New Volkswagen ID 3: UK orders open for electric hatchback

Sales of the pivotal Volkswagen ID 3 have begun in the UK today (22 July), with order books for special First Edition models opening to those who have pre-booked.

First deliveries of the electric hatchback are due to begin in the UK in September.

Autocar’s Volkswagen ID 3 2020 review

The limited-run First Edition models will be priced from £38,880 and be offered only to people who have previously placed a £750 deposit. First Edition versions of the ID 3 will feature the mid-size ‘Pro’ battery offering a claimed range of 260 miles, and will feature special badges and extra kit. Buyers will also be offered 2000kWh of charging via We Charge, which Volkswagen claims is enough for 34 rapid charges and worth around £500.

General sales of the ID 3 are due to begin in the UK in the Autumn, and the model will eventually be offered in seven main variants, with three different battery capacities and two power outputs.

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 head-up display (although these won’t be offered on initial UK models) 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 is available, Silke Bagschik, Volkswagen’s e-mobility sales chief, said: “The software is not yet up to Volkswagen 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. The First Edition model 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.

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In continental Europe, buyers of the first cars to be delivered will be given membership of a ‘First Movers’ club, which will include the eventual software update, with those leasing cars not paying any rates for the first three months. It’s not yet known whether any of these initiatives will be offered to UK buyers.

General ordering for the ID 3 for those who haven’t pre-booked will open four weeks after the car first goes on sale. Volkswagen has yet to outline trim levels and pricing for those models, or when various power levels and battery sizes will be introduced.

Volkswagen offered a pre-ordering service for the ID 3 First, with more than 35,000 customers worldwide placing a refundable deposit. Those who placed a deposit in continental Europe will be able to buy their cars from 17 June onwards. The delay in the UK was due to the extra time required to gain type approval for right-hand-drive versions.

Volkswagen sales boss Jürgen Stackmann also insisted that ID 3 deliveries remained on track to begin this summer, despite the extended production suspension at Volkswagen’s Zwickau plant due to Covid-19.

“The focus of the company now is on ID 3,” said Stackmann. “We’re almost ready, and we just need a few more weeks to get the software to where we need it to be. The entire team are working on this topic, and we want to deliver a great quality product on time – and that time is this summer.”

Stackmann added that Volkswagen was still aiming to meet its target of building 100,000 ID 3s this year but that it might be unable to fully recover from the extended shutdown in the second half of the year.

Prices for the ID 3 in the UK will eventually start from around £27,500 before the government grant for the entry-level 45kWh Pure version.