Volkswagen has ripped the silks off its first mass-market, fully-electric vehicle, the VW ID.3, with an expected starting price below €30,000 ($48,000) in Europe.
The pint-sized electric car is "around the size of a Golf, with the interior space of a Passat and the acceleration of a GTI", and is based the modular MEB architecture that will underpin a large selection of Volkswagen Group electric vehicles in the years ahead.
Unlike the manufacturers integrating electric components into existing platforms, MEB has been designed from the ground up as an EV architecture. As a result, Volkswagen has been able to maximise space and take advantage of the internal efficiency of an electric drivetrain.
Powered by a single motor on the rear axle, the ID.3 has 150kW of power and 310Nm of torque, and a top speed of 160km/h.
The ID.3 will be available in three grades to begin with. Kicking things off is a 45kWh battery offering a driving range of 330km using the WLTP standard, and a starting price of under €30,000 ($48,000).
From there buyers step up to a 58kWh variant with a driving range of 420km, and finally a top-specification model will be available with a 77kWh battery and an impressive 550km of range.
An onboard 100kW DC fast charger will allow 290km of range to be pumped into the battery within around 30 minutes.
Volkswagen opened the European order books for the ID.3 in May, with buyers asked to place a €1000 ($1620) deposit for their choice of three First Edition models configured with the mid-spec 58kWh battery pack.
The base ID.3 First Edition comes with satellite navigation, DAB+ digital radio, heated seats and steering wheel, armrests at the front, a Mode 2 charging cable, and 18-inch alloy wheels.
Stepping up to the ID.3 First Plus nets owners a rear-view camera, adaptive cruise control, and 'Kessy Advanced' keyless access and starting system.
The interior of the ID.3 First Plus also includes a unique seat design, a centre console with two USB-C connections and ambient lighting. Forming part of the exterior equipment list are tinted windows, silver highlights, 19-inch alloy wheels matrix LED headlights, and LED side lights, brake lights, turn indicators and tail-lights.
Finally, the top-specification ID.3 First Max tops the range with an augmented reality (AR) head-up display, a Beats sound system, a large panoramic sliding and tilting glass roof, and 20-inch alloy wheels.
Other standard features at this level including lane-keeping assist, lane-change assistance, wireless high-voltage car charging, and comfort seats.
In addition to moving through the range of battery sizes available, buyers can also configure a wide range of colour options for the exterior and interior to help customise their vehicle and make it their own.
Pricing for Australia is yet to be released, but it's expected to lob at around diesel Golf money, meaning it should be in the mid-high $40,000 range for Australia. The ID.3 is expected to arrive Down Under around 2022.
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