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Volkswagen Unveils its ID.3, the Electric Car That Will Take On Tesla

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【Summary】On the evening before the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt yesterday, guests got the first detailed look at the new electric ID.3 hatchback, which represents a new era for the VW brand. The ID 3 is the first of many electric models VW plans to introduce and represents the automaker’s multi-billion dollar push to electrify its lineup.

FutureCar Staff    Sep 10, 2019 7:00 PM PT
Volkswagen Unveils its ID.3, the Electric Car That Will Take On Tesla

For several years, German automaker Volkswagen has been releasing details about its ID 3, the automaker's first mass-market fully-electric car. The ID 3 is the first of many electric models VW plans to introduce and represents the automaker's multi-billion dollar push to electrify its lineup.

On the evening before the International Motor Show (IAA) in Frankfurt yesterday, guests got the first detailed look at the new electric ID.3 hatchback, which represents a new era for the VW brand. The ID 3 even gets a redesigned logo, the first logo redesign since the year 2000.

In an appearance on German ZDF program "Maybrit Illner", Volkswagen CEO Herbert Diess said Vokswagen "will have electric vehicles just as good as a Tesla but only half the price by 2020."

"The ID.3 marks the start of a major e-mobility campaign for the Volkswagen brand," says Volkswagen Group CEO Herbert Diess. "In around ten years almost half of the Group's cars in Europe and China will be electric. No other established manufacturer is pursuing this course as rigorously as we are."

Volkswagen referred to the ID.3 as the "third major chapter" in its 82-year history, behind the launch of the Beetle and Golf.

"The ID.3 is an all-rounder that is suitable for everyday use. It is compact, as such offering the manoeuvrability of a small car with the interior space of a mid-range vehicle. It combines exciting design with innovative technology and significant range," said Silke Bagschik, Head of Sales and Marketing for the ID. family, in a statement.

The ID.3 is the first model from the ID lineup of electric models. The ID series features carbon-neutrality, the impressive driving dynamics that are characteristic of electric cars, and full connectivity. Like all future ID. models, the ID.3 is based on VW's modular MEB architecture, the platform VW's plans to build up to 10 million electric vehicles on.

The interior of the ID.3 is also revolutionary for a compact vehicle. The long wheelbase of the MEB layout, results in an expansive vehicle interior. With the battery pack mounted low in the floor, VW engineers were able to make the interior larger than a similar sized combustion engine vehicle. VW says the bigger interior sets new standards in the compact class.

"With the ID.3, Volkswagen is heading towards the future," explains Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen brand, going on to emphasise: "The natural style and absolutely intuitive driver experience demonstrate a new, electric way of thinking."

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The ID.3 on display at the Frankfurt International Motor Show.

An entirely newly designed display elements and controls ensure that every driver will intuitively find their way in the ID.3. Apart from the display in the cockpit, a newly developed, centrally positioned, ten-inch touch display provides drivers with all key information, similar to the touchscreen being used by Tesla. 

All controls, including those on the electrically adjustable multifunction steering wheel, are operated using touch functions featuring touch-sensitive buttons. Only the electric windows and hazard warning lights are still operated using mechanical switches. 

The ID.3 Will Come in Three Versions

The ID.3 will be available with three battery size options. The base model has a usable energy content of 45 kWh and enables an electrically powered range of up to 330 kilometres (205 miles) based on the WLTP. 

The entry price for this ID.3 version is under €30,000 ($33,130), which is lower that the Tesla Model S and Chevy Bolt.

Volkswagen will also offer a long range ID.3 with a 58 kW battery pack, which enables the ID.3 to achieve a range of up to 260 miles  per the WLTP. The bigger 77 kWh battery option allows for a range of up to 342 miles. 

The ID.3 also gets fast charging capability, it is possible to charge the ID.3 sufficiently for a range of around 180 miles in about 30 minutes, using a DC charger with an output of 100 kW.

The batteries themselves are integrated into the vehicle's floor. This provides better handling and driving dynamics according to VW, as it moves the center of gravity lower. To further improve driving characteristics, the ID.3 was engineered with optimum weight distribution between front axle and rear axle.

Volkswagen started taking deposits in May from European customers for the limited launch ID.3 1st edition, allowing customers to place a non-binding reservation for one of the first 1,000 ID.3's built. This fall, those who have pre-booked can advance their orders by entering the order phase with their respective dealership, and configuring their preferred version of the ID.3 1st.

The first edition has a 58 kWh battery which is driven by an electric motor at the rear axle. It generates 150 kW and delivers a maximum torque of 229 ft lbs and a maximum speed of 160 km/h (99 mph). The ID.3 1st is priced at under €40,000 ($44,186).

The basic version of the ID.3 1st includes some of the most popular features with customers, including a navigation system, digital radio, seat heating and steering wheel heating, armrests, a Mode 2 charging cable and 18-inch light-alloy wheels.

The ID.3 1st Plus features a rear view camera system, adaptive cruise control and a keyless access locking and starting system. 

The exterior Style package includes matrix LED headlights, matrix side lights, brake lights, turn indicators and tail light clusters as well as 19-inch light-alloy wheels.

The top-of-the-line ID.3 includes an augmented reality (AR) head-up display, Beats audio system, a panorama sliding/tilting glass roof and 20-inch light-alloy wheels. 

Although the ID will not make it to North America for a few more years, it is poised to become a serious competitor for the Tesla Model 3 when its released in Europe next year and China shortly afterwards.

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