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Frankfurt show: VW ID.3 electrifies sales

35,000 orders and counting for ID.3 as Volkswagen ramps up for EV domination

Volkswagen logo10 Sep 2019

VOLKSWAGEN’S game-changing ID.3 electric hatchback has proved a sales hit even before its public debut at this week’s Frankfurt motor show, with the German company confirming it has already hit its target of 35,000 pre-orders.

 

The ID.3 is spiritual successor to the VW Beetle and Golf, hence the ‘3’ tag that represents the third generation of cars from VW.

 

It is just the first car in an ID family of vehicles that are expected to be built in the millions over the next decade as VW sets itself to become the biggest EV producer in the world.

 

The five-seat ID.3 will go into production in the middle of next year, with initial deliveries going to Europe before expanding into China and North America.

 

Australians will have to cool their heels if they want one. As GoAuto has reported, the ID.3 and other EVs from Volkswagen have been pushed back to 2022 at the earliest for this market due to the lack of incentives and other support from governments for such eco-friendly vehicles here.

 

When it arrives, the ID.3 is expected to sell for about $45,000 in base guise – a little less than the price of a Golf GTI.

 

The Golf-sized ID.3 is the first vehicle to be built on the modular MEB electric vehicle platform that will spawn many of the almost 70 EVs to be launched by the VW Group across several brands by 2028.

 

Unlike the Golf, the ID.3 is rear-wheel drive, with a rear axle electric motor powered by lithium-ion batteries sandwiched in the floor.

 

The layout has allowed the designers to stretch the wheelbase to 2765mm – 145mm longer than that of the Golf and as long as some large cars.

 

Even though the ID.3 is just 3mm longer and 10mm wider than the Golf, the longer wheelbase has liberated extra space in the cabin, making the ID.3 the new benchmark in spaciousness in the small-car class.

 

The designers have kept the layout as simple as possible, with most functions such as the audio system and air control operated via the freestanding 10-inch dash-mounted screen or by steering wheel buttons or voice control.

 

The speedo and other functions are displayed on a small digital pod mounted on the steering column, but buyers can order an advanced head-up display.

 

The no-fuss interior design echoes the exterior which is largely devoid of styling flourishes. The lines are clean and straight, close to the styling of the original concept that was shown at the 2016 Paris motor show.

 

VW head of design Klaus Bischoff said his designers wanted to make the ID look like a futuristic electric vehicle.

 

“The natural style and absolutely intuitive driver experience demonstrate a new, electric way of thinking,” he said.

 

The ID.3 will be available with three battery sizes – 45kWh for a range of 330km, 58kWh for 420km range and flagship 77kWh for 550km under Europe’s WLTP test regime.

 

Initially, only the mid-range 58kWh version will be available in a special launch edition in Europe. This will have a 150kW motor with 310Nm of torque. Acceleration times have not been disclosed, but VW says it will have a top speed of 160km/h.

 

The 45kWh ID.3 will come with a 50kW charging capability as standard, with 100kW optional. The mid-range 58kW version gets 100kW charging, while the range-topper gets 125kW.

 

VW says 30 minutes of charging at 100kW adds 290km of range.

 

The batteries will be covered by an eight-year, 160,000km warranty in Europe.

 

On top of the three powertrain choices, the ID.3 will come in three specification levels – ID.3, ID.3 Plus and ID.3 Max.

 

In the launch edition, the base car gets sat-nav, DAB+ digital radio, seat heating and steering wheel heating, armrests at the front, a Mode 2 charging cable and 18-inch light-alloy wheels.

 

The Plus adds a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, keyless access/start, better seats, a centre console with two USB-C connections, and ambient lighting.

 

The top-of-the-range Max includes an augmented reality (AR) head-up display, Beats sound system, panorama sliding/tilting glass roof, 20-inch wheels, lane-keeping system, lane-change system, cordless phone charging and luxury seats.

 

Two wallbox chargers will be available.

 

The ID.3 will be built at VW’s Zwickau plant in Germany, with company executives saying production will be carbon neutral. Ultimately, the plant will bang out 330,000 EVs a year, with the ID.3 being joined on the production by the ID Crozz SUV and other variations on the theme such as the Buzz and Vizzion.

 

The VW Group splurge on EVs this year includes the second-generation e-Up, the Porsche Taycan and Audi E-tron.


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