With its Ioniq 6, Hyundai is not the only one coming after the Tesla Model 3 and Polestar 2 as Volkswagen is putting the finishing touches on the Aero B. Unlikely to be its final name, the fully electric saloon (or is it a liftback?) has been a long time coming. We initially saw it as the ID. Vizzion concept four years ago at the Geneva Motor Show before the ID Space Vizzion was introduced in 2019 as a more practical estate.
A couple of months ago, VW teased a closer-to-production concept that was supposed to debut at the 2022 Beijing Motor Show. However, the event was postponed indefinitely due to a resurgence in coronavirus cases. It's unclear when the evolved concept car will break cover, but in the meantime, our spies have caught a prototype with the full production body.
2023 Volkswagen Aero B new spy photos
Because the layers of camouflage are white to match the body, the test vehicle looks a bit weird. VW is being sneaky in more ways than one considering those "taillights" are actually stickers to mimic the Jetta’s rear lights. Proving that Germans do have a sense of humour, the electric prototype has dual "exhausts," which are nothing but silver tape on the rear skirt.
VW tried to mask the headlight design by using another set of Jetta-inspired stickers and even copied the compact saloon's front grille. The black foil on the bumper is there to mimic the air intakes of the petrol-fuelled saloon. A look at the side profile reveals door handles inherited from the ID.4 and ID.5 as well as China's larger three-row ID.6 SUV. The front fender is missing what will be a badge to denote the trim level.
Overall, the ID Aero is giving us the impression of a lower-riding ID.5, which should pay dividends in terms of efficiency by having a lower drag coefficient. We'll remind you the coupe-SUV has a Cd of 0.26, which is substantially higher than that of its MEB-based sibling, the Skoda Enyaq iV Coupe (0.23). Just like all the other models riding on the dedicated electric car platform, the prototype seen here has rear drum brakes.
VW has said it will kick off deliveries of the EV in the second half of 2023, initially in China. One day, we could see the Aero B replacing the traditional Passat in the company's lineup. In fact, the ICE-powered midsize saloon has been discontinued globally, except in China where it's locally produced.
VW has confirmed a next-gen Passat but reports point out it will be an estate-only affair. Spy shots are same the same thing since prototypes have only been spotted in Variant guise. If an ICE saloon is not planned, the Aero B will already serve as the replacement for the three-box Passat.