Volkswagen, entering the era of the electric car in a serious fashion. While already having electric versions of its existing product range, such as the e-Up! city car (not sold in Ireland) and e-Golf hatch, VW is aiming to create a whole new electrified sub-brand – rather like BMW’s ‘i’ arm. Volkswagen will sell these cars under the ID moniker and the first to land will be the ID.3, a Golf-sized electric hatchback.
What will its rivals be?
Any C-segment-sized hatchback that’s electric. That does mean some overlap with the Mk7-based Volkswagen e-Golf (although, with the ID.3’s arrival, the e-Golf will not continue into the Mk8), but it will go head-to-head with the world’s best-selling EV, the Nissan Leaf, as well as the smaller Renault Zoe, the Hyundai Ioniq Electric, the Tesla Model 3, one of BMW’s aforementioned EVs in the form of the i3, and also compact electric crossovers like the Hyundai Kona Electric and the Kia e-Niro.
Any tech info?
We know that the ID.3 will sit on the Volkswagen Group’s specially built MEB electric-car platform, which will underpin at least 20 different fully electric models from all of the group’s brands in the near-to-mid-term future. It is said to have a 150kW (200hp) electric motor with 310Nm of torque, with a choice of three different battery sizes: these being (net) 45-, 58- and 77kWh. In turn, they’ll lead to ranges of 330-, 420- and 550km respectively, while charging at anything up to 100-125kW will be possible depending on the battery selected.
What will the range be like?
The ID.3 will not follow the usual Trendline, Comfortline, Highline and R-Line pattern of Volkswagen’s regular range, instead offering a three-tier line-up that begins with the ID.3 1st; this gains voice control and satnav. The ID.3 1st Plus benefits from upgraded IQ Light headlamps and two-tone colour schemes (outside and in), while the ID.3 Max gets a panoramic glass roof and an augmented reality head-up display. A limited-run 1st Edition will be limited to the first 30,000 ID.3s off the production line, and these will come with the 420km mid-sized battery.
They’re huge. Volkswagen itself compares the launch of the ID.3, in terms of importance, to no less than the two biggest cars in its history so far: the Beetle and the Golf itself. With the ongoing shift to electrification in personal transport gaining pace fast, this is one the German company must get right. We have no doubt it will, though, and following the ID.3’s launch then a whole flotilla of ID-branded VWs will start appearing to fill in the numerical gaps in the line-up. It’s an exciting time to be a Volkswagen fan.
Carzone - 04-Sep-2019