The first examples to arrive in the UK will be high-end 1st Edition models.

Volkswagen is now taking pre-orders for its new ID.3 electric hatchback, which will go on sale in the UK this autumn. The news allows those who had already reserved a place on the waiting list to choose their car’s final specification and confirm their order.

Those who placed a £750 deposit to be among the first to get their vehicles will now have the chance to specify the ID.3 in limited-edition 1st Edition guise. The £38,880 vehicle will only be offered in limited numbers, and will be joined by no fewer than seven “series” models, which will make up the ID.3 range going forward.

For now, though, it’s 1st Edition or nothing, which means early takers will get a car marked out by exclusive badging and a two-tone honeycomb decal, as well as a well-populated kit list. As standard, the car gets LED headlights and 19-inch alloy wheels, plus a black roof, black side skirts and a black boot.

Inside, the ID.3 1st Edition gets a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system and a digital instrument display, as well as an LED “band” across the windscreen. This changes colour and pattern to supplement navigation signals, as well as working with charging status indicators, driver assistance tech and voice control. And all that comes alongside more normal equipment, including parking sensors and a rear-view camera.

Under the rounded lines, the ID.3 also comes with a 201 bhp electric motor and enough battery to manage 260 miles on a single charge. And Volkswagen will pair that with 2,000 kW of free charging from We Charge. According to VW, that’s around £500 worth, or the equivalent of 34 rapid charges.

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All that comes included in the £38,880 price tag, but what’s not mentioned is the government’s Plug-In Car Grant. At present, the scheme essentially cuts the price of electric cars by £3,500, as long as they cost less than £50,000. In the case of the ID.3 1st Edition, that could mean buyers will only have to shell out £35,380, although that does depend on the grant remaining unchanged over the coming months.

“The ID.3 is one of the most important cars Volkswagen has ever launched – and the British public seems to be as excited about it as I am,” said Andrew Savvas, Volkswagen UK’s managing director. “Here, an overwhelming number of customers signed up as pre-bookers last year and placed a £750 deposit, even before they saw the final ID.3 unveiled. In fact, during the first few hours of pre-booking demand was so unprecedented it momentarily crashed our website. It has created a huge stir.

Which Is The True Electric For The Masses: VW ID.3 Or Renault K-ZE?

“The ID.3 symbolises Volkswagen’s new electric future, and that future is here – now. At the point at which it leaves the factory in Zwickau, Germany, the ID.3 can lay claim to being the world’s first mass-produced CO2-neutral car. Producing the ID.3 in this way shows that we are very serious about sustainability as we help to safeguard our world for future generations. This is only the beginning, and I’m grateful to our UK pre-bookers for their interest and faith in our brilliant new car. Very soon, you will be among the very first people in the world to drive an ID.3.”

Gallery: Volkswagen ID.3 1ST (2020)