Volkswagen has expanded its ID.3 line-up with a new entry variant called the Life Pro, which uses a 145hp motor on the back axle and offers 263 miles of range from its 58kWh battery. That means the £28,670 EV packs more punch (and battery range) than the Honda e, while being £490 cheaper with the £3k gov grant factored in. With their closely aligned powertrain stats, VW likens the ID.3 Life Pro to its Golf 1.5 TSI – although the battery-laden EV is, obviously, much heavier. We’re not given a number, but the launch Performance model is 1.8 tonnes.
The physics are plain enough in the ID.3 Life Pro’s fairly lacklustre 9.6 second 0-62mph time, although with 203lb ft of instantly available torque (18lb ft more than the Golf), even the base model ought to feel nippy in an urban environment – which clearly is its intended setting. It uses a direct drive one speed gearbox to power the back wheels, and retains the launch ID.3’s claims for a 35-minute recharge to 80 per cent with a 100 kW DC charger.
It doesn’t take much for a buyer to step up the ID.3 ladder, with an added £1,320 accessing the Life Pro Performance and its 201hp, 7.3-second to 62mph configuration. The current range-topper is the ID.3 Pro S Tour Pro Performance with a 77kWh battery, enabling 201hp and 336 miles of range for £39,290. VW will add a 45kWh battery model later this year. Not unsurprisingly, the manufacturer is bidding to create an EV equivalent of the Golf using much the same recipe for flexibility and hardware ubiquity.
Joe Laurence, ID. Product Manager at Volkswagen UK, said of the new entry-model: “Its transmission may be an innovative one-speed unit, but the ID.3 is metaphorically stepping up a gear with the Pro variant, because it provides an alternative to the top-spec Pro Performance model which has been on sale since September. All of the same features and talents are available on the Pro model, albeit with a slightly lower power output.”
While the number of EVs on Britain’s roads remains relatively small, some are predicting that sales will exceed 200,000 this year alone – a near doubling of what was achieved in 2020, which was a year said to be boosted by the unusual market dynamics of a global pandemic. With production examples of the Audi e-tron GT, Polestar 2 and Mustang Mach-E - and a new entry-level Porsche Taycan - also landing in 2021, along with various major commitments to improve on the existing infrastructure, VW’s expansion of the ID.3 range looks to be typically well timed.
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