Volkswagen ID Life review: Electric car offers a glimpse into the future with projector & cinema seating

TEENS are already slaves to iPhones and iPads as it is.

The only way to stop them hiding in their bedrooms watching TikTok videos or Love Island on catch-up is to switch off the wifi.

Soon, we’ll have to switch off their cars.

This dinky Volkswagen with its pop-up projector screen and flip-down cinema seating is only a concept but concepts are a glimpse of what’s coming down the line.

We all laughed at virtual cameras a few years ago. Now they’re on the Audi e-tron SUV and Honda E. 

You can play arcade games in a Tesla Model 3. And the Hyperscreen dash in a Mercedes EQS is wider than your sitting room TV.

VW design chief Jozef Kaban, speaking at this week’s Munich motor show, said the projector screen was “possible in theory” and not “pie-in-the-sky tech”.

Nor is the zip-off textile roof made from recycled plastic bottles. It is inflated with tiny air chambers so you can roll it up, fold the seats into a two-metre bed and sleep under the stars.

What’s definitely going to happen is the car itself. Volkswagen aims to make good electric cars that are affordable for everyone and the Polo-sized “ID Life”, which will be rebadged ID 2 — will go on sale in 2025 priced from £17k.

It’ll be easy-peasy to drive. Hop in and go.

 All the essential controls are on the steering wheel and your smartphone runs your music and satnav.

As for performance, we all know electric cars are nippy but we’re in proper Polo GTI territory here. The top-spec ID Life shown here is 234hp, front-wheel drive and will do 0-62mph in just 6.9 seconds.

 The 57kWh battery has a 248-mile range. Cheaper versions will have smaller batteries and less power.

We already know there will be Seat and Skoda versions, as well as a hot Cupra. All four models will be built in Spain from 2025. 

Production is targeted at 500,000 urban electric cars per year. Big numbers.

The Cupra “UrbanRebel” concept is clearly too Hot Wheels for the road. 

But if the real thing looks half as good, it’ll go viral on TikTok or whatever app teens are obsessed with by then.


Good sport

KIA didn’t bother trying to outdo the Germans by presenting an outlandish electric transportation pod at Munich because it wouldn’t win.

Instead, it kept things real by rolling out the new Sportage – its hero car in the UK.

The good news for people who do big miles or tow things is that Kia is sticking with diesel. Hurrah.

The good news for people who live near a big town or city is that EV mode in the new plug-in hybrid will do 30-odd miles of pure electric driving. You won’t need to wake the engine on some trips.

And the good news for everyone else is that self-charging hybrids (no plug) will save you a few quid on fuel.

Lots of choice, then.

Now let’s have a poke around inside. The curved twin-screen dash is very Merc-like and there’s more space in all directions, including a bigger boot.

New electronic active dampers should improve ride quality. Terrain Mode will help keep you moving in winter.

Kia has always been good at reading the room and I reckon Sportage will continue to do well with those wanting a sensibly-priced, right-size family SUV. 

Out January from £27k.

Electric highlights

RENAULT has been selling electric Zoes for a decade – so it knows its onions. All that expertise has been poured into the Megane E-Tech: Two batteries (60kWh or 40kWh), maximum 292-mile range, built-in Google, from £28k.

WE told you the Mercedes EQS was special, now all the good stuff has trickled down to its little brother, the EQE (electric E-Class). Lush cabin, giant screen, 90kWh battery for 412 miles of range. Still want a Tesla?

JOEY Essex will be all over this: Smart’s first electric SUV coming in 2023. The thing is, it really isn’t that small. It’s longer than a Volkswagen Golf and has five seats. Smart is co-owned by Geely these days but the styling is all Merc.

THE glow-up grille tells you everything: Yep, the G-Class has gone electric. Merc promise it will be just as capable as a G63 with four motors, one for each wheel, and max torque at zero revs. The only thing you’ll miss is the noise.


THE next Porsche Cayman will be pure electric. It has to be. We reckon this Mission R racing car concept is the 2025 Cayman in disguise.

 It won’t get the staggering 1,088hp “qualifying mode” but 680hp in “race mode” sounds delicious.

Mega-fast 900v charging. Light NFRP body (natural fibre reinforced plastic) and same lap time performance as a 911 GT3 Cup.

 Serious bit of kit.

Audi A8 executive ushers in new age of tech

WHEN heavyweights like Audi admit tomorrow’s cars will be more about tech than engineering, you know we’ve already had the best of days.

The “Grandsphere” concept previews the electric A8 executive saloon due in 2024. Looks nice, doesn’t it? And long. It’s 17.6ft.

But it’s also stuffed with self-driving tech Audi hopes to put in cars in the second half of this decade.

Here’s a quote from bosses to make your teeth itch: “The Audi Grandsphere transforms from being strictly an automobile into an experience device.” Yep, experience device. And it gets worse . . .

“The drive system and the handling are no longer at the top of the design specifications in this new generation of cars.

“Instead, the starting point is the interior, the occupants’ living and experience sphere while travelling.”

Thankfully, the real A8 will be a proper quattro with electric motors on each axle. It’s a monstrous 710hp and will do 0-62mph in four point something seconds. The 120kWh battery will do 466 miles non-stop.

Next up from Audi’s design team . . . the “urbansphere”. You can guess what that is.

100% recyclable – your Beemer for 2040

HERE’S a car made from 100 per cent recycled materials – and it’s fully recyclable at the end of its life.

BMW reckon we could be driving something similar by 2040.

First thing to note: That’s not gold paint. There is no paint on this small car.

The body is made from secondary aluminium with a light-gold anodised finish to protect it. The badges are lasered on to surfaces to cut down on additional parts. The tyres are natural rubber.

Hop inside and you’ll immediately point at that giant crystal sculpture thingy and ask: “What’s that?”

It is the “brain” of the car and is 3D printed. It uses light and haptic feedback to interact with the driver. 

All the usual infotainment is projected across the full width of the windscreen by head-up display.

The steering wheel is also 3D printed but using wood powder.

Regret buying those pink seats? No matter. Most interior parts are detachable to allow you to restyle your car as you wish. Like redecorating your lounge. Except you can’t have leather. Or chrome.

Other things to note. The car uses “swarm intelligence” to communicate with other cars to avoid traffic jams. Hollywood composer Hans Zimmer provided the electric car sound.

Most significantly, this Beemer uses a solid-state battery, which is the silver bullet for EVs

 Not only are they double the density of lithium-ion, cheaper and faster to charge, they use much less of the most valuable resources and are 100 per cent recyclable.

The takeout from all this is that BMW is serious about sustainability and cutting its carbon footprint.

Bosses have vowed to make ten million EVs and cut CO2 from its cars by half by 2030. Mini will be all-electric by then too.

BMW rolled out two e-bikes at the Munich motor show – one with pedals for cyclists and one twist-and-go version from Motorrad.

The bikes use geofencing technology to automatically recognise location and road type, and adjust top speed accordingly. Cycle tracks are limited to 15mph, city roads 28mph and you can do 37mph outside urban areas – if you have insurance, licence and a helmet.  I’ll go Motorrad, please.


HYUNDAI is going all-in with hydrogen – and I mean ALL-IN.=

It plans to make fuel cell electric vehicles available for “everyone and everything”.

That includes trailer drones, rescue drones, trucks, trams, tractors, excavators – and a sports car.

 The world needs fuel cell tech for large vehicles doing big miles. They refuel in minutes and emit only water.

Hyundai has promised that all commercial vehicles will have a hydrogen version by 2028.

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