I.D. Crozz concept gave a general indication of how the ID.4 should look

I.D. Crozz concept gave a general indication of how the ID.4 should look

Volkswagen already has more crossovers and SUVs in its global line-up than just about any other brand. Even so, there is still room for expansion into certain segments. And as for EVs, the brand is only just getting started, with preparations underway for the launch of the ID.4 later this year and much planning going on for the roll out of many more electric SUVs later in the 2020s.

Crossovers & SUVs

The Volkswagen Group's Landaben plant near Pamplona will gain a third vehicle in 2021, joining the Polo and T-Cross. The as yet unnamed model - it could be 'Nivus' - will be a front-wheel drive crossover and like the existing two, will be based on MQB A0. As for powertrains, petrol, diesel, hybrid and/or BEV can be expected.

In August 2019, the governor of the Brazilian state of Sao Paulo told the media that Volkswagen would be investing the equivalent of US$577m at its Anchieta plant in São Bernardo do Campo, near the city of Sao Paulo. Days later, Volkswagen announced that a model it called the New Urban Coupé would be manufactured at the Anchieta factory from "spring 2020". In December, VW do Brasil announced the model name, which is Nivus. This and the third vehicle for Landaben should be more or less the same.

The Tharu, a 4.5m long SUV, was first seen at a media event in China and referred to as the 'Powerful Family SUV'. Production will also eventually be added in Argentina, Russia and Mexico with the Puebla plant to export a potentially renamed version to the US and Canada. In the latter two countries, the positioning will be sub-Tiguan. China's Tharu has been manufactured and distributed by SAIC Volkswagen since September 2018.

Volkswagen Argentina revealed a few details of its future Tarek in May 2019 as well as the VW316 codename. Build will commence at the Pacheco plant in 2021 with launch variants to be front-wheel drive and powered by a turbocharged 1.4-litre petrol engine. As with the Tharu, the architecture is MQB A/B.

The provisionally named Tayron Coupe was previewed by FAW Volkswagen's SUV Coupé Concept at the Shanghai motor show in April 2019. A production version of this special model for the Chinese market is due to go on sale later this year. The study was 4,586mm long, 1,860mm wide and 1,635mm tall with a 2,731mm wheelbase.

The Tayron, in production since September 2018, premiered at the Beijing motor show earlier in 2019, although it had been shown to the media prior to this and termed 'Advanced Midsize SUV'. The Chinese name for the Tayron is Tanrong and the model is a long-wheelbase version of the T-Roc. The length is 4,589mm. Both these vehicles should be facelifted in 2023 and replaced in 2027/2028.

FAW Volkswagen will introduce its largest VW SUV either this year or next. Prototypes were photographed on test in snowy conditions in Europe earlier in January. This model was heralded by the SMV, a concept revealed at the Shanghai motor show in April 2019. The JV told the media that the initials stood for Sport Multi-Purpose Vehicle. The 5.1m long SUV for China should be based on MQB A/B Evo.

SAIC Volkswagen already has a large SUV, which is why FAW VW wants one around the same size and with equally lucrative margins. The Teramont has been available in China and as the Atlas, in North America, since 2017. The two plants which manufacture it are Ningbo (Zhejiang) and Chattanooga (Tennessee).

As for additional versions, one might be added later in 2020, inspired by the rugged looking Atlas Basecamp. That was the name of a concept which premiered at the New York auto show in April 2019. Volkswagen of America confirmed in December 2019 that it would be facelifting the Atlas for the 2021 model year.

Volkswagen may take the bold step of not directly replacing the Teramont/Atlas, instead taking a gamble on a fully electric successor. The Atlas will likely be built for at least seven years, which would mean production would still be taking place in 2024, possibly longer if there is a second facelift. The same fate might befall the already low volume Touareg although that model has only been in production since 2018. Much depends on how popular and profitable large electric SUVs prove to be, not to mention what happens with emissions legislation.

In 2019, more than 80,000 units of the Atlas were sold in the US so to suggest that VW of America would be planning to phase out this vehicle seems illogical. By mid-decade though, similarly sized EVs could have become the vehicle of choice and combustion engine models fallen deeply out of favour. It might be the case that Volkswagen hedges its bets and extends the life cycle of the Atlas/Teramont, allowing the market to decide which propulsion system and which vehicles consumers prefer.


'Tarok' is the likely name for a 4.5m long pick-up expected to be released for sale in the Brazilian market later in 2020. There, it will compete with the Fiat Toro and Renault Duster Oroch. The Tarok concept at the São Paulo motor show in November 2018 was a near-production version of the new model. Volkswagen of America exhibited the near-production Tarok at the New York auto show in April 2019. That was one year after a different but similarly sized concept premiered as a design study at the same show. The first of the pair was called Atlas Tanoak and based on VW of America's Tennessee-built Atlas SUV.

The replacement for the Amarok had been at one time expected to again be built in Argentina and Europe, with a chance that production in the USA could also be added. However, plans changed and the Amarok 2 is being developed and manufactured by Ford Motor Company. This also inevitably means that the first generation of the one tonne pick-up will remain in production for far longer than is ideal as the model's life cycle is extended until 2022.

An Amarok-based SUV - a rival for the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Everest, Isuzu mu-X and Mitsubishi Pajero Sport - should be launched roughly a year after the arrival of the second generation pick-up. It too will be based on Ford's T6 architecture.

Electric crossovers & SUVs

The ID.4 will be based on the I.D. Crozz, a 4,625mm long concept which first premiered at April 2017's Shanghai motor show. An evolution of this concept then appeared at the Frankfurt IAA five months later. Both were 4,625mm long, 1,891mm wide, 1,609mm high and with a 2,773mm wheelbase.

At the 2019 Frankfurt motor show, which is where the ID.3 debuted, Volkswagen displayed a camouflaged electric crossover behind frosted glass and insiders reportedly stated that the production model, to be called ID.4, would be revealed in the US in February. The concept was then presented on stage to the media at an event in China in late October 2019. The name was 'ID. Next'. The media was told that a production model based on this concept would be in production via the SAIC Volkswagen JV in late 2020.

To be similar in size to the Tiguan, the ID.4 will be available not only in China but in Europe and North America too. Timed to coincide with the start of construction on an EV plant at Chattanooga, VW of America announced two months ago that an electric crossover similar to the I.D. Buzz would the facility's first vehicle. The expansion of the plant includes a 564,000-square-foot addition to the body shop. Volkswagen will build both internal combustion engine vehicles as well as battery electric vehicles on the same assembly line.

The 'I.D. Bus', which might instead be called ID.5, will arrive in 2022. It too could be made at the Chattanooga plant in Tennessee. This expansion of the existing site was announced in January 2019 at the Detroit auto show. Volkswagen did not at that time name any of the models it will make there, nor did it state what the intended annual capacity of Chattanooga 2 would be. As the first vehicles will not come off the line until 2022, in the USA the ID.4 will be an import for the first couple of years.

A large SUV would be the sixth model in the ID. electric vehicles series, Volkswagen told the media in April 2019 as it announced the ID. Roomzz, a concept revealed at that month's Shanghai motor show. While the model name is not yet known - 'ID.6' is a possibility, Volkswagen says China will be the first country for this vehicle. The plant in question will be a specific one built for MEB architecture models. This is in Anting (Shanghai) has an annual capacity of 300,000 electric vehicles.

The concepts have been as follows:

  • I.D. (previewed the ID.3)
  • I.D. CROZZ
  • I.D. BUZZ
  • ID. ROOMZZ (AutoShanghai, April 2019)
  • ID NEXT (October 2019)
  • ID. SPACE VIZZION (Petersen Automotive Museum and then LA auto show, November 2019)

Reports for many other manufacturers' future models are grouped in the OEM product strategy summaries section of just-auto.com.

Future product program intelligence

More detail on past, current and forthcoming models can be found in PLDB, the future vehicles database. That includes the Volkswagen and Jetta brand SUVs which were not discussed in the above report such as the VS3, VS5, VS7, Saveiro, Caddy People, T-Cross, T-Roc, Touran, Tiguan, Teramont X/Atlas Cross Sport, Viloran, Tacqua, Sharan, Touareg, Caravelle/California/Multivan and Multivan Electric.

This was the second feature in a series examining the current and future models of Volkswagen AG's passenger vehicle brands. The first one looked at Volkswagen's global cars range, including future EVs. The next one will focus on Audi's cars and this will be followed by a look at the brand's SUVs for the 2020s.

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