The people’s electric car is here – Volkswagen ID.3 with up to 550 km of range

After amassing more than 30,000 reservations, Volkswagen has finally unveiled the ID.3 at the Frankfurt Motor Show as the first car under the ID. range of electrified vehicles.

Just as the brand name suggests, Volkswagen is building the ID.3 as “an electric car for the masses.” We have previously reported on the unusual name choice for the ID.3, but it is worthy to reiterate the importance of the number “3” to Volkswagen.

This is the third big chapter after the Käfer (Beetle) and Golf; both becoming the class-leading vehicles suitable for the people.

Powered by a permanent-magnet synchronous motor, the ID.3 drives 201 hp and 310 Nm of torque to the rear wheels. The ID.3 will be offered in 3 battery sizes: 45 kWh, 58 kWh and 77 kWh, offering a claimed 330 km, 420 km and 550 km of range respectively on the WLTP cycle. All battery variants can achieve a top speed of 160 km/h. However, the 1ST edition ID.3s will only be equipped with the mid-range 58 kWh variant. 

Volkswagen is providing a 8-year or 160,000 km warranty for the battery pack for added peace of mind ownership. Owners of the first ID.3 1st will also enjoy one year of free charging at WeCharge charging stations of up to 2,000 kWh, including ones from Volkswagen’s joint venture Ionity, amounting to more than 100,000 charging points across Europe.

Under ideal circumstances, the ID.3 can recharge up to a range of 290 km in just 30 minutes.

The ID.3 is the first car to utilize Volkswagen’s modular electric drive matrix (MEB), a scalable platform designed specically for the ID. models. One main benefit of the newly developed platform is the packaging of the vehicle, offering one of the largest interior space in its class.

While being only 3mm longer than the Golf, its wheelbase stretches over 145mm longer than its sibling at 2,765 mm, which is just 21mm shy of the higher segment Passat.

Weight distribution is also one of the key talking points of the new MEB platform. With the batteries arranged neatly on the floor, electrical drivetrain on the rear axle, and auxilary units (such as the air-conditioning and steering rack) at the front, the ID.3’s ideal weight distribution and low centre of gravity should make the car feel pretty nimble on the road.

Styling wise, the ID.3 remains largely unchanged from the concept show car. The short overhang allowed by the fully electric platform gives the car a strong presence with the longer wheelbase.

Volkswagen also utilised LED lighting in many of their design elements to give the ID.3 a futuristic look. Without the need of heavy cooling, the ID.3’s small front and aerodynamic rear spoiler gives it a sleek design that manages a 0.267 drag coefficient.

Volkswagen calls their new interior design language “Open Space”; providing a livable airy space thanks to the elongated wheelbase and centre tunnel delete.

Contradicting the technology-packed drivetrain, Volkswagen chose to utilise organically-shaped surfaces and soft curves to emphasise the airiness of the cabin.

The ID.3 also utilises LED lighting strips in the interior, called ID. light, to provide helpful visual cues such as braking prompts in dangerous situations during navigation. 

The main focus on the dashboard will be the centrally positioned 10-inch infotainment display, which will house all the important parameters of the vehicle during operation.

All control surfaces, including those on the multifunction steering wheel, are operated by touch-sensitive buttons; only the hazard warning lights and window switches are still operated using regular tactile switches. Complementing the touch-centric controls is the natural voice control responding to “Hello ID.”.

At launch, the Volkswagen ID.3 will be available in 3 different variants. The basic ID.3 1st will include navigation system, DAB+ digital radio, seat and steering wheel heating, a Type 2 charging port and 18-inch wheels. 

The ID.3 1st Plus adds rear view camera system, adaptive cruise control, and keyless entry and access. On the inside, the ID.3 1st Plus comes with design seats and centre console featuring two USB-C connections and ambient lighting, while the exterior gets a Style package in silver – consisting of matrix LED headlights, matrix side lights, brake lights, turn indicators and tail light clusters as well as 19-inch light-alloy wheels.

Top-of-the-range ID.3 1st Max also includes an augmented reality (AR) heads-up display, Beats sound system, wireless charging for your mobile phone, comfort seats, a large panaromic sliding roof, as well as 20-inch wheels. The Max will also include advanced driving assistance such as Lane Keeping Assist with Emergency Assist and Lane Change system.

Starting at just below €30,000, Volkswagen claims that the ID.3 is their first carbon-neutral vehicle model, with all elements of manufacture and distribution powered by renewable energy sources or compensated by certified climate projects.

The ID.3 will be produced at the Zwickwau plant in Germany, which is set to produce 330,000 electric cars annually starting from 2021.


Volkswagen ID.3


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