By on May 8, 2019

Months before its planned debut at Germany’s International Motor Show, Volkswagen has announced the first model of its ID electric sub-brand — the ID.3 — and wants the world to know it’s already accepting pre-orders. While the U.S. is unlikely to see the model for some time, if ever, the vehicle provides a glimpse into VW’s much-touted electrification strategy.

Volkswagen’s corporate release claims the ID.3’s MSRP starts below 30,000 euros (about $33,500 USD), with a “1st special edition” beginning at 40,000 euros (roughly $44,750 USD). Pretty steep for a people’s car. 

While the name and premium price tag are both uncomfortably reminiscent of BMW’s i3, many expected the company to attempt to keep the car’s MSRP as close as possible to the similarly sized Golf. However, industrial realities made securing batteries harder than anticipated — leaving buyers to rely on tax credits to help the purchase make more sense.

The name isn’t a direct ripoff of BMW. Volkswagen said the ID.3 title allows room for the company to slot in smaller vehicles using alphanumeric monikers. That also means that all of those wacky concept names (Crozz, Roomzz, Vizzion, etc) Volkswagen used to tease the ID fleet will be tossed in the waste bin come production time.

So modern. So boring. But less likely to make you cringe.

VW expects to deliver 100,000 ID.3 models by the end of 2020, with 110,000 units anticipated for the following year. While battery sizes are unknown, the manufacturer says three will be available — boasting 330, 420, or 550 kilometers of estimated range on the WLTP cycle. Charging times, while unconfirmed, are said to be enviable.

Meanwhile, the 1st edition will be limited to just 30,000 examples spread across 29 countries. It features the mid-sized battery pack, larger wheels, more equipment (e.g. voice control and navigation), a glass roof, and a two-tone paint job with a matching interior.

While trims equipped with the larger batteries could receive a larger electric drive motor (powering the back wheels), Volkswagen said customers would likely have to wait for an all-wheel drive variant if they want added performance. Unfortunately, the ID.3’s full specs probably won’t be announced until September and are unlikely to encompass anything other than the base motor.

The manufacturer doesn’t want people to get bogged down by numbers right now. Instead, VW hopes to help the public see the ID.3 as the start of the “third major chapter in the history of the brand’s success.” The company even compares it directly to the Beetle and Golf in terms of overall importance.

“With the ID.3, we are starting from the centre, the Volkswagen brand’s core, in which the majority of the models and sales volume can be found. The number 3 also signals expandability into the segments above and below it. We have a lot in the pipeline,” said VW board member Jürgen Stackmann.

Overall trim options for the ID.3 are expected to be quite limited versus something like a standard Golf. VW previously said this is to help minimize costs and ensure the company can get the car to more people as quickly as possible.

[Images: Volkswagen]

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20 Comments on “Truth, or Fake News? VW Claims ID.3 EV Will Be As Historically Important As Beetle, Golf...”

  • avatar

    It’s not an answer we’ll know for another 20 to 30 years. I think they’re also forgetting how important the Jetta has been for them.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s fake news. Just overzealous Hype instigated by the dieselgate scandal lies and coverup.

      Physics, Electrical Engineering and prohibitive cost limit how much technology can be incorporated into a BEV. Best cutting-edge example is the Leaf.

  • avatar

    Our propensity for doing things how we’ve always done them is our disease…in this we have another form of treatment for that damnation… but will consumers say yes without the novelty of a Tesla?

  • avatar

    It signifies the ascension of a new dark age in Europe. That’s fairly significant.

  • avatar

    Someone forgot to turn off the zebra curvature analysis.

  • avatar
    SCE to AUX

    Yes, it’s hard to build an EV in volume and for a profit.

    • 0 avatar

      What’s even harder is the mass behavioral modification required to get the American buying public to actually lay out hard-earned money for limited-range EV transportation, in a world where gas pump infrastructure is the reality and EV Charging stations the crack pipe, or wet dream, depending on where you live.

      • 0 avatar


        Your house has electric service, right?

        Your house the charging infrastructure, at least for people with stable commutes (who really are both the majority and the target market for EVs/PHEVs).

        • 0 avatar

          Luke42, I’m kinda like living out my RV these days, parked adjacent to the house in the desert we used to live in, where my oldest son, his ex-wife and their 13-yo twins live now.

          But I got your gist. At 17.3-cents per KWh, and the nearest town 26 miles north, and El Paso, TX, ~120 miles south, I won’t be buying a pure BEV anytime soon though.

          There are a number of Hybrids in use in this area. Each was brought here from out-of-state, mostly CA, NY, NJ and CT when the owners cashed out in their former home state and moved to my area.

  • avatar

    It’s the price, stupid… Not gonna happen.

    • 0 avatar
      SCE to AUX

      I predicted such high prices. The cheap long-range EV isn’t possible yet, as Tesla’s very public struggles have shown.

      Wait till people see the price of the EV Bus. It’ll be over $60k, and people will whine that hippies can’t afford it like the 1960s.

      • 0 avatar

        If this one were to be sold in the US, it would be something like $27,000, based on the current e-Golf pricing. I have a hard time believing that a bus version, built on the same platform and much smaller than, say, an Odyssey, would be double the cost.

      • 0 avatar

        Real hippies couldn’t afford a new VW Bus in the 60s either, and surfer kids couldn’t afford VW Things in the 70s either, and high-school girls couldn’t afford to buy their own new white Rabbit Convertible in the 80s or white Jetta sedan in the 90s either. As always, a kid driving a new car is cruising on his parents’ money.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s 10% more expensive than a TDI, assuming no government rebates. Not so much more, and diesels will be banned in many cities in the next 5-10 years.

      And it’s almost 20% less expensive than the e-Golf.

  • avatar
    daniel g.

    a vw the size of a vw suran (look in Argentina) at a price similar to a tesla without specifying performance, batteries, charging time … I do not understand what can fail.

  • avatar

    History repeats itself…second time as a farce.

  • avatar
    R Henry

    “While battery sizes are unknown… Charging times, while unconfirmed, are said to be enviable.”

    VW thinks they can just allude to great things…and expect us all to believe it unflinchingly? Who does VW think they are…Elon Musk?

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