If you’ve been saving for a Tesla Model 3, German car brand Volkswagen has a better idea where to spend your $30K. The carmaker has debuted its own Model 3 killer and it’s set to give Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) a run for its money. The car, called I.D, is a long-range electric vehicle and it was unveiled this week at the 2016 Paris Motor Show.
While the German automaker has two electric cars in its lineup, the ID is the first to be produced exclusively as an electric car.
Apart from offering longer range, the ID comes with autonomous driving capabilities and is cheaper than a Model 3. The concept car has a reported range between 249 and 373 miles on a single charge, compared to Tesla’s Model 3 215 miles range. It also generates 168 horsepower and can go zero to 60 in less than 8 seconds with top speed of 99 mph.
During the debut, a VW representative announced that the concept car will come at a price that’s “on a par with comparably powerful and well-equipped Golf models.”
On the inside, the ID features VW’s signature Modular Electric Drive Kit (MEB) platform. It comes with laser enhanced automated mode – called ID Pilot – that allows for driverless operation. The technology includes retracting the multifunction steering wheel into the dashboard. The ID’s cabin is just as futuristic and elegant with a central infotainment system that has all the bells and whistles.
The futuristic Tron-like design of the cabin is also reflected on the car’s exterior. It comes with very short overhangs that give the ID a unique profile as well as cool LED lights that react differently depending on the activated functions. For example, blue lights would pulsate while the car is charging, giving off the appearance that the car is breathing. The ID will also turn off the headlights, leaving a strip of LED when parked.
And according to VW’s vision of the future, all cars can be turned on and off using a mobile device so the ID uses your phone as your key. You’ll have to set your own VW profile to configure your car, including the seat preferences, climate, navigation, and infotainment settings. Your profile is then “loaded” into the car via a VW smartphone so all the settings are configured according to your preferences. As an added bonus, the smartphone allows car owners to connect their IDs to their smart appliances and receive packages!
Now for the bad news, you’ll have to hold on to your $$$ until 2020 to get your own ID. Also, it won’t come with complete autonomous driving capabilities. However, the first gen ID will be equipped with all the hardware needed to support driverless driving, such as software and sensors. For full autonomous driving, all you need to do is to wait and install the newest software update over the air but that won’t happen any time soon.
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