Even though Volkswagen hasn’t yet launched its first all-electric ID range model, the German auto giant is already considering producing a high-performance R variant.
The company is open about the possibility of an R division EV, but won’t commit until it’s sure it can do justice to the R badging.
VW is building an impressive reputation for itself in the electric car realm, after recently breaking the outright Pikes Peak International Hill Climb record with the ID R Pikes Peak, which Volkswagen describes as “an ambassador” for the upcoming ID range. Although four ID models have already been announced, the first to arrive, the ID hatch, only goes on sale in 2020.
Speaking to the UK’s Autocar, R division boss Jost Capito explained, “If we do an R electric car, then it will be a proper R, or else it wouldn’t make sense.” As for when such a model might appear, Capito said, “We have an idea, based on what’s going on on the racing and production side, but we haven’t defined a date yet. 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.”
Unsurprisingly, the problem facing the engineers and designers tasked with producing an R version of an electric model is the balancing act between performance and practicality. Coming up with a model with blistering performance is no problem, as the ID R Pikes Peak illustrated. The real challenge is producing a car with performance worth of an R badge, which also has a battery life suited to a mainstream car for daily driving.
The most likely models from the ID range to get the R treatment would be the ID hatch or the ID Crozz crossover SUV. Of those, the Crozz seems the more obvious candidate, because its twin-motor setup and larger proportions would accommodate a performance drivetrain a little easier than the more compact ID hatch. Then again, the Crozz would be heavier than the ID hatch, which would put extra demand on the battery — just the kind of problem the good people at Volkswagen have to resolve.