“Nimble in the city, agile on country roads, relaxed on the highway.”
As the rear-wheel-drive ID.4 enters the market, Volkswagen highlights various features or systems of its new EV and here is a quick look at the chassis.
According to the German manufacturer, the ID.4 is quite versatile, and should work well in various scenarios, including city, country roads and highway, including sporty driving from time to time.
The things that Volkswagen lists as the most important to achieving great handling are low center of gravity (thanks to battery located in the floor, between the axles) and 50:50 balance.
In the rear, ID.4 has a new compact five-link suspension with a subframe that is elastically connected to the body, made mostly of lightweight aluminum. In the front, there is McPherson design with Progressive Steering (in the top versions), “which works more and more directly as the steering angle increases – its ratio ranges from 15.9:1 to 14.5:1”.
Another cool feature is the DCC – an adaptive chassis control – which regulates the characteristics of the damper on each wheel 200 times per second, depending on the road surface and the driving situation, to improve ride comfort or connection to the road.
Settings of the DCC and Progressive Steering are coupled with Driving Profile Selection – there is a total of four modes to choose from:
“Eco, Comfort and Sport are preconfigured. In Individual mode, the driver is given additional setting options on the central display: They can select fine intermediate levels between Comfort and Sport or make both modes even more extreme – in other words, even more comfortable or even more dynamic.”
The wheels (starting from 18-inch, through 19-, 20 up to 21-inch) were aerodynamically optimized by their flat design and combined with low rolling resistance tires.
There are discs brakes on the front axle (358 millimeters in diameter in the case of the heavy 77 kWh version), while in the rear the ID.4 has received drum brakes. The use of drum brakes might be surprising for some, but they are good enough and cost-effective. German manufacturer also made sure to make them long-lasting:
“Their pads are designed to last the lifespan of the car. Corrosion is impossible, although the brakes are rarely used in everyday driving. Most of the deceleration is performed by the electric motor, which recovers energy in the process.”
The final thing is the Vehicle Dynamics Manager, borrowed from the new Golf. It utilizes brake interventions on particular wheels to improve the handling in the corners:
“When the driver wants to, the ID.4 takes corners very quickly, stably and almost naturally – also thanks to the electronic Vehicle Dynamics Manager, which works closely with the stability control ESC. Volkswagen has introduced it in the new Golf. The Driving Dynamics Manager controls the wheel-selective brake interventions of the XDS electronic transverse drive lock and the work of the DCC damper control. It uses a digital target model to achieve optimum driving and steering behavior in every situation. As soon as the vehicle turns into a corner, the ID.4 behaves more spontaneously, linearly and accurately.
The ESC in turn cooperates closely with the control units for the electric engine and the power electronics. Although a rear-wheel drive car tends to oversteer in principle, this networking ensures that the rear wheels of the ID.4 find stable grip in every situation – during full acceleration, when cornering fast and when decelerating by brake recuperation. This traction control – another innovation at Volkswagen – is speed-based. And it takes place automatically every millisecond, i.e. so fast and therefore so gently that the driver hardly feels it.”
Gallery: 2021 Volkswagen ID.4
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