2020 sees the launch of Volkswagen’s first specially designed electric car, the ID.3 – supposedly because it is expected to usher in a third successful era, after that of the original Beetle and Golf. Here are six things you should know …

This is not a golf course

Yes, it may look a bit like a Golf, and be about the same size as the Golf, but it is definitely not a Golf.

While the eighth generation Volkswagen Golf will continue with gasoline, diesel and mild hybrid versions, it will not be available as an electric vehicle. That’s where the ID3 comes in. Thanks to better packaging associated with battery-powered electric vehicles, the ID3 benefits from a more spacious cabin, a larger trunk (385 liters) and a better turning radius (10.2 m), it could therefore prove to be both cleaner and more practical than a Golf.

It’s a giant excuse for dieselgate

Five years ago, Volkswagen had to pay billions of euros in fines for programming its diesel engines to cheat rolling-road emissions tests. This corporate cluster bomb became known as “ dieselgate ” and had the unintended consequence of killing the very type of fuel it was trying to promote, speeding up the shift to electric vehicles. The ID Concept won over journalists at the 2016 Paris Motor Show and the Volkswagen group has since presented the production version and announced that it is investing 33 billion euros in electrification by 2024, including 11 billion euros in the Volkswagen brand alone.

This is Volkswagen Model 3

Elon Musk and Tesla, the poster child of the electric vehicle world, currently have a higher valuation than Volkswagen, but it should be remembered that the German automaker makes almost 30 times as many cars (11m), while Tesla does not generates only 10% of Volkswagen’s revenue. Having sold a Golf every 41 seconds since 1974, it’s safe to say that VW knows how to make high volume cars. And he’s an old dog who also learns new tricks. Taking the lead from the Tesla Model 3, the ID3 has also been showcased and launched online. In 24 hours, Volkswagen received an impressive 10,000 pre-orders for the 1st edition, without a single person seeing the car or taking a test drive.

Ford wants to use its electric platform

The ID3’s crown jewel is actually beneath the skin – a flat, skateboard-like platform that Volkswagen calls “ MEB architecture. ” Like most EVs, it has a battery pack, inverter, and electric motor, but the special thing here is that it’s modular – meaning it can be upgraded. scale to accommodate larger wheelbases and more batteries, with either rear wheel drive or all wheel drive. And that flexibility means the same basic skateboard can be used for beach strollers, RVs, and everything in between. Volkswagen, Audi, Skoda and Seat will all use the MEB architecture for its next models, as will Ford, after accepting the license for the technology.

The cabin is completely new

The ID3 features the most technically advanced cabin ever designed by Volkswagen. It’s not quite Tesla yet, but the majority of the physical buttons and switches are gone, to be replaced with touch controls and voice commands, where the “ hello IDs ” are.

your wake-up calls. In the absence of a traditional center console, Volkswagen has moved the gear selector behind the steering wheel, and there’s a cool light bar that flashes when the car needs your attention.

The driver has a customizable cockpit screen; plus a head-up display that projects your speed and navigation controls onto the windshield. The navigation is smart and extremely precise, with the ability to take into account your car’s current battery status and charging requirements along the way.

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