Volkswagen ID.3 changes the game, gives us hope for small Audi EV

We’ve known for some time now that Audi will be building a small, electric hatchback based on the VW Group’s new MEB all-electric architecture. However, prior to that, the first car to be built on the MEB platform is the Volkswagen ID.3, which has just been revealed ahead of its official debut at the 2019 Frankfurt Motor Show. And it just changed the game.

If someone asks the question “What car do I buy?”, no matter what their requirements are, the answer can almost always be “Volkswagen Golf”. That’s because it’s essentially faultless as a car. It’s small, it’s simple, it’s practical, it’s fun and it’s cheap. And the folks in Wolfsburg seem to be taking that same approach with the Volkswagen ID.3.

Based on that MEB platform, the ID.3 is a bit longer, wider and taller than a Golf. Its wheelbase is also considerably longer, as its floor mounted battery pack requires its wheels to be stretched out to the corners of the body and its lack of engine or transmission allows it. So it’s a bit bigger than the Golf and also has a ton of extra interior/cargo space.

The Volkswagen ID.3 will only come with one electric motor, at the rear axle. So it will be rear-wheel drive only, which is awesome, with no all-wheel drive, dual-motor option available. However, future models with different body styles will have the option to power all four wheels.

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It looks great, too. It has a very distinct “Golf” look but with a bit more futuristic, high-tech flair. Its proportions are just right, though, and it looks like an EV for the people. So, it’s the Golf of electric vehicles, ironically enough.

On the inside, it’s simple, minimalist and high-tech looking. While it’s not the first EV to try and offer a minimalist, techy approach on the inside, Volkswagen seems to have done it better than the rest. It’s simple and honest without being too spartan. The tech looks great and easy to use and everything seems to be ergonomic. But it’s also stylish and quirky enough to feel fun

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The battery pack in the center of the car will come in three flavors; 45kWh, 58kWh or 77kWh. Those battery sizes will provide 205, 260 and 341 miles of range, respectively, according to the European WLTP. It will also come with two different power levels, which is interesting. The standard model will get 148 hp and the sportier model will get 201 hp. There’s also going to be a 100 kW charging option, which is said to add 161 miles of range in just 30 minutes.

Unfortunately, the Volkswagen ID.3 won’t be coming to the United States, which is disappointing. Especially when you learn that it will start at €30,000 in Germany, which is only about $33,000 USD. And that’s before any sort of tax incentives. So it will be affordable, fun and entirely electric.

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Better yet, it will show what’s to come from Audi’s upcoming electric model. We know Audi will be creating an electric hatchback based on the Volkswagen ID.3 and it should be similar but a bit more premium on the inside. It might also look a bit better. Though, we expect the battery and power levels to be the same. Still, it’s very exciting and we can’t wait to see what the ID.3 is actually like when it hits the road.

Nico DeMattia

I've been in love with cars since I was a kid, specifically German cars. Now I get to drive them talk about them on the internet.