When Volkswagen launched the original Beetle back in the late 1930s as a car for the masses, it effectively started a revolution in the automotive industry. Now, more 80 years down the line, the Wolfsburg automaker is taking the electric revolution head on with its ID.3.

Revealed in its final production-ready form ahead of the International Motor Show in Frankfurt, ID.3 is the first model in Volkswagen’s upcoming lineup of a completely new generation of all-electric vehicles based on the modular MEB platform. It also heralds a realignment of the Volkswagen brand, being the first model to bear the new Volkswagen logo.

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In keeping with its positioning as an electric car for the masses, Volkswagen has kept the ID.3’s styling relatively restrained giving it a traditional five-door hatchback silhouette. “With the ID.3, Volkswagen is heading towards the future,” says Klaus Bischoff, Head of Design of the Volkswagen brand. “The natural style and absolutely intuitive driver experience demonstrate a new, electric way of thinking,” he says.

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However, the interior looks more interesting and looks quite roomy thanks to the long wheelbase of the MEB layout combined with very short overhangs. VW claims the newly designed digital display elements and controls will help drivers intuitively find their way through the interface. Then there’s the ID. light LED strip that assists drivers and prompts them to take actions such as braking in the event of an impending collision.

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At series production launch, the ID.3 will be available with three battery size options, with all the batteries integrated into the underbody. The basic version will have 45 kWh of usable energy and enables a full-electric range of up to 330 kilometres, while a second battery variant with 58 kW enables the ID.3 to achieve a range of up to 420 kilometres. The third, and largest battery is good for 77 kWh, and improves the ID.3’s electric range to 550 kilometres.  Featuring fast charging capability, the ID.3’s battery can be charged sufficiently for a range of around 290 kilometres within 30 minutes, when using a charging output of 100 kW.

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Volkswagen started pre-booking for ID.3 1st – the limited launch edition – in May of this year. This lets interested buyers in Europe to place a non-binding reservation in respect of a production slot for the ID.3 1st for €1,000. The first edition – the ID.3 1st – has a 58 kWh battery which is driven by an electric motor at the rear axle. It generates 150 kW and delivers a maximum torque of 310 newton metres, facilitating a maximum speed of 160 kph. The ID.3 1st is priced at under €40,000 (Dh162,000).

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