Oh, my goodness! Is it time for an updated Volkswagen ID.3 already? It seems like only yesterday I was in Zwickau to witness the start of serial production for the car, where I met Angela Merkel. (Actually, I was in the same room with Angela Merkel, along with several hundred other people. Does that count?)
This week, Volkswagen announced it will officially introduce the next generation of the ID.3 electric hatchback built on the company’s modular and scalable MEB platform. As part of that announcement, it also shared several design sketches that hint at what the undated car will look like. To my eye, the new styling is evolutionary rather than revolutionary. It’s a bit more modern looking and quite appealing. Below are the current car and the new car back to back. What do you think?
Not that much difference, really. The front end appears to be a little more laid back, no doubt to improve aerodynamic efficiency, and the character line along the top of the doors looks a bit more aggressive. In a press release, Volkswagen says it will expand production of the ID.3 to include the company’s primary factory in Wolfsburg.
“The new ID.3 demonstrates our commitment to quality, design and sustainability. The design has matured, and we’ve upgraded the materials used in the interior,” says Volkswagen board member Imelda Labbé. She adds that in coming up with the revamped version, the development team considered a broad range of suggestions from customers in order to improve the product and enhance the standard equipment package. “The needs of our customers are always front and center for us. That’s why we listen carefully and focus on gearing our product portfolio to their requirements.”
The new ID.3 is equipped with the latest software generation, which improves system performance and is able to receive over-the-air updates. In addition, the standard equipment package now includes a 12-inch touchscreen, a removable luggage compartment floor, and a center console with two cupholders.
Functions such as Plug & Charge and the intelligent Electric Vehicle Route Planner will make the charging experience in the new ID.3 more convenient. Volkswagen is using the latest generation of fully integrated assist systems in the ID.3. Travel Assist with Swarm Data and the Park Assist Plus with Memory Function will be available options.
“Part of our mission at Volkswagen is to offer state of the art technologies and innovations across all models, including compact vehicles, and the ID.3 exemplifies this — for example when it comes to new convenience and assist systems. We are taking the next step forward on the way to highly automated driving with the use of swarm data in the latest Travel Assist,” explains board member Kai Grünitz.
German customers can order the pre-configured Life, Business, Style, Max, and Tour models from December 1st. The online configurator has more information about prices and equipment options. The starting price of the ID.3 Life is €43,995 (including VAT and before subtracting the environmental bonus, where applicable). Due to the high order volume, customers who place their order now are expected to receive their new ID.3 from the fourth quarter of 2023 onwards.
That last part requires some explaining. “Due to the current supply situation for semiconductors and the existing order backlog, Volkswagen estimates that the ID.3 Pro models Life, Business, Style, Max and the ID.3 Pro S model Tour will not be delivered to customers before the fourth quarter of 2023. Based on current planning, production of the enhanced version of the ID.3 will have begun by this time.
“This means that the vehicle delivered will not be that shown by the configurator or on the contract at the time the customer places their order. Instead, customers will receive the enhanced ID.3 model. The vehicle may differ from the order scope, but any such differences will be to the customer’s benefit with the following exceptions — ID. steering wheels were previously trimmed with leather. This will be replaced by a high quality leather substitute. Due to the enhancement of the design as described above, the WLTP consumption and range figures for the vehicles may differ from the currently stated figures by up to 2 percent.”
Volkswagen and all other German manufacturers are struggling with high energy prices that threaten to significantly increase the cost of manufacturing batteries, cars, and other durable goods. In addition, it is in deep trouble with its software development program that threatens to delay important new models from Porsche and Audi.
One can only wonder why Volkswagen refuses to make the ID.3 available in America. It sells it in all other world markets, including China. Maybe Americans are gaga for trucks and SUVs, but surely some US buyers would like a battery-powered, 5-door car that can carry a tuba once in a while?
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