Volkswagen reveals electric ID.3, its most important car since the Beetle
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After months of build-up, Volkswagen's fully electric ID.3 hatchback was unveiled overnight at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
While it isn't the first EV to come from the German manufacturer, it is the brand's first dedicated electric vehicle. Designed to have a low cost of entry, the ID.3 sits at the apex of both the aimed transition to electrified cars as well as Volkswagen's hopes of relinquishing its 'Dieselgate' demons.
Volkswagen has detailed three different battery packages for the ID.3; an entry level 45kWh (capable of 330km of range from a full charge), a 58kWh (capable of 420km), and a top-spec 77kWh (capable of 550km).
Models that come with a 45kWh battery will be capable of being charged at a 50kW rate as standard, with 100kW charging an option. Beefier 58kWh models will have 100kW charging as standard, with Volkswagen claiming that 30 minutes of charge will be good for 250km of range. Range-topping 77kWh models will be able to charged at 125kW.
Your choice of battery will be mated to an electric motor that sits between the ID.3's rear wheels. It is available either with 110kW or 150kW of power depending on the standing of model that's chosen. Both models have an identical torque figure; 310Nm. Top speed sits at 160km/h.
In terms of size, think of the ID.3 as being almost identical to the Golf but with plenty of added smarts. Volkswagen have done plenty of work to optimize the EV's packaging, making it quite impressive on paper while simultaneously defying how EVs and hybrids of the past have had to make compromises on space.
Length and width is almost identical between the current Golf and the ID.3, but the latter features a 2765mm wheelbase — 145mm longer than that of the Golf. This allows for increased interior space although it appears to not have come at the cost of boot space, which is a solid 380L.
Speaking of, the interior comes with plenty of futuristic features (coupled with an undoubtedly futuristic design). Perhaps the biggest development is the 10-inch infotainment screen, which comes with Tesla-esque over-the-air update capabilities.
Like in a Tesla (particularly a Model 3), there are almost no buttons to speak of save for the window switches and warning lights. Everything else is a touch panel, including the functions on the steering wheel.
An augmented reality heads-up display will also be available in range-topping models, alongside lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control tech.
The ID.3 hasn't yet been confirmed for the New Zealand market, but if it does manage to swing our way expect pricing to start somewhere in the middle of where the Golf is priced.
Volkswagen Passenger New Zealand’s general manager, Greg Leet, has stated that discussing the ID.3 and its potential for New Zealand is "on top of my list".
“The ID.3 is continually in discussion,” Leet said.
In Europe, ID.3 pricing is set to start at under €30,000 (NZ$51,580) — with Volkswagen still to confirm exact figures. But that hasn't stopped over 30,000 people from pre-ordering one.
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