The 2020 Volkswagen ID.3 Aims To Be A 341-Mile Electric People's Car

Photos: VW

The 2020 Volkswagen ID.3 is the first of the German automaker’s upcoming onslaught of electric vehicles. We’ve seen it in concept form before but now it’s at the Frankfurt Motor Show in production spec, as a funky teal hatchback with a WLTP-estimated range of over 340 miles. And it should be a sin that us Americans won’t be getting this electron-powered Golf alternative.

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The ID.3 is the first production electric vehicle based on VW’s new MEB platform architecture, and will go on sale in three variants: a 45 kWh battery pack with an estimated range of around 205 miles (330 kilometers), a 58 kWh pack with an estimated range of around 260 miles (420 kilometers, nice), and the biggest is a 77 kWh pack that offers a max estimate of over 340 miles (550 kilometers,) based on Europe’s WLTP testing cycle.

VW claims the ID.3 is capable of recharging up to 290 kilometers, or about 180 miles, of range in under 30 minutes using a 100 kilowatt fast charger.

Outside, the car looks remarkably like the concept, and thankfully so. While it still has some of the future flourishes and same basic hatchback design of a lot of electric cars, it’s sleek and modern and grounded enough to also just seem like any other car, which could go a long way in helping it sell.

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Inside, the car seats up to five butts legally, gets a digital driver display, a trick pivot drive mode selector mounted to the steering column, a 10-inch center-mounted touchscreen for infotainment, and the playful “pause” and “play” icons on the driver pedals.

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As for driving performance, VW only mentions a 150 kilowatt (or roughly 200 horsepower) motor with 228 lb-ft of torque driving the rear axle of the 58 kWh First Edition model, though it’s likely that powertrain is shared across the ID.3 lineup.

The “First Edition” will be offered in three different trim levels. The basic model gets navigation, heated seats and steering wheel, “front arm rests,” and a “Mode 2” charging cable, which still plugs into a household wall socket but features a protection device that communicates with the car for better charging management.

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The First Edition Plus gets all of that plus a rearview camera, adaptive cruise control, and keyless entry and push-button start (which still reads “Start ENGINE Stop,” despite this car being electric and having a motor, not an engine), dual USB charge ports inside, as well as fancy seats and ambient lighting. There’s also tinted windows, a silver exterior styling pack, and matrix LED headlights, taillights, indicators, and 19-inch wheels.

Finally, the First Edition Max features all of the above plus a heads-up display (which seems moot given the digital driver display can show speed and navigation information concurrently already), a panoramic glass opening sunroof, 20-inch wheels, lane-keep assist, lane-change assist, wireless charging pad (for your devices inside the car), and “comfort seats.”

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Every First Edition model, regardless of trim pack, will be the 58 kWh middle-range battery pack offering approximately 260 miles. While it isn’t clear from the information VW has provided so far, it’s likely most or all of these features will be available as options on the standard ID.3 as well.

This First Edition orange and white interior also just looks incredible:

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The starting price for the regular ID.3 will be €30,000, or just over $33,000 at current currency exchange rates. The First Edition model starts at “under €40,000,” or roughly just over $44,000.

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While we won’t get this specific model in the U.S. we will be getting electric cars based on this platform, likely with similar-sized battery packs and range estimates and hopefully priced around the same, very soon—they’re just going to be sedans and crossovers, and maybe eventually the glorious return of the VW Microbus.

Not gonna lie, I’d go crazy for an EV Microbus with over 300 miles of range.


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