Sales of the pivotal Volkswagen ID 3 have begun in Germany and other European countries today (17 June), with order books for the special First Edition in the UK set top open next month. Deliveries are due to begin in the UK in September.
There had been reports the hugely important electric hatch, the first model released on the Volkswagen Group’s bespoke electric MEB platform, was facing delays to the impact of the coronavirus and a number of software issues with the car. But the model has now gon on sale in Germany as planned, initially limited to those customers who placed a refundable deposit ahead of its launch. In the UK, pricing for the ID3 First Edition is set to start from just under £39,000.
The late stages of the ID 3’s development has been hit by well-publicised software issues, and the early cars delivered to customers in September will be without a number of software features, including the augmented reality functions for the car’s augmented reality head-up display and some of the App Connect features. A free software update wil be offered once the systems are available, while early buyers can also choose to delay receipt of their ID 3 until the systems are fully ready.
Speaking about the decision to launch the car before the full software system was available Silke Bagschi, VW’s e-mobility sales chief, said: “The software is not yet up to VW standards that we want to give to customers, but we wanted to give them the option of having the car and enjoying the driving experience of it as much as we are. And we will upgrade all the software when it’s ready.”
The electric hatchback will eventually be offered with three battery capacities and two power outputs, but it will be launched with just a special First Edition model. This will use the mid-size ‘Pro’ 58kWh battery for a claimed range of 260 miles. It will offer 201bhp driven through the rear wheels, 229lb ft of torque and a top speed of 99mph. The car can be charged through a 100kW DC connection or a 11kW AC system.
The mid-size Pro battery will eventually be offered with two power outputs, with a lower 143bhp version that will be aorund two seconds slower to reach 0-62mph.
The 45kWh Pure battery will be offered with outputs of 125bhp and 148bhp, while the largest 77kWh Pro S battery will use the 201bhp motor. Because of the extra weight of the battery, the Pro S model will only be offered with a four-seat layout.
In Germany, the ID 3 First will be offered in three trim levels: basic, Plus and Max – although only the mid-level version will intially be offered in the UK.
The ID 3 First cars offered in the UK will feature 19-inch alloy wheels, 30-colour ambient lighting, heated seat and steering wheel, and matrix LED front and LED rear headlights. The First models will featre an Exterior Style Silver pack featuring a silver roofline and grey sills and bumpers.