Frankfurt Motor Show: Volkswagen I.D 3 Makes Its Global Debut

Daniel Fowler
September 10, 2019

While alternatively-fuelled vehicles from Volkswagen have been fairly conservative in their approach, there's no chance of mistaking the ID.3 for any other auto in the range.

It's by no means a secret.

At the Frankfurt Motor Show, Volkswagen offered its first tease of its next ID electric vehicle.

Now, however, potential buyers will get their first look at the production version and learn a lot more about what it has to offer, starting with the "scalable" electric drive system that, the automaker claims, will offer as much as 550 kilometers, or almost miles, of range, depending upon which of the optional battery packs a customer chooses.

The adjacent videos are showing not only the regular ID.3, but also the upscale limited-run launch edition for which VW has already received 30,000 preorders. This follows the launches of pure battery-electric models from fellow Volkswagen Group stablemates, the Audi e-tron and the recently launched Porsche Taycan. All told, it is investing about 11 billion euros, or $12.1 billion in the effort, part of its "goTOzero" strategy.

"The ID.3 is an all-rounder that is suitable for everyday use", says Silke Bagschik, head of sales and marketing for a planned ID family. A distinct design characteristic of the ID 3 is a honeycomb pattern on the D-pillars. The German automaker notes that LED lighting is the new chrome, so hope you like all the LEDs. The brand has made clear though, that they do not see it as the task of ID.3 to be a pioneer in driving assistants, with other brands in the Group taking up this gauntlet.

The entry price for the ID.3 (45 kWh) is under Euro 30,000, while the limited launch edition, dubbed the ID.3 1 (with the 58 kWh battery) is priced at just under Euro 40,000.

VW chief executive Herbert Diess unveiled the new model known as ID.3 saying

The twin steps - both heavy with symbolism - reflect the high stakes involved in Volkswagen's ambitions to become the world's electric-car leader just four years after the diesel-cheating scandal plunged it into the worst crisis in its history. The fact that there have been so many initial hand-raisers suggests VW may be onto something. These figures are as per the WLTP cycle that is used for range testing in Europe.

The Volkswagen ID 3 will enter production later this year but will not be sold in the U.S. Crucially, the company says the ID.3 can fast-charge approximately 180 miles worth of juice in under 30 minutes.

For the first generation of buyers, Volkswagen is offering free charging for a year at WeCharge network stations throughout Europe. The batteries have been positioned at the floor, between the front and rear wheels, keeping the centre of gravity low and having optimum weight distribution. The company has not yet revealed specific torque or horsepower numbers, nor performance figures.

The layout has allowed the designers to stretch the wheelbase to 2765mm - 145mm longer than that of the Golf and as long as some large cars. There will be 13 cubic feet of storage space behind the second-row seats.

The ID.3 1st will be offered in three fixed configurations that are geared towards typical customer preferences.

The ID.3 uses 10-inch touchscreen to control a variety of vehicle functions. There's also an optional, augmented-reality, or AR, head-up display system. Volkswagen claims that the ID's interface accepts natural-language voice commands-with "Hello ID" the activation words here. Drivers or front passengers can speak to the ID.3, simply by saying "hello ID". The only hard buttons in the ID 3 are the window switches and four-way flashers.

Volkswagen has unveiled a new brand identity ahead of the Frankfurt motor show 2019.

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