New VW logo unveiled

Volkswagen presents the new Volkswagen ID.3 electric car at the 2019 IAA Frankfurt Auto Show

Revealed at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show, the ID.3 is a hatchback from Volkswagen that will spearhead the company's shift towards making cars that are carbon-neutral.

The claims are bullish: VW says this is its third "most important" launch ever, alongside the original Beetle and Volkswagen Golf.

The layout has allowed the designers to stretch the wheelbase to 2765mm - 145mm longer than that of the Golf and as long as some large cars.

The result was the Transform 2025+ plan, under which several models were scrapped and extra focus was put on expanding VW's SUV range.

"The ID.3 is an all-rounder that is suitable for everyday use", says Silke Bagschik, head of sales and marketing for a planned ID family. Designed from the scratch as an electric vehicle, there's no need for a front grille - so there isn't one.

· A 77 kWh pack with a range of 550 km, or 342 miles, range. It can be charged up to a 180-mile capability within half an hour, charging at a 100kW output.

VW's core electric model will be offered in three battery configurations; a base 45kWh version that offers 205 miles (330km) of range, a mid-level 58kWh version that can cover 261 miles (420km) and a range-topping 77kWh model that will offer 342 miles (550km) out of a full charge. All range ratings are converted from kilometers and calculated on the European WLTP system. Interestingly, it is rear-wheel drive: AWD versions come later.

The vehicle was launched at this week's Frankfurt Motor Show, where the marquee also lifted the covers on another of their upcoming electric models. Production of the vehicle, through the supply chain and the battery, is totally carbon neutral.

A BMW M electric sports actions car stands at the 2019 IAA Frankfurt Auto Present
A BMW M electric sports actions car stands at the 2019 IAA Frankfurt Auto Present

Unveiled ahead of this week's Frankfurt motor show, the ID.3 will be priced from less than €30,000 in Europe, or a bit more than $48,000. As with much of what's coming out of the VW Group right now, very little is controlled with buttons.

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.

Inside, Volkswagen's new design language continues with an open, airy cabin with plenty of stretch-out space for passengers. Termed "New Volkswagen", the design revamp goes far beyond a new logo, according to.

"It is compact, as such offering the maneuverability of a small auto with the interior space of a mid-range vehicle. It combines exciting design with innovative technology and significant range". The top-end first edition cars are available from £35,000.

The twin steps - both heavy with symbolism - reflect the high stakes involved in Volkswagen's ambitions to become the world's electric-car leader just four years after the diesel-cheating scandal plunged it into the worst crisis in its history.

On the features front, VW has packed in goodies like satellite navigation system, heated front seats and steering wheel, rear-view camera system, adaptive cruise control, keyless entry and starting system, and ambient lighting.

Called the ID.3, this is the first EV by Volkswagen to utilise the company's modular MEB (modular electric toolkit) platform. The 1ST model will include a year of charging, for up to 2,000 kwh, on the Ionity network of DC fast chargers, which is best compared to Electrify America. What it isn't, is beholden to ICE tropes. It is still clearly recognisable as a VW, but also much more modern and a bit more futuristic - but not so much that it alienates.

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