck to spin while almost completely stationary.Ford

Ford applied for the patent in October 2020, but it's just now making its way out. In the document, Ford gives an example of how it could work: "Methods, apparatus, systems and articles of manufacture are disclosed to perform a tank turn. An example vehicle includes a first wheel and a second wheel, the first wheel located on an end of a first axle, the second wheel located on an end of the second axle, the end of the first axle opposite to the end of the second axle, a first suspension coupled to the first wheel, a second suspension coupled to the second wheel, and a controller to drive the first axle in a first direction, drive the second axle in the second direction and decrease a first suspension load of the first suspension and a second suspension load of the second suspension."

As Inside EVs points out, Rivian's tank turn feature employs the R1 T's quad-motor setup to drive each wheel individually. The F-150 Lightning doesn't currently have a four-motor choice and instead offers two motors – one on each axle. It's important to note that Rivian patented tank turn and showed that it could work, but there hasn't yet been a production vehicle that offers the capability. Toyota filed a patent in 2019, but again it's just paperwork at this point.

Ford F-150 LightningNo automaker has brought tank turn to production yet.

To achieve the turn, Ford has a few options. The most obvious would be to offer a quad-motor upgrade in future model years. It's unclear if such a feature is in the works or if Ford plans to provide beefier versions of the Lightning, such as a Raptor variant with upgraded motors. The automaker could also design gearing to reverse the wheels on one side while the others drive forward, or it could use braking to lock the wheels and tighten the turning radius.

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