► Volkswagen's ID.3 prices from £26k
► 3 name leaves space above and below
► Size of a Golf, interior space of Passat
This is the new VW ID.3 electric car, the first of a new generation of bespoke Volkswagen EVs scheduled for series production, and therefore the first of the brand’s new ID series. What does ID stand for? Ignore dieselgate? Not quite; instead we're told it stands for 'intelligent design, identity and visionary technologies.'
It doesn’t really matter either way, but what is important is just how big VW thinks the ID brand will be; it’s calling the ID.3 the third major chapter after the Beetle and the Golf. That's a big claim.
Read on for everything we know about the new Volkswagen ID.3 electric car, from its likely battery capacities and range to UK prices. The order books have opened today and VW is already taking refundable £750 deposits for its landmark battery car, which will start from 'under €30,000 in Germany' - or £26,000 in sterling.
So what's the ID.3 then?
VW hasn’t revealed too much about the new car, but the hatch displayed at the ID brand’s launch in concept guise was the size of a Golf mixed with the interior space of a Passat – a crucial advantage of electric propulsion. We’re looking at a close-to-production spec of that car now, and we're expecting it in showrooms in 2020 after a full reveal in autumn 2019 at the Frankfurt motor show.
Volkswagen is promising a choice of electric battery ranges in its ID.3, judged on the latest WLTP driving cycle:
- 48kWh battery 205-mile range
- 55kWh battery 261-mile range
- 62kWh battery 342-mile range
Prices for the electric VW ID.3 EV
Jürgen Stackmann, VW board member for sales, marketing and aftersales, said: 'For the ID.3, the starting price of the standard model in Germany will be under €30,000 [£25,800], as promised. The special edition will cost less than €40,000 [£34,400] in Germany. At these prices, the car is also economically viable. The purchasing costs are slightly higher than those of a combustion vehicle, but the e-vehicle is considerably more economical in terms of maintenance, for example about 30 percent in terms of maintenance. This means electric mobility is becoming available to the masses.'
He went on to explain the 3 name. 'We are starting from the centre, the Volkswagen brand’s core, in which the majority of the models and sales volume can be found,’ added Stackmann. 'The number 3 also signals expandability into the segments above and below it. We have a lot in the pipeline. The brand is willing to become the number one brand globally by 2025, with more than 20 purely electrically driven models and more than a million vehicles sold annually, all of which being both networked and emission-free.’
VW ID.3 in detail
Although the car shown today is wearing a stripy livery amounting to a disguise, it's our best look yet at the first of a new family of electric VWs. Note the long wheelbase and really short overhangs - designed to give the hatchback maximum interior space for minimum exterior footprint (one of the useful packaging benefits of an EV architecture). Those wheels are huge 20-inch items, designed to balance the height of the car - this is considerably taller than a Golf.
This is a five-door hatchback with a markedly different vibe from the evergreen Golf, once all that silly disguise and masking is removed. Note, for instance, the full-width light bar at the front end - it looks like the VW badge itself could even be illuminated for markets where this isn't illegal (like China).
Anyone pre-ordering a Volkswagen ID.3 will bag a launch edition model with special features, as well as the promise of 'free charging of up to 2000kWh electricity for the first year.'
The launch model is badge VW ID.3 1st and comes in regular, Plus or Max trims - progressively adding cleverer lights, bi-colour design and clever features such as an augmented reality head-up display and large panoramic sunroof. Talk of AR is pertinent - digital innovation is rife inside, and the interior is a step change from current Volkswagen cabins, according to those who've seen inside the electric car.
Electric Volkswagens: what’s next?
You can read more about VW’s ongoing plans for EV domination, here.
We'll update this story when we know more.
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Future electric cars: upcoming EVs to look out for