Volkswagen premieres its first pure EV, the ID.3
We have seen Volkswagen roll out a string of future-focused concepts as part of its ID family, but it has now taken to the Frankfurt Motor Show to give the lineup’s first production vehicle a full premiere. The ID.3 will arrive in three battery variants and shoulder a lot of the German automaker’s electric ambitions as it gears up for a zero-emissions offensive.
Volkswagen gave us a decent look at the ID.3 and opened up preorders for the all-electric hatchback in May. Shown off with a pretty wild pink and blue paint job, it revealed the ID.3 would be available with three battery options covering 330 km, 420 km and 550 km (205 mi, 260 mi and 340 mi) of range on the WLTP cycle.
We now know that comes courtesy of 45 kWh, 58 kWh and 77 kWh battery packs built into the underbody. The first to reach customers will be the limited launch edition, mid-tier 58 kWh ID.3 IST model that VW started pre-booking in May. Its battery powers an electric motor mounted at the rear axle to spin up 150 kW and 310 Nm of torque, pushing the car to a maximum speed of 160 km/h (100 mph).
Charging rates will vary, but all models will support fast 100 kW charging which VW says will provide 290 km (180 mi) of range within 30 minutes of plugin time. It is unclear if this will come as standard on higher end models, or how much extra it might cost.
VW has introduced electrified versions of existing internal combustion engine vehicles in the past, such as the e-Golf and e-Up, but the ID.3 is the first built for electric propulsion from the ground up. It is based on VW’s MEB architecture consisting of a skateboard chassis with a lithium-ion battery slotted neatly into the floor, which it plans to use as a foundation for its forthcoming generation of electric vehicles.
In this case, VW says the long wheelbase of the MEB platform and short overhangs have allowed for an extra roomy cabin, where the five seats are joined by a central 10-inch touch display with integrated voice control. The top-end ID.3 IST Max will also feature an augmented reality display, Beats sound system and panoramic sliding glass roof.
VW hopes to use the MEB platform and ID family to really make some inroads in the electric vehicle space, with plans to bring “almost 70 new electric cars onto the market by 2028," according to CEO Herbert Diess. Other concepts set for production include the van-based ID. Buzz, the sedan-based ID. Vizzion and the SUV-based ID. Crozz.
The ID.3 is billed as an everyday car and as the first cab off the rank, will be a hugely important model for VW as it tries to move on from the infamous diesel-gate scandal of 2015. All 30,000 of the mid-tier, launch edition ID.3 IST’s have been snapped up at under €40,000 (US$44,200) a pop, while the base model will be priced at under €30,000 ($33,000). It appears the ID.3 will be limited to a European release for now, with no word just yet on pricing for the top-of-the-line ID.3 1st Max.