VW unveils new logo, affordable e-cars in show of new era

Volkswagen unveils the ID.3, its new mass-market electric vehicle

New VW ID.3 Wants To Become The Golf Of Electric Vehicles (Live Photos)

Despite being a compact auto, the ID 3's roof features the largest glass panorama sliding and tilting roof in the automaker's lineup.

The ID.3 isn't now slated for the American market, but a compact SUV based on it that's preliminarily called the ID Crozz is scheduled to go on sale in the U.S.in 2020, followed by a rebooted Microbus a couple of years later.

Australians will have to cool their heels if they want one.

In case you're still unsure how invested Volkswagen is in MEB, these words from the July 2019 announcement that VW will also supply Ford with MEB technology should put any doubts to rest: "Volkswagen ID is the start of the largest electric offensive in the automotive industry" - fighting words, and especially worrying for Elon Musk, whose Tesla Model 3 will come under direct fire from the ID3.

Although UK prices are yet to be confirmed, Volkswagen says it'll start at less than €30,000 (around £26,000) in Germany. It also plans to produce up to 15 million vehicles that consist of more than 20 different models on the first-generation MEB platform.

The batteries are located below the car's load floor, as is the ID.3's single permanent magnet synchronous motor - which drives the rear axle through a single-speed gearbox.

Even though the ID.3 is just 3mm longer and 10mm wider than the Golf, the longer wheelbase has liberated extra space in the cabin, making the ID.3 the new benchmark in spaciousness in the small-car class.

All controls, including those on the multifunction steering wheel, are operated using touch functions. The lines are clean and straight, close to the styling of the original concept that was shown at the 2016 Paris motor show.

Beyond electrification, the ID platform is also fully connected and future-proofed for autonomous driving: "Absolutely", said Stackmann.

The ID.3's batteries are integrated into the underbody in order to optimise space utilisation and lower the centre of gravity, and at launch the electric hatch will be available with three battery options. This will have a 150kW motor with 310Nm of torque. The sold-out special edition ID.3 1ST with the medium battery was available from 40.000 euros. The mid-range 58kW version gets 100kW charging, while the range-topper gets 125kW. Fast charging means it can charge 180 miles in 30 minutes.

The batteries will be covered by an eight-year, 160,000km warranty in Europe. The front of the ID 3 features a friendly face that's nearly smiling.

In the launch edition, the base vehicle gets sat-nav, DAB+ digital radio, seat heating and steering wheel heating, armrests at the front, a Mode 2 charging cable and 18-inch light-alloy wheels. There will be smartphone connectivity on offer too with the help of the ID.3 app. 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.

Two wallbox chargers will be available. Ultimately, the plant will bang out 330,000 EVs a year, with the ID.3 being joined on the production by the ID Crozz SUV and other variations on the theme such as the Buzz and Vizzion.

Dutch police officer kills himself and two children
Nationwide injunction against Trump's asylum rule reinstated