The significance of the ID.3 cannot be underplayed. The arrival of this new electric Volkswagen signifies not just the launch of a new model, but a whole new family – in this case, pure-electric cars, on an all-new platform. That platform is called the modular electric drive matrix or MEB, for short. It has been designed with one goal in mind: to emphatically bring e-mobility to the masses. This is not just a new car, but a new era for Volkswagen.
Back in September 2016 the Volkswagen I.D. concept was revealed at the Paris Motor Show, where the company announced ambitious plans to introduce its first electric vehicle on an all-new electric vehicle platform in 2020. Now, in September 2020, the first customers across Europe have driven away from retailers in the production version of that concept, the ID.3 1ST Edition.
The ID.3 1ST Edition was announced in May 2019. It was teased in a striking pink and blue camouflage livery. This coincided with the debut of the ID.3 name. The number ‘3’ is significant because not only does it position the model in the compact segment, but it also signposts the beginning of the third major chapter in the history of Volkswagen, following the Beetle and ongoing success of the Golf.
On the same day in May 2019, Volkswagen announced that it was offering pre-booking for the first time. With immediate effect potential European customers could register for an early production slot and pay a deposit of €1,000 or £750. This would secure them one of 30,000 build slots for the exclusive ID.3 1ST Edition. Within 24 hours over 10,000 people had placed a deposit across Europe, and the unprecedented spike in traffic to the UK website caused it to temporarily crash.
When pre-booking opened three versions of the ID.3 1ST Edition were announced: the ID.3 1ST, ID.3 1ST Plus and ID.3 1ST Max. However, all UK cars are in Plus specification. The Max model in other market gains a handful of other items: 20-inch wheels, panoramic sunroof and an augmented reality head-up display. These features will be available on series ID.3 models in the UK at a later date.
The ID.3 went on to have its world premiere at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2019, by which point 30,000 reservations for the 1ST Edition had been placed.
UK pre-bookers were able to specify their interior and exterior colour for their cars this year in July, and place their firm orders when the price was confirmed as £35,880 (including the Government plug-in car grant.) The first cars arrived at UK ports in early September, and the first deliveries to customers began on 18 September as part of a Grand Handover event.
Customers who collected their ID.3 during September are part of the ‘First Movers Club’. This means they are among the first people in Europe to collect an 1ST Edition. As part of this group, their cars will benefit from a software flash early next year – carried out by a retailer – in order to have functional Wireless App Connect as part of an update. In the meantime, mobile devices can still be connected via a USB-C port or Bluetooth. Some 1ST Edition customers opted to wait to collect the car with the final software, and will therefore take delivery of their ID.3 in December.
Those First Movers who opted to lease the car through Lease&Care were also able to take advantage of the ‘three months on us’ offer where Volkswagen provides credit equivalent to the first three payments on their lease.
The ID.3 is designed to be simple to operate and introduces several new features designed to aid the driver. Almost all functions are operable by touch controls or via the “Hello ID.” intelligent voice control. With voice control it is possible to use natural language to control infotainment and climate functions.
Driving the ID.3 1ST Edition is designed to be easy. As the car is approached with the key, it will automatically unlock. Then as soon as the driver sits behind the wheel the vehicle activates both the infotainment and air conditioning systems. The moment the brake pedal is pressed, the ignition is switched on. From that point the driving mode selector needs only twisting around to ‘D’ and the car is ready to go. When the destination is reached, the driver simply presses the ‘P’ button to engage the parking brake, then they are able to step out of the vehicle. As this happens, the ID.3 will detect the movement and switch off the ignition. The vehicle can be locked with the key, or by touching the exterior door handle.
Below are some of the key technical features that are standard on the ID.3 1ST Edition:
Full ID.3 highlights can be found in the main press pack.
The new ID.3 1ST Edition arrives in the UK with a single five-door hatchback body style and fixed specification. Only interior and exterior colour can be specified by the customer, although a wide range of accessories are available too.
The ID.3 can be distinguished by unique 1ST badging on the front wings, steering wheel and dashboard, and it additionally features the distinctive ‘Play & Pause’ design pedals. 1ST Edition buyers also receive 2,000 kWh of free charging up to £500 with We Charge.
An impressive array of equipment is standard on the 1ST Edition, which includes: ID. Light, Natural Voice Control; Adaptive Cruise Control; Lane Assist; Discover Pro navigation with 10-inch screen; IQ. Light matrix LED headlights; keyless entry and start; ambient lighting with 30 colours; wireless smartphone charging; heated front seats and steering wheel; parking sensors; rear view camera; and 19-inch ‘Andoya’ wheels.
For more information, the ID.3 1ST Edition price list can be found in the documents section here.
The ID.3 1ST Edition is based on the Pro Performance variant. This variant has a 58 kWh (net capacity) battery, which supports a range of up to 260 miles with a full charge (WLTP, combined electric range). The electric drive motor delivers an output of 150 kW (204 PS) and 310 Nm of torque. This will carry the ID.3 1ST Edition from rest to 62 mph in 7.3 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 99 mph.
The 1ST Edition is capable of rapid charging, with a 100 kW DC charger being able to add up to 180 miles of range in 30 minutes. AC charging is possible up to 11 kW on 3-phase and 7.2 kW on 1-phase.
Sitting as it does on the all-new MEB platform, the ID.3 sports a low centre of gravity that naturally helps to deliver the car’s dynamic handling. The rear-wheel drive set-up and packaging of the ID.3 create ideal prerequisites for what some might see as surprisingly sporty driving characteristics. The vehicle’s high-voltage battery is located between the axles at the lowest point of the car, and regardless of trim variant the ID.3’s weight distribution front to rear is very close to the ideal 50:50 split.
There’s a McPherson front axle and a complex five-link design at the rear. In spite of the large wheels, which of course require corresponding space in the wheel housings, the ID.3 has a nimble, city-friendly turning circle of just 10.2 metres.
The main ID.3 press pack has more information about the battery pack construction and MEB platform the car is built on.
| ||ID.3 1ST Edition|
|Battery capacity||58 kWh
|Max power||150 kW, 204 PS
|Max torque||310 Nm
|Max speed||99 mph|
|Acceleration, (0-62 mph)||7.3 sec
|Energy consumption (combined)
||3.96 mi/kWh (WLTP)|
||260 miles (WLTP)|
|Width (exc. door mirrors)
|Boot volume||385 litres|