There’s a new long-range electric car headed to production soon, and it’s called the Volkswagen ID3. It is the first step in VW’s attempt to move away from the diesel scandal it’s still embroiled in and move into zero-emissions vehicles.
The ID sub-brand will be based on VW’s modular EV platform that it calls MEB. Batteries are positioned in this platform evenly for good weight distribution and low center of gravity. It seats five comfortably.
“The newly developed DNA makes it immediately identifiable as a zero-emission vehicle,” says VW’s design head Klaus Bischoff. While we applaud VW’s efforts, we don’t see anything other than a nice-looking hatchback with no especially distinguishing features that cry out “electric.” Bischoff continues, “The natural style and absolutely intuitive driver experience demonstrate a new electric way of thinking.”
Volkswagen ID3 Range
Three range options are available for the ID3. With 45 kWh the base model has a range of 205 miles. Moving up the middle version jumps to 58 kWh for a 260-mile range. The top range model has a 77 kWh battery pack with a 340-mile range.
The ID3 has a fast-charging capability giving you 180-miles in 30 minutes with a 100 kW charger. A 150-kilowatt electric motor drives the rear wheels with 200 hp and 228 lb-ft of torque.
Wheel sizes correspond with range levels with 18-inch wheels for the base model, 19-inch for the mid-range, and 20-inch wheels available for the top model.
Inside, a 10-inch touch display sits firmly in the middle of the dash, with a small head-up instrument cluster as an option. VW says only the electric windows and hazard lights function with a traditional switch, all other controls are touch-sensitive.
Typical Options For Small Car
Options available include a large panoramic sliding/tilting glass roof, a lane-keeping system with Emergency Assist, a “Beats” sound system and contactless battery charging. There are also different interior color combos including an orange/dark gray/white combo.
VW has hyped the ID3 to the extent it’s been taking pre-orders since May, and is calling this initial offering the “First Edition.” The pre-order phase included extra options with each of the versions to help spike advance sales.
Electric Car Onslaught
We should also point out that the Volkswagen ID3 will only be available in Europe. Supposedly, the US won’t be getting this car. But we will ultimately be getting a slew of MEB-based sedans and crossovers in the very near future. The much-hyped Microbus will also be based on the MEB platform.
VW’s slow rollout of MEB-based vehicles may be more of an effort to assimilate dealers and sales to deal with VW’s EV onslaught.
Prices will range from a bit over $33,000 to $44,000 for the top model First Edition.
So, though the Volkswagen ID3 seems like something we’ve seen since the Leaf, which was introduced almost 10 years ago, and that it won’t make it to the US, it still represents a lot of things to VW; not the least of which will be its move to distance itself from “dieselgate” and everything that it represents.