Volkswagen is ready to move to its next era: electric cars.

On Monday, the German automaker unveiled the ID 3 electric car, the first vehicle in a family of battery-powered cars coming in the next few years. With three battery pack sizes, up to 341 miles of range, and a starting price under $33,189, the ID3 is looking to become the people's electric car.

Unfortunately, Volkswagen won't offer it in the U.S. market, one of few surprises we learned.

The ID 3 rides on Volkswagen's new MEB platform. It's a modular setup that will underpin a host of electric cars from a lifted crossover SUV version of the ID 3 to the reborn VW Bus. A 45-, 58-, or 77-kwh battery pack sits in between the axles below the floor. This keeps the mass low and the weight evenly distributed. A side benefit is stiffness, as the battery pack helps keep the chassis from twisting under load.

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

The ID 3's electric motor, power electronics, and single-speed gearbox all combine into one unit that's integrated into the rear axle. All ID 3s are rear wheel drive, and Volkswagen said the setup is characterized by ideal weight distribution though it didn't say what that distribution is.

With 205 horsepower and 229 pound-feet of torque, Volkswagen said the ID 3 can reach a top speed of 99 mph.

The base ID 3 with the 45-kwh battery pack has up to 205 miles of range, while the 58-kwh pack ups the range to 260 miles. The large 77-kwh pack offers up to 341 miles of range, according to Volkswagen. All range ratings are converted from kilometers and calculated on the European WLTP system. U.S. ranges would be less than VW's quoted European figures.

With the ability to fast charge at rates of up to 100 kw, the ID 3 can gain 180 miles of range in 30 minutes with the small 45-kwh battery pack. The larger 77-kwh pack can cut that time slightly with a maximum charge rate of 125 kwh.

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

The design of the ID 3 sets the visual tone for Volkswagen going forward. The front of the ID 3 features a friendly face that's almost smiling. The German automaker notes that LED lighting is the new chrome, so hope you like all the LEDs. The ID 3 has proportions only an electric car can feature with incredibly short front and rear overhangs. A distinct design characteristic of the ID 3 is a honeycomb pattern on the D-pillars. The rear features a glass hatch with a large rear window and thin, horizontal LED taillights. Despite being a compact car, the ID 3's roof features the largest glass panorama sliding and tilting roof in the automaker's lineup.

Inside, Volkswagen's new design language continues with an open, airy cabin with plenty of stretch-out space for passengers. The design features soft curves and organic shapes. It's a distinct change from today's sterile, business-like VW interiors.

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

Volkswagen ID 3

A digital gauge cluster is complemented by a floating 10-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and all vehicle controls are touch operated. An available head-up display can keep pertinent information in front of the driver on the windshield while the multi-function steering wheel controls are touch sensitive. The only hard buttons in the ID 3 are the window switches and four-way flashers. The ID 3 features Volkswagen's new digital assistant, which can be summoned by saying, "Hello ID."

The ID 3 features all the safety systems one expects in a vehicle today, including automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane keep assist, lane change assist, and self parking.

Even the base version of the ID? 3 comes well equipped with navigation, heated seats and steering wheel, front armrests, and 18-inch alloy wheels. Upgrades range from adaptive cruise control and Matrix LED headlights to 20-inch alloy wheels and the head-up display.

The Volkswagen ID 3 will enter production later this year but will not be sold in the U.S.

For all the latest from the 2019 Frankfurt auto show, be sure to check our hub here.