VW is currently holding its traditional pre-show event at Frankfurt Motor Show, where the German car maker will debut its new models and concepts. Among them is perhaps the most significant model of the company since the original Beetle and it’s no other than the electric ID.3.
The new VW ID.3 will be the first dedicated electric vehicle that enters series-production, as well as the first model built on the new modular MEB platform that’s designed specifically for electric vehicles.
VW’s core electric model will be offered in three battery configurations; a base 45kWh version that offers 205 miles (330km) of range, a mid-level 58kWh version that can cover 261 miles (420km) and a range-topping 77kWh model that will offer 342 miles (550km) out of a full charge.
Power is provided by a rear-mounted 201 HP electric motor driving the rear axle with the latter two battery packs. Base models get a 147 HP electric motor but in both cases, torque is rated the same, at 229 lb-ft (310 Nm).
Thanks to its clever and efficient packaging, the new VW ID.3 offers almost the same footprint as the current Golf but features a 145mm-longer wheelbase at 2,765mm. Luggage capacity is rated at 380lt.
The really long wheelbase allowed VW to rethink the interior of the new ID.3, which claims to be the new golden standard in the compact class. The dashboard is also futuristic, packing a newly developed 10-inch touchscreen display that runs VW’s new infotainment system that supports over-the-air updates, alongside a digital instrument cluster.
All controls are now operated by touch panels -even the ones on the steering wheel- with VW leaving only the electric windows and hazard warning lights being operated by traditional buttons. There’s also a natural-voice control system which is awakened with the command “Hello ID”.
The base 45 kWh model will be capable of charging at a rate of 50kW as standard, with VW offering 100kW as an option. The mid-level 58kWh ID.3 will be compatible with 100kW of charging capacity as standard, promising that 30 minutes on the plug will be enough for 155 miles (250km) of driving range. Range-topping variants will be able to charge at 125 kW.
VW is accepting pre-orders for the ID.3 1st limited launch edition since May and so far, it has received over 30,000 expressions of interest. 1st Edition models will be offered with the mid-level 58kWh battery pack only and will feature a navigation system, a DAB+ digital radio, seat heating and steering wheel heating, armrests at the front, a Mode 2 charging cable and 18-inch light-alloy wheels as standard.
Customers wishing for more will be able to choose between the 1st Plus and the 1st Max models; the 1st Plus adds a rear view camera system, ACC Adaptive Cruise Control and the Kessy Advanced keyless access locking and starting system, as well as design seats, a centre console with two USB-C connections and ambient lighting, matrix LED headlights, matrix side lights, brake lights, turn indicators and tail light clusters as well as 19-inch light-alloy wheels.
Finally, the range-topping VW ID.3 1st Max will include the new, augmented reality (AR) head-up display, a Beats sound system, a large panorama sliding/tilting glass roof as well as 20-inch light-alloy wheels.
VW has still not revealed the full technical details of the ID.3, which we imagine will be released in the coming days. The German car maker repeated its promise for a base price of less than 30,000 euros in Germany. Production will start at the end of 2019, with the first customer deliveries expected in early 2020.