Volkswagen ID 3 preview: This is VW's future

Frankfurt's International Auto Show

Arguably one of the most important new vehicles in recent years, the ID.3 is the first model of a completely new generation of pure electric vehicles.

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.

"With the ID.3, Volkswagen is heading towards the future", said VW head of design Klaus Bischoffin a statement. It's about the size of a VW Golf, and the base model will sell for around €30,000.

The new VW ID.3 will be the first dedicated electric vehicle that enters series-production, as well as the first model built on the new modular MEB platform that's designed specifically for electric vehicles. The batteries themselves are integrated into the underbody for optimum driving dynamics and weight between the front axle and rear axle.

Inside, Volkswagen's new design language continues with an open, airy cabin with plenty of stretch-out space for passengers. There's also a natural-voice control system which is awakened with the command "Hello ID".

Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess seized the opportunity at the German motor show to make an impact with the full unveil of the ID3 which to date had only been seen in red and blue camouflage wraps - along with a refreshed clean logo that the carmaker says represents a "new holistic global brand experience".

BMW is relying on the mix of vehicles to comply with tighter C02 emissions requirements in Europe while competitor Volkswagen is making a big push into battery-only cars with its ID.3 coming to market next year despite now low uptake by consumers of battery-powered cars.

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Volkswagen says it's already taken 30,000 reservations from across Europe for the ID.3, with customers in the United Kingdom able to place a refundable £750 deposit with dealers. This will have a 150kW motor with 310Nm of torque.

Top speed for 45kWh and 58kWh versions is locked at 160kmph.

Even before the official debut, the VW ID.3 has set off a flurry of interest, however, with the German automaker reporting that it has already taken advance orders for all 30,000 of the First Edition models it will launch with. The mid-range 58kW version gets 100kW charging, while the range-topper gets 125kW. The ID.3 1ST, the launch special model with medium battery and 420 km range can work with 100 kW charging power.

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

In the launch edition, the base auto 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 ID.3 1 Plus additionally features a rear view camera system, ACC Adaptive Cruise Control and the Kessy Advanced keyless access locking and starting system.

Two wallbox chargers will be available. The basic ID.3 1st features navigation, a DAB radio, heated seats and steering wheel, front armrests, a Mode 2 charging cable and 18-inch alloy wheels. 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.

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