VW unveils the second-generation ID.3 EV and an app store for its cars
The ID.3 isn’t even three years old, but that’s not stopping Volkswagen from revamping its well-known electric car. After months of teasers, the company has unveiled the second-generation ID.3, which addresses the criticisms of the first model. The new compact car offers a “sharper” design with improved aerodynamics and a higher quality (and heavily recycled) interior. More importantly, VW has improved the technology – including its software, which has been the subject of long complaints from drivers.
The second generation ID.3 includes the “latest software”, with a simpler layout, better performance and wireless updates. A 12-inch infotainment display is already standard equipment. You can also access a Travel Assist feature that uses “swarm” data to help you drive – using crowd-sourced information to help you stay in your lane even when there’s only one known lane marking. Charging should also be simpler between automatic charging start (at compatible stations) and a route planner that takes into account station availability and capacity. Your car won’t direct you to a busy station with slow chargers.
Don’t expect big performance changes. The new ID.3 uses the same 201 hp engine system and battery options as before. This gives a range of up to 265 miles (using the WLTP testing method) with the 58 kWh base battery and 339 miles with the 77 kWh pack. However, these are still very healthy figures for an EV of this size, and VW has offered a smaller battery for those who only need a commuter car.
Production is scheduled to start in the fall of 2023. VW didn’t outline pricing or country-by-country availability, but we wouldn’t expect it to reach the US. Like the original ID.3, the facelift is aimed primarily at European customers, with North America getting bigger vehicles like the ID.4 crossover and the upcoming ID.Buzz.
Even bigger software improvements await you, no matter where you live. VW’s Cariad unit has unveiled an app store (pictured centre) for its carmaker brands, including Audi and Porsche. The platform helps third parties bring apps to a wide range of cars with relatively little fuss, including over-the-air updates. Major early partners tend to be drive-oriented services like Spotify, TuneIn, The Weather Channel, and Plugshare. However, you can find TikTok, Cisco’s Webex meeting app, and even Vivaldi’s web browser.
The app store will debut in several Audi models this summer for European and North American customers. Additional models and VW brands will arrive later. Don’t expect to upgrade your existing vehicle, though, as VW warns that the deal will only be available in cars built from the summer.