Even Elon Musk Is Impressed By The VW ID.3

Electric Vehicles / Comments

The ID.3 is pretty good "for a non-sporty car," Musk says after a recent test drive.

Tesla CEO Elon Musk traveled to Germany over the weekend to take care of some business pertaining to the EV manufacturer's Berlin-Brandenburg Gigafactory, currently under construction, as well as a "side project" involving the mechanical engineering firm Grohmann, which Tesla acquired in 2017. Yet neither of those items seemed to grab nearly as much attention as Musk's visit with Volkswagen CEO Hebert Diess at the Braunschweig Airport, with rumors flying that Tesla and Volkswagen might be hammering out the details of a technical partnership, if not a merger or acquisition.

The real reason for the visit might be a whole lot less consequential, however; it afforded Tesla's CEO a chance to check out the competition by test-driving the VW ID.3 and ID.4 electric vehicles. And he seems to like them.

Herbert Diess / LinkedIn
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"I think for a non-sporty car it's pretty good," Musk says of the ID.3 in a video shared to the Volkswagen Group's Twitter. The clip shows snippets of the CEO's test drive, including some acceleration testing and an impromptu skid pad test. Naturally, he also asks about the presence of active safety features like lane-keep assist; with Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot driving system constituting such a major feature of Tesla's vehicles, it makes sense that the CEO would be curious about active safety on the ID.3.

"We have the typical German state-of-the-art lane keeping and emergency assist systems," Diess assures Musk.

Volkswagen ID Forum
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Volkswagen ID Forum

It goes both ways, however, as on LinkedIn, Diess stated, "Of course I also tested a Tesla Model Y - with my colleague Frank Welsch. This car is for us in many aspects (not in all!) a reference". He highlighted the "user experience, updatability, driving features, performance of the top of the range models, charging network, and range." as the areas in which the Model Y sets the benchmark, but said that the ID.4 and Model Y have one big advantage in common, a dedicated EV platform.

The Volkswagen ID.3 and ID.4 represent the next phase of VW's battery-electric vehicle strategy, although of the two, only the Volkswagen ID.4 will be available here in the US. It's set to make its official debut before the end of the month, going on sale later in 2020 as a 2021 model.

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