VW R division mulling hot electric model

Wolfsburg’s upcoming range of ID electric vehicles could receive a sport-oriented R model, based on comments by R division head Jost Capito. The full range of models is currently just taking shape with a hatchback, a sedan and a crossover model due in 2020. More models are in the works in other body styles, including a retro-inspired electric Microbus due in 2021 or 2022.

Is there room in the range this early on for a performance model?

“If we do an R electric car, then it will be a proper R, or else it wouldn’t make sense,” said Capito.

A decision has not been made on such a vehicle; the priority now is getting the first ID models into showrooms as 2020 model year vehicles. But Capito indicated that the challenge with a hot version of an ID model would be finding the balance between battery life and the experience of a motorsport car.

“You need the space for motors and batteries and the battery technology. It’s more complex in the past than with performance engines,” Capitol added.

It makes sense that VW may choose to wait a bit before introducing an R version of any given ID range EV, just based on the expected advances in battery and electric motor tech.

“We have an idea, based on what’s going on on the racing and production side, but we haven’t defined a date yet,” said Capito. “The development (in EV technology) is going too quick that every month you have changes. At some point, you have to say: This is what we want, define it and go for it.”

Volkswagen’s ID range of electric cars will have no shortage of competitors when it debuts, and even more are on the way. But VW plans to keep the ID range distinct from other electric offerings from the VW Group, including Audi’s e-tron cars.


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