The ID.3 isn’t even three years old, but that doesn’t stop Volkswagen from giving its well-known electric car a makeover. After months of teasers, the company has introduced a second-generation ID.3 that addresses criticism of the first model. The new compact offers a “sharper” design with improved aerodynamics and a higher quality (and heavily recycled) interior. More importantly, VW has upgraded the technology – including the software, which received a long list of complaints from drivers.
The second generation ID.3 includes the “latest software”, with a simpler layout, better performance and over-the-air updates. The 12-inch infotainment screen is now standard. You also have access to a Travel Assist feature that uses ‘swarm’ data to aid driving – the crowd-sourced information can keep you in your lane on a back road, even if there’s only one known lane marking. Charging should also be easier between an automatic charging start (at compatible stations) and a route planner that takes into account the availability and capacity of stations along the way. Your car will not lead you to a busy station with slow chargers.
Don’t expect big changes in performance. The new ID.3 uses the same 201HP motor system and battery options as before. It provides up to 265 miles of range (using the WLTP test method) with the base 58 kWh battery and 339 miles with the 77 kWh pack. These are still very healthy numbers for an electric car of this size, and VW has teased a smaller battery for those who only need a commuter car.
Production is slated to start in the fall of 2023. VW hasn’t outlined pricing or country-by-country availability, but we don’t expect this to reach the US. Like the original ID.3, the upgrade is primarily aimed at European customers with North America getting larger vehicles like the ID.4 crossover and upcoming ID.Buzz.
Even bigger software improvements are in store, no matter where you live. VW’s Cariad unit has unveiled an app store (pictured centre) for the automaker’s brands, including Audi and Porsche. The platform will help third parties bring apps to a wide range of cars with relatively little fuss, including over-the-air updates. Big early partners tend to be ride-oriented services like Spotify, TuneIn, The Weather Channel and Plugshare. However, you’ll also find TikTok, Cisco’s Webex meeting app, and even Vivaldi’s browser.
The App Store debuts in several Audi models (including electric cars like the E-Tron GT and Q8 E-Tron) this summer for European and North American customers. More models and VW brands will come later. Don’t expect to upgrade your existing ride, as VW warns that the shop will only be available in cars manufactured from the summer onwards.
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