2022 Volkswagen ID.3: range reduced to one model due to semiconductor shortage
Only one version of VW’s electric hatchback is available to order right now: the £35,835 ID.3 Life
Volkswagen has temporarily removed all but one version of the ID.3 from its range, as the semiconductor shortage has caused wait times for the electric hatchback to shoot up. The order backlog for the brand’s ID. family currently stands at around 95,000 vehicles across Europe.
As a result, the ID.3 Life is the only model currently available to order in the UK, with the ‘Pro Performance’ drivetrain (a 201bhp motor and 58kWh battery) for a range of up to 259 miles. Standard kit includes 18-inch ‘Aero’ alloy wheels, a 10-inch infotainment screen, LED headlights, wireless smartphone charging, a reversing camera and safety systems like adaptive cruise control and lane-keeping assistance.
As prices start from £35,835, it’s not eligible for the government’s plug-in car grant. VW’s other electric models, including the e-up!, the ID.4 and the ID.5, are not seeing changes to their line-ups at the moment. According to the company, semiconductor supply is expected to remain “volatile and challenging” for at least for the first half of 2022, but is anticipated to stabilise later in the year – at which point the full ID.3 line-up could be re-introduced.
Volkswagen ID.3 motors, power, battery and charging
Before the range reduction, five versions of the ID.3 were available, named Life, Style, Family, Max and Tour. The entry-level Pure Performance powertrain (a 148bhp motor and 45kWh battery) was available with the Life and Style trims, offering ranges of 217 and 215 miles respectively.
The Pro powertrain uses a larger 58kWh battery paired with a 143bhp electric motor for a range of between 262 and 264 miles. It was offered in Life and Family trim, while the Pro Performance setup increased motor power to 201bhp while retaining the 58kWh battery. It was available as an upgrade in the Life and Family, as well as being the standard powertrain in the Max.
The normal ID.3 range-topper is the Tour Pro S. This version has the same 201bhp electric motor as the Pure Performance and Pro Performance, but a larger 77kWh battery boosts range to 342 miles. The extra space needed to accommodate this battery means this version of the ID.3 is a four-seater, not a five-seater, however.
Trim levels, specifications, standard equipment and options
As of February 2022, the ID.3 is only available in Life trim with the Pro Performance powertrain. There’s also a limited number of optional extras on offer at the moment, including a heat pump, a mains charging cable and various different alloy-wheel designs. Standard equipment on the regular line-up, offered before February 2022 and likely to return later in the year, is as follows:
Life cars feature a 10-inch infotainment screen, wireless smartphone charging, LED headlights, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assistance, parking sensors, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel.
Style is only available with the entry-level Pure Performance electric motor and battery. But it builds on the Life trim’s kit with upgraded 18-inch alloys, Volkswagen’s IQ.Light LED matrix headlights, 30-colour interior ambient lighting and tinted windows, as well as keyless entry and a reversing camera.
Family comes with matrix LED headlights and a panoramic glass roof, as well as two-zone air-conditioning, a rear-view camera and keyless access.
Max includes all the kit from the other trims, along with an augmented-reality head-up display and adaptive chassis control. It’s only available with the 201bhp Pro Performance electric powertrain.
As mentioned above, the flagship Tour sees seating capacity drop from five to four to fit the larger battery, but the Tour equipment pack is generous, with an augmented-reality head-up display, matrix LED headlights, the full suite of driver-assistance systems and 19-inch alloy wheels all included.
Between July 2021 and February 2022, the Comfort and Infotainment packages were standard on all ID.3s. That meant all got heated front seats and steering wheel, Discover Navigation Pro and wireless smartphone charging.
The Infotainment Package Plus includes an upgraded sound system and the augmented-reality head-up display from higher-spec models. Other packs available include the Assistance Package and Assistance Package Plus, which add more safety features.
The Sport Package includes progressive steering and sports suspension, while the Sport Package Plus builds on that with dynamic chassis control. Other option packages include the Comfort Package Plus, the Design Package and the Design Package Plus.
Interior and technology
Inside, the five-seat ID.3 feels spacious and airy. It doesn’t have a centre tunnel, freeing up space between front and rear, and with short overhangs VW has been able to maximise every millimetre of space. The boot is big, too, holding 385 litres with the seats up thanks to a flat battery. The low placement of the battery helps with the car’s handling, too.
There’s a centrally positioned 10-inch touch screen and an LED light strip for navigation that can also warn you to brake. An optional augmented reality head-up display projects relevant information on to the windscreen, and all the buttons are touch-sensitive. There’s also natural voice control, allowing drivers and passengers to talk to the car in a more human way, while safety technology is plentiful. A camera on the windscreen identifies road signs, and there’s emergency braking, pedestrian monitoring and lane-keeping aids.
Design and dimensions
The ID.3’s design is markedly different from Volkswagen's other models. Short overhangs, a long wheelbase, flowing surfaces, a unique honeycomb design on the C-pillar, a black glass bootlid surrounded by slim LED lights and a black panoramic roof set it apart. Three alloy-wheel sizes are available: 18, 19 and 20 inches.
As an electric car doesn’t require large cooling ports, the focal point for the front of the most ID.3s are their ‘interactive’ LED matrix headlights. One of the ‘party tricks’ of these lights is to make the car ‘flutter its eyelids’ when the driver approaches. The headlights also feature Dynamic Light Assist main-beam control, which uses a camera on the windscreen to monitor the road and adjust the lights to avoid dazzling other motorists.
The ID.3 also features Volkswagen's new ID. Light technology, which uses an LED strip in the cabin to convey information to the driver. The ID. Light changes colour to show when the car is switched on and if it's locked or unlocked. Green indicates a fully charged battery, while red acts as a warning during braking. The LED strip will blink to recommend changing lanes, and also signal incoming phone calls
The ID.3 is as long as a Golf, at 4.2 metres, and is 1.8 metres wide, 1.5 metres high and weighs 1,700kg. With a turning circle of 10.2 metres, it has been engineered to be easy to drive in urban environments. There’s also a special towing bracket incorporated in the rear bumper of the ID.3 for carrying bikes.
Low-speed sound signature
Volkswagen previewed the low-speed sound signature that its ID.3 electric hatchback will emit in order to warn other road users of its presence at the 'DRIVE.Forum' event in Berlin in early December 2019.
As of July 2019, all newly introduced electric cars have had to come with a sound generator that emits noise at speeds up to 30kph (19mph), as well as when moving off or reversing. This came in response to concerns that other road users – such as pedestrians and cyclists, and in particular visually impaired people – could be in danger of not noticing a nearby electric car due to its near-silent running.
The setup is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alert System (AVAS), and although the volume of sound emitted is specified by regulations, the noise itself is not, which gives car manufacturers the opportunity to develop different 'sound signatures' to set their models apart. You can hear the ID.3's by playing the embedded video above.
The AVAS in the ID.3 can be heard both inside and outside at up to 19mph. Inside the vehicle, different stages of the driving sound can be heard based on your speed and accelerator pedal position. Beyond this speed, the vehicle’s rolling resistance and driving noise become more prominent.
Commenting on the sound, VW's chief development officer for passenger cars, Dr Frank Welsch, said: "An electric vehicle’s sound defines its identity. The sound should be confident and likeable. It may well sound futuristic and must also impress with its unique character."
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