Volkswagen ID.3, image courtesy of Volkswagen

Volkswagen Updates The ID.3

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Volkswagen has promised ten new electric models by 2026. Marketing being what it is, an updated version of the ID.3 — the battery-electric hatchback introduced two and half years ago — is the first of those ten new models, the company says. If that’s so, you sure can’t tell by looking at the new car. The visual differences are subtle. Overall the ID.3 2.0 looks a whole lot like the original. But Volkswagen says the good stuff is all on the inside.

In a press release, the company touts a freshened design, higher quality materials, and a next generation driver assist system. In addition to the latest software, the compact electric car comes with enhanced exterior styling and refined interior design. A new exterior color — Dark Olivine Green — has been added and new vegan and sustainable materials are used that will be incorporated soon into the entire lineup of ID. branded electric cars from Volkswagen.

Imelda Labbé, the Volkswagen board member responsible for sales and marketing, says, “With the second generation of the ID.3, we are continuing the success story of our ID. family. The design has matured and the materials in the interior have been significantly upgraded. The new ID.3 demonstrates our clear commitment to quality, design and operability. Also, we have systematically taken on board the wishes of our customers.”

Volkswagen ID.3
Image courtesy of Volkswagen

Volkswagen ID.3 Improvements

With regard to the exterior of the updated ID.3, Volkswagen says the new sharpened design “catches the eye with a fresh and sharpened look. Optimized air cooling openings and large painted surfaces make the front appear confident and friendly from every angle. One reason for this is the new bumper. The bonnet now appears longer because the black strip under the windscreen has been removed and recessed sections at the sides additionally extend the front. VW has optimized the aerodynamics by improved air flow around the front wheels — known as the “air curtain”. At the rear, the two-part tail lights also shine in the rear lid for the first time.”

“In addition, numerous suggestions from customers were collected and implemented as product improvements and to enhance the standard equipment package. Soft, foam-backed surfaces in the cockpit create a new haptic experience. The remodeled interior door trims also have softer and larger surfaces,” according to the company.

Volkswagen claims charging is easier and more convenient with the new ID.3, thanks to standard functions such as Plug & Charge, which allows the car to authenticate itself and start the charging process when the charging cable is plugged in at a charging station. In addition, a new Intelligent Electric Vehicle Route Planner calculates charging stops on longer trips so the destination can be reached as quickly as possible.

The system uses current traffic information and weather forecasts in addition to information about the battery charge level supplied by the battery management system. The charging stops are evaluated dynamically on the basis of the capacity of the individual charging stations. This means the route planning function may suggest two short charging operations with high power instead of a single long charging stop with lower power. In addition, the system detects charging stations that are occupied and does not suggest them in the first place. Points of interest can be transferred to the car using the free We Connect ID. app.

Improved Software

Software has been a challenge for Volkswagen since the ID.3 was first introduced. It’s one of the reasons Herbert Diess was shoved aside in favor of former Porsche CEO Oliver Blum. Volkswagen has been striving tirelessly to improve is software capabilities and it says the new ID.3 comes with the latest software generation which improves system performance and is able to receive over-the-air updates.

Volkswagen ID.3
Image courtesy of Volkswagen

The compact driver display with a screen diagonal of 13.4 centimeters (5.3 inches) is operated on the multifunction steering column. The middle of the console accommodates the now standard 30.5-centimeter (12-inch) touch display for the navigation system, telephone functions, media, assist systems, and vehicle settings. Many customer wishes were also taken into account when designing the menu structure. Among other things, the layout has become clearer, and the charging menu is now located on the first level of the touch display.

The optional augmented reality head-up display projects information such as the vehicle speed and dynamic navigation instructions onto the windscreen. For the driver, this information appears to be 10 meters in front of the vehicle and is  displayed with the correct perspective and is clearly recognizable.

An optional Travel Assist with swarm data is now also available in the ID.3. In combination with the adaptive cruise control for longitudinal vehicle control from 0 km/h up to the top speed and Lane Assist for lateral control, this driver assist system can make use of two proven systems that are fully integrated with one another in the new ID.3. If swarm data is available, Travel Assist needs just one identified road lane marking to keep the vehicle in lane when driving on country roads.

Kai Grünitz, the Volkswagen board member responsible for development, says, “With the new ID.3 we are bringing premium technologies into the compact class  — in line with our Volkswagen goal of successively offering innovations in the whole model range. This is also reflected in the latest generation convenience and assist systems in the ID.3. By using swarm data in the Travel Assist system, we are taking the next step on the path to highly automated driving.”

With the new ID.3, Volkswagen has reached a further milestone on its way to becoming a zero emission, software-based mobility services provider. Since the launch of the ID. family, more than 600,000 ID. models based on the modular electric drive platform have been delivered to customers around the world. The Volkswagen product range now comprises six ID. models. In addition to production in Zwickau and Dresden, the new ID.3 will also be built in the parent plant in Wolfsburg from autumn 2023. For more on Volkswagen’s forward looking plans for the ID.3 and all its electric cars, please watch the video below.

The Takeaway

In the fine print at the bottom of its press release, Volkswagen says power consumption of the ID.3 Pro car is between 16 and 15.3 kWh per 100 kilometers. For the Pro S, power consumption is 15.7 kWh per 100 kilometers. Those numbers indicate the new cars are slightly more efficient that the first generation cars. No pricing information was included in the press release.

UPDATE: We reached out to VW with some follow-up questions, and VW spokesperson Jochen Tekotte responded as follows:

Q: What is the pricing information for the updated ID.3?

We will announce the starting price of the new ID.3 for Germany (and Europe) shortly.

Q: Are there plans to bring the ID.3 to North America?

So far there are no plans to sell the new ID.3 in North America.

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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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