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Volkswagen ID 3 Electric Car First Look Review: Forbidden EV Fruit

First VW of a new era isn’t coming to North America

First VW of a new era isn’t coming to North America

Volkswagen has revealed its first in a wave of new electric vehicles to reach the market in the coming years. The Volkswagen ID 3 debuted today at the Frankfurt Motor Show, marking the beginning of the brand’s plans to make more than 10 million EVs over the next 10 years.

The hatchback is the first vehicle to sit on Volkswagen’s new MEB platform for electric vehicles both small and large. The rest of the ID family will join, including a sedan, van, and a crossover previewed by the ID Crozz concept. A production version of this crossover will be the first ID model to make its way to North America, as the ID 3 is not destined for our shores.

The four-door hatchback embodies the futuristic look of the original ID concept, and it features similar exterior dimensions to the Golf. It’s about as long as a Golf but has shorter overhangs and a long wheelbase, which should allow for a spacious interior. Here, you’ll find a 10-inch touchscreen is the focus; touch points take the place of physical buttons inside this simple cabin. The driver or front passenger can say “hello ID” to activate the voice command system. When activated, interior lighting signals to whom the car is responding. Other features on tap include a large panoramic glass roof, Beats sound system, and augmented reality head-up display that visually positions information about 10-33 feet ahead of the vehicle.

The motor, power electronics, and gearbox create a compact unit, with power routed to the rear axle. The battery, which sits in the underbody to save space, will be available in three different sizes. The basic model has a 45 kilowatt-hour battery and a range of 205 miles (330 km) on the European cycle, as well as a top speed of 99 mph (159 km/h). The mid-range variant, which VW says will be the most popular, has a 58-kWh battery. It makes 201 hp and can travel 261 miles (420 km), with a 99-mph (159-km/h) top speed. The largest battery variant is a 77-kWh unit with a range of 342 miles (550 km). Available is 100 kW DC charging that can add 180 miles (290 km) of range within 30 minutes on the mid-level model.

As VW dives deep into electrification, it’s helping to establish a charging infrastructure across Europe. It’s working to install 400 ultra-fast charging stations across major European routes by 2020 through its joint venture Ionity. Buyers of a special edition model get free charging for one year up to 2,000 kWh across stations linked to WeCharge, amounting to more than 100,000 charging stations.

Volkswagen didn’t reveal exact pricing information, but it says the basic model will start under 30,000 euros before state subsidies. It arrives in Germany in mid-2020.

Source: Volkswagen