Volkswagen hits back with cabin technology with electric car preview

Volkswagen hits back with cabin technology with electric car preview

The first official appearance of Volkswagen’s ID.7 electric sedan shows an old-school approach to driver control.

Volkswagen has simplified the dashboard and switches in its forthcoming ID.7 electric car to address criticism of the latest generation Golf.

The latest Golf resulted in a radical dashboard design that relies heavily on screens and touch-sensitive controls – but its touch steering wheel buttons, lack of lighting under the climate control and volume controls, and touchscreen software design have drawn criticism from owners, the media and even the new global boss of VW, Thomas Schäfer.

“We’re bringing back the steering wheel with push buttons,” Mr. Schafer said in a previously reported technology backflip drive. “That’s what VW customers want.”

Unveiled in a very light camouflage pattern at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in the US, the ID.7 looks likely to be Volkswagen’s first production car to address these complaints.

Volkswagen said the ID.7 will have a 15-inch infotainment screen as standard – but the climate control controls are now located at the bottom of the screen all the time, rather than requiring the driver to press a touch button to access the software enter menu to change fan speed or temperature.

The Touch Control sliders below the screen – used for volume and air temperature – also get the lighting requested by many Golf customers.

The touch-sensitive switches on the steering wheel and infotainment screen in the Golf are also likely to be omitted or revised – they are still present in the ID.7 for the time being.

Volkswagen said at CES that the ID.7 will also get a new head-up display with augmented reality.

The “areas of interest” are all in the dashboard and steering wheel, although there are no details on the “haptic” — industry speaks for touch-sensitive — switches elsewhere in the cabin.

The conservatively styled ID.7 sedan is similar in size to the Volkswagen Passat and is set to go on sale overseas before the end of the year drive has previously reported that there is no plan for Volkswagen to bring it to Australia.

Paul Gover

Paul Gover has been a motoring journalist for more than 40 years and has worked for newspapers, magazines, websites, radio and television. A qualified general news journalist and sports reporter, his passion for driving has taken him to Wheels, Motor, Car Australia, Which Car and Auto Action magazines. He is a champion racer as well as a World Car of the Year judge.

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