There are a number of trims and specifications to choose from, and with each you’re treated to certain toys and options, but on a mechanical level there are three batteries from which to pick and one electric motor. On the battery front capacities range from 45kW to 58kW and 77kW, while the electric motor produces 204PS (150kW) and 310Nm (229lb ft), with a lower power motor due in the near future. The range varies from under 200 miles to 260 miles and 330 miles respectively.
The first 30,000 ID.3s built worldwide are known as ID.3 First Editions, which is what you see here, and in the UK they all come with the 58kW battery. The batteries, as mentioned previously, are all stored under the car’s floor, but the electric motor and the single-speed gearbox are mounted on the rear axle, making the ID.3, like the Beetle, rear engined and rear-wheel-drive.
Performance is brisk. Zero to 62mph takes 7.3 seconds and the top speed is 99mph, which is more than adequate, with a nice, not-at-all-jarring kick of torque off the line followed by a steadier rate of acceleration once the motor reaches a certain speed.
The gearbox is operated via a rocker switch that’s mounted to the top of the steering wheel along with a 5.3-inch display (more on that soon), and as well as drive, neutral and reverse there’s a ‘B’ mode which ups the level of battery regen from the electric motor, slowing the car down more aggressively if you lift off the accelerator than if you were in ‘D’. There isn’t much to say about the gearbox other than it works.
Start stringing a few bends together and there’s not much roll at all; you can feel the car’s mass is mostly low-down in the chassis, but it is still there (the ID.3 weighs a chunky 1,794kg compared to a 1.5-litre Golf 8’s 1,380kg). Agile? Perhaps not, but controlled certainly. The ride quality is good, and the steering and brakes are calibrated well too. The front tyres, meanwhile, do not cling on for very long in slippy conditions, but to a decent enough job in the dry.
Does the ID.3 feel rear-wheel-drive? For the most part not especially, as when the rear tyres do let go, and they will if you pin your foot to the floor from a standstill in the wet, the traction control is very effective at shutting that slip down. It’s all over before anything really starts.
Move between the car’s drive modes of Eco, Comfort, Sport and Individual, you’ll notice the steering weight up ever so slightly, more regen from the electric motor and, most obviously, a much sharper throttle.