Such a Tease

Volkswagen ID.4's cabin offers 'flowing, lightweight design'

The Volkswagen ID.4's cabin is meant to deliver spacious, free-flowing design.

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

Volkswagen is doing everything but showing off the entire ID.4 production vehicle ahead of its debut later this month. The German automaker recently showed off the cabin of the new all-electric SUV featuring what it calls "flowing, lightweight design".

Drivers access the cabin using flush door handles that deliver electric unlocking. Doorways open wide and reveal the ID.4's high seating position. The car has a second-row bench seat that features 30.3 cubic feet of cargo space behind it - about as much as a Mazda CX-5.

Volkswagen ID.4

Photo courtesy of Volkswagen AG

The SUV's dashboard is not connected to the center console. This space-creating minimalism is quickly becoming a trail of electric vehicle design, which isn't hampered by having a transmission tunnel running down the center of the vehicle diving the left side from the right.

A fixed panoramic sunroof will be available.

Volkswagen will deliver the ID.4 with ID. Light, a strip below the windshield that has lighting effects offering cues to a driver. Volkswagen explains: "For example, ID. Light signals to the driver that the vehicle's drive system is active and that the car has been unlocked or locked. It accentuates information issued by the driver assist and navigation systems and signals braking prompts and incoming phone calls."

Thirty-color ambient lighting is also available. Multi-color ambient lighting options have become trendy in vehicles with Kia and BMW also offering similar technology.

In this former role as Head of Volkswagen Brand Design, Klaus Zyciora, who currently serves as the Head of Volkswagen Group Design, developed the vehicle with his team. He describes further describes the cabin: "Freedom on the outside, free space on the inside. The ID.4 brings a new sense of space to its category thanks to the new MEB platform, our modular electric drive matrix."

The interior of the ID.4 is dominated by a neutral color palette with Lunar Grey and Galaxy Black dominating the landscape. The steering wheel, steering column, the housings of the display and control panels in the doors are outdated in Piano Black or Electric White.

Volkswagen will fully unveil the ID.4 later this month. Immediately after it debuts, buyers will be able to reserve theirs for just $100.

The company has already said that it will be built at their Chattanooga, Tennessee plant, which is currently undergoing an expansion to prepare for the new model, including a battery technology research hub.

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Interesting backstory

Volkswagen Bus part inspired popular dog toy

The classic VW Bus inspired one of the most popular dog toys of all time.

Volkswagen

Product designs sometimes take inspiration from the places we expect the least. Moments of genius are driven by finding solutions to unique problems, and as it turns out, that's exactly how we ended up with KONG. The beefy, durable dog chew toy is modeled after a Volkswagen Bus part.

Joe Markham's shop Markham needed a dog for security, but he unexpectedly got a chew-crazy pet.Volkswagen

KONG's inventor, Joe Markham, adopted a German Shepherd to help with security at his auto repair shop in downtown Denver, CO. The dog, while a great addition to the shop, came with a few bad habits. The dog's most worrisome hobby was chewing, which he would do with almost anything he could find, especially rocks. As you might imagine, chewing on rocks is not good for the dog's teeth. Markham needed a durable chew toy, but nothing seemed to work, from animal bones to radiator hoses.

The solution came from an unlikely place: While working on a 1960sVW Type 2 Bus, Markham discovered that the rubber axle stop made a perfect chew toy. The dog had gotten ahold of the rubber stop, and while he was chewing viciously, neither the stop nor his teeth were damaged.

The discovery led Markham to spend the next six years experimenting with various rubbers, sizes, and shapes for his dog toy. After working with rubber experts in Germany, the design was finalized and the KONG was born. The shape for the toy ended up being very close to that of the axle stop. The funky, bulbous design meant that the toy wouldn't bounce like a ball, and would instead flop around randomly, which is similar to the way that small animals run away from predators.

VW Bus axle stop The axle stop from a VW Bus inspired KONG's shape.Volkswagen

It's worth noting that you should not intentionally let your dog chew on any part of your vehicle. Even unused automotive parts can contain chemicals and other harmful materials that could make your dog sick or worse. This isn't a pitch to buy a KONG, just a warning about the hazards of car parts being used as dog toys.

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Buying guide

How to buy a modified car: Three tips

This is a clean modified truck, but they don't all end up this way.

Bring a Trailer

Modified cars are a mixed bag. Sometimes, they're incredibly well built and better than the original, but too many times they're only partially finished or end up being rushed as their owners get late-project anxiety. Whatever the case, buying a modified car can be a stressful process if you haven't done your homework ahead of time. The good news is that you can get a good deal on a reasonably well sorted project or modified car, but you'll need to be careful. Looking at used Lexus LXs earlier today, it became clear that there are as many modified vehicles for sale as there are clean examples.

This LX got me thinking about the breakdown between buying a rig and building one. The modifications made by this Lexus' seller are almost exactly what I would do if I were building a light overlanding rig. What could go wrong? I'm still on the fence about the Lexus, but the three topics below will help you make the right decision on buying a modified car.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Even if the mods are well done, you'll want to have the vehicle inspected before you buy.Bring a Trailer

Understand your personal taste

I mentioned the LX470 and how the owner's updates were pretty close to what I'd do with the truck. That's an exception to the rule, because 90 percent of the time I walking away from a sales listing because of modifications, rather than the other way around. If you're hoping to find a tastefully modified car that matches your exact tastes, you could be waiting a while. If you're hoping to sell a modified car, the same is true in reverse. Finding a buyer for your extremely personalized project car may not be the easiest thing you've ever done.

2004 Lexus LX 470 It's a good idea to seek out vehicles in solid shape, regardless of mods.Bring a Trailer

Be aware of condition and quality

This Lexus looks to be well maintained and in good shape. It also doesn't hurt that the LX is one of the most reliable vehicles built by one of the world's most quality-conscious automakers. Even so, it's hard to know what you're getting with this, or any other, modified vehicle. There's a little rust in this image, but the lift kit, wheels, and bumper mods all look good. However, even if the truck looked brand-new, you'd want to get a pre-purchase inspection. An independent mechanic can tell you if there are potential issues that are unrelated to mods, and you'll want to be sure that any modifications are installed properly.

2004 Lexus LX 470 Some mods are more useful than others.Bring a Trailer

Keep an eye on the price

Most people are reasonable when it comes to selling their modified cars, but there are hundreds of "I know what I got" memes on the internet for a reason. Some sellers want to recover every penny of the money they spent customizing their cars. They're convinced that the mods drastically increased the car's value and can't understand why the customized car isn't as attractive to you as it is to them. Tread lightly and be careful not to insult the owner, but it's your job to work toward a reasonable, fair price.

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