Volkswagen sales manager Jürgen Stackmann said that the start of IDs pre-reservation marked the beginning of “the third major chapter of strategic importance in the history of our brand, after the Beetle and Golf”. And he added: “With ID 3, we are making the electric car suitable for mass mobility.

Stackmann said ID 3 represented an “important milestone” for Volkswagen, adding: “The world is currently in a process of transformation. Volkswagen is not only part of this transformation, it is also shaping it.

“We are pursuing a strategy focused on the cinematic chain. Volkswagen has consistently opted for the battery electric drive system. This is currently the most efficient technology for reducing CO2 emissions and meeting ambitious CO2 reduction targets. Electronic mobility will become our core technology.

The range ID is understood planned from one to ten, with the numbers that replace the titles given to concepts already seen: ID Crozz SUV, Vizzion saloon, Buzz MPV and van and Roomzz SUV luxury. Autocar has also revealed that the company is working on a people car basic level.

The 261-mile battery used in the ID 3 First will be half of the three battery sizes offered in the ID 3 range, which Volkswagen says will be the most popular. The basic 25,500-pound version will offer a range of 205 miles, and the larger battery will allow 342 miles. It is understood that the three batteries will be 45, 58 and 77kWh respectively.

ID 3 comes with built-in fast charge technology, allowing a maximum charge speed of 100-125kW DC. The firm says a 30-minute charge at 100kW should provide 162 miles of range.

Volkswagen says that the first edition of ID 3 will cost less than 40,000 euros in Germany, and that customers in the United Kingdom will have to pay a deposit of 750 pounds sterling. Details of prices in the UK have not yet been confirmed, and pre-booking will only be open for the 30,000 special editions, although those who secure a place can cancel their order with a full refund. The UK is one of the key markets for cars, along with Norway, Germany, the Netherlands and France.

Customers who pre-book an ID 3 will be able to order their cars after their launch at this years Frankfurt Motor Show in September. These orders will become binding in April 2020, and customers will be able to cancel and obtain a full refund until then.

The first edition will be offered in four colours and three versions, all with large rims. There will also be three finish levels – First, First Plus and First Max – although only the Plus finish will be offered in the UK. It will feature “extensive” comfort features including voice control, a navigation system, IQ exterior lighting and a two-tone exterior and interior design.

In the markets in which it is available, the Max range includes a panoramic sunroof and an augmented reality head-up display.

Volkswagen also said that the first edition of ID 3 will be offered with 2000kWh free charging at public charging points using the firms We Charge application on a European charging network. This includes the charging points of the Ionity network, which is expanding in the UK. VW has also reached an agreement with Tesco to install 600 fast loaders in its supermarkets by 2020, although it has not yet been confirmed whether access to them would be part of the 2000 kWh agreement.

ID 3 is 4,100 mm long, 1,800 mm wide and 1,530 mm high, making it 155 mm longer, 9 mm wider and 77 mm higher than the seventh-generation Golf, although the electric powertrain means it is ready to offer much more interior space. Stackmann added: “From the outside, the ID 3 will be as big as a Golf. Inside, it will be as spacious as a medium-sized car.

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