We love a hot hatch here at Wheels HQ, and every time the keys to something like the Hyundai i30 N is up for grabs in the office there is a mad rush from the journos to see who can get their grubby mitts on it first.
That’s why we were very pleased to see the specs for Volkswagen’s new fully-electric hatchback, the I.D 3.
Electric?! Hatch?! I can hear the indignant typing of Facebook commenters from here. But let me explain.
According to VW, the I.D 3 will be offered with three battery options initially. First is a 45kWh battery (offering a claimed 329km of range on the WLTP cycle), before stepping up to 58kWh (with 420km of claimed range), and finally a 77kWh unit (and 550km of claimed range).
It’s that last battery, the 77kWh unit, which we are most excited about, as with the right electric motors, it would allow for significant performance.
For comparison, Tesla’s Model 3 is available with a 75kWh battery, which in the Long Range AWD Performance spec has a WLTP-rated range of 530km.
Importantly, the most powerful variant of Tesla’s smallest product produces a combined system output of 353kW (211kW rear, 147kW front), and 639Nm, good for a claimed 0-100km/h sprint of 3.4 seconds.
That is enough power and acceleration to rival a Mercedes-AMG C63 S sedan.
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Now imagine that level of performance crammed into a package that is slightly larger than the current seventh-generation Golf.
Tantalising, isn’t it?
And here’s the kicker; Volkswagen board member for sales and marketing Jurgen Stackmann says the MEB skateboard architecture that underpins the I.D 3 could accommodate much larger batteries than is initially available.
The I.D family already has a motorsport halo in the R prototype which obliterated the outright Pikes Peak Hillclimb record last year, and is currently hunting the Porsche 919 Evo’s Nordschleife benchmark.
If VW turns the heat up on the I.D 3 and creates an R variant, it’ll be something worthy of the badge.