The loudest fanfare is expected for the production-ready version of VW’s new electric champion, the ID.3. This is the German giant’s take on what a purely battery-powered Golf-class car should be like, an electric car “for everyone” in its words, with an entry price promised to start under €30,000 (currently £27,200). At launch, a fully loaded 1st Edition model is likely to cost substantially more than that.
The ID.3, like the rest of VW’s coming new family of electric ID models, is underpinned by the MEB platform and as a result, says VW, comes without some traditional compromises.
The batteries-under-the-floor layout maximises interior space while a choice between three battery sizes (45, 58 and 77 kWh) means buyers can choose the amount of electric-car range they need. The top 77 kWh battery offers a range of up to 342 miles, with a battery top-up sufficient for 180 miles taking 30 minutes – at a high power 100 kW charging point that is. VW says it will be guaranteeing the capacity of the batteries for eight years or 100,000 miles.
Today’s teaser pic of a car still wearing its colourful disguise shows a mainstream looking compact family hatch with smooth nose, signature VW headlights, raked back screen and thin pillars. It is rear-wheel-drive and its electric motor is rated at 204PS (201bhp), so mid-way between what a petrol Golf GTI and a diesel Golf GTD offers. Both those cars can crack 0-62mph in around six and a half seconds, which might give a guide to the ID.3’s performance – in the unlikely event that it can match or better their sub 1.4 tonne kerb weights, that is.
For VW, the five-door in VW’s ID-badged electric car family is not just a new model but represents a “realignment of the brand”, the company’s third watershed moment after the Beetle and the Golf. Also on show in Frankfurt will be other ID concepts which VW is promising will follow in “rapid succession” after the ID.3’s market launch. That is due mid 2020 after production cranks up from later this year.