Truth, or Fake News? VW Claims ID.3 EV Will Be As Historically Important As Beetle, Golf
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.
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