VW ID.3 spotted during hot weather tests in South Africa [Update]

Update – ElectricVehicleWeb follower Kevin Gewalt from Germany shared two images of the VW ID.3 presumably on pre-production test runs. Undoubtedly one of the features that engineers will be testing is the software functionality as the chase is on to get at least the basic version right in time for deliveries this German summer.

Volkswagen will be launching its first fully electric vehicle in the ID series (based on the MEB platform) in the form of the VW ID.3 in mid-2020 and the car has been caught testing in South Africa. Our follower Ray Leathern took pictures of the car driving on the roads that lead to the Kalahari, the testing ground for manufacturers around the world where they find out if new vehicles can cope with extreme heat, humidity and dust.

The ID.3 will be offered in three battery packs. Customers can choose from 45 kWh, 58 kWh or 77 kWh, offering a range of 320 km, 420 km and 550 km respectively. Volkswagen will be launching a special edition called the ID.3 1st, based on the 58 kWh battery version and will be available in limited units. The battery supports fast charging and can be charged to cover 290 km in just 30 minutes with a 100 kW DC fast charger. The 150 kW electric motor is mounted on the rear axle and puts out 310 Nm of torque, making the ID.3 1st touch a top speed of 160 km/h.

To be offered in three configurations – Basic, Plus and Max, the ID.3 1st (official video below) will get a navigation system, heated seats and steering wheel, front armrests, 18-inch alloy wheels and Mode 2 charging cable for the Basic version. The Plus version gets matrix LED headlights, LED sidelights, brake lights, turn indicators and taillight clusters, ambient lighting, 19-inch light-alloy wheels, Adaptive Cruise Control, Kessy Advanced keyless access locking and starting system, rear view camera system and design seats.

The ID.3 1st Max gets panorama sliding/tilting glass roof, 20-inch light-alloy wheels, augmented reality (AR) head-up display, the Beats sound system, lane change system, lane-keeping system with Emergency Assist and comfort seats.

The mass production of the ID.3 started in November 2019 at the German factory in Zwickau but the deliveries are delayed due to incomplete an software structure. When the fix is ready, Volkswagen will be manually updating over 20,000 units of ID.3 of which 1,500 units have been allocated to the UK. While the delay was expected to push the launch to August, it is unclear where the revised timeline stands today. Volkswagen has however promised that cars will be delivered to customers this summer in Germany.

VW ID.3 Features

Augmented Reality Head-Up Display – Volkswagen has released a series of new videos that showcase several features of the ID.3. First of the videos show the car’s Augmented Reality head-up display (HUD), which projects the traffic information and navigation information on the windshield ahead of the driver. There’s a Lane Assist System, which comes as standard, that alerts the driver when the car goes past 60 km/h and drifts from its lane. Optional Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) comes equipped with predictive cruise control to maintain the allowed maximum speed and keeps permissible distance from the car in front.

Cockpit – The second video shows the cockpit of ID.3 that is a new design. The dashboard has been designed mostly free of physical buttons and almost every feature can be controlled by touch sensitive controls and voice control. The steering control has capacitive buttons for smooth operation and the gear selector is located behind the steering wheel, planted to the instrument cluster. A flip of the shifter is enough to get the car moving.

ID.Light – Lastly comes the lighting technology. The ID.3 has the new matrix headlights that light up as the driver approaches the car. Once inside, the Hello.ID intelligent voice control can be used to activate or adjust the climate control, offer directions or operate the music player.

VW ID.3 will be less expensive than internal combustion models

According to Thomas Ulbrich from the Management of the Volkswagen brand responsible for E-Mobility, the Volkswagen ID.3 will be less expensive in both acquisition cost and operation cost than comparable internal combustion models. Mr Ulbrich has said that with the ID.3, the electric car will finally be affordable and the game-changing product will be introduced during the German summer of 2020, as announced. Volkswagen will be delivering 30,000 units of ID.3 model in the 1st Edition avatar to customers across Europe this summer.

After the environmental bonus deduction, the basic version of the ID.3 with a travel range of 330 km costs less than €23,430 in Germany and customers will be able to save about €840 per year on operating expenses.

Head of Sales and Marketing, e-mobility Product Line of Volkswagen, Silke Bagschick opines that there cannot be any more argument of price against the electric car and believes that EVs will be more affordable even without subsidies in the future.

VW ID.3 & India-bound VW ID.4 at the core of Volkswagen’s electric car revolution

The Volkswagen Group will be investing in excess of 33 billion Euros up to 2024 into its electric vehicle project and out of this, 11 billion Euros will be invested by the Volkswagen brand as it intends to become the global leader in e-mobility. While deliveries of the ID.3 will start in the summer, Volkswagen will premiere the ID.4 as well and start production of the second I.D. car by the end of 2020. The ID.4, with a travel range of up to 500 km/charge, which will also be manufactured in USA and China, is confirmed for the Indian market where it is expected to launch in the second half of 2021. The VW brand has set an ambitious target of ramping up production to 1.5 million electric cars per year globally by 2025.