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Production Volkswagen ID to keep concept car design

by Ronan Glon

Production will start in November of next year.

The upcoming battery-electric Volkswagen I.D. hatchback will retain the concept car design previewed in 2016, officials recently confirmed. The final design has been signed off by the company's top executives and they've already moved on to the next phase of the project.

"The proportions, the design cues and the wheel size are the same as the concept. It looks like the show car," promised Volkswagen design boss Klaus Bischoff in an interview with British magazine Autocar. Volkswagen presented the eponymous design study (pictured) at the 2016 Paris auto show.

That's not to say the two models will be exactly identical. Bischoff explained Volkswagen couldn't bring the camera-based side mirrors to production for legal reasons. He added high costs prevented the electric door handles from making the transition from concept to production. And, don't expect to see those blue tires in showrooms either.

Volkswagen began building pre-production prototypes in April. They're already zig-zagging across the globe, which suggests the first spy shots are right around the corner. Regular production will kick off in November of next year, and Autocar adds Volkswagen gave its engineering department a 16-month window to finish the rear-wheel drive, Golf-sized model.

That's no small undertaking. Launching the I.D. -- a name which might not make the transition to production -- involves bringing to the market a new model built on a new platform and powered by a new drivetrain. There are virtually no carry-over parts from Volkswagen's other models.

Photography by Ronan Glon.