Currently reading: Volkswagen R division considers hot EV
New ID family is tipped to provide the first R-branded electric performance VW

Volkswagen is evaluating a high-performance electric R model based on one of the forthcoming ID range – but will commit to producing it only once it can live up to the badge.

VW recently broke the outright record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with the ID R Pikes Peak, described as “an ambassador” for the range. So far, four ID models have been announced and the first, the ID hatch, is due in 2020.

Jost Capito, the boss of the R division, told Autocar: “If we do an R electric car, then it will be a proper R, or else it wouldn’t make sense.”

Volkswagen Golf R review

How the ID R broke the Pikes Peak hillclimb all-time record 

Asked when an ID R might arrive, 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.”

Capito said the challenge of producing an R variant of an EV was finding the right compromise between the performance of a motorsport car and the battery life and usability of a mainstream car. That balance will help determine which ID road model will be first to get the R treatment.

Selecting that model, according to Capito, “depends on how we define performance vehicles”. He added: “You need the space for motors and batteries, and the battery technology. It’s more complex in the past than with performance engines.”

The most likely choice would be the ID hatch or the ID Crozz SUV crossover. The Crozz will be offered with a twin-motor layout and its larger size could make packaging a performance drivetrain into it easier.

Pikes peak win gives EV boost:

The success of the Volkswagen ID R Pikes Peak proves that electric cars can match combustion-engined ones for performance, according to the firm’s motorsport boss, Sven Smeets.

The 671bhp EV set an outright record at Pikes Peak last month, with Romain Dumas’s time of 7min 57.148sec on the 12.42-mile Colorado course eclipsing the previous mark set in 2013 by Sébastien Loeb in a Peugeot 208 T16. Dumas averaged 90.538mph.

“This project was a demonstration of what the ID family will be, and what R will be in an electric future,” said Smeets. “Our idea was to convince people that electric cars are not boring. They can be very emotional – and we’ve proven that.”

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James Attwood

James Attwood, digital editor
Title: Acting magazine editor

James is Autocar's acting magazine editor. Having served in that role since June 2023, he is in charge of the day-to-day running of the world's oldest car magazine, and regularly interviews some of the biggest names in the industry to secure news and features, such as his world exclusive look into production of Volkswagen currywurst. Really.

Before first joining Autocar in 2017, James spent more than a decade in motorsport journalist, working on Autosport,, F1 Racing and Motorsport News, covering everything from club rallying to top-level international events. He also spent 18 months running Move Electric, Haymarket's e-mobility title, where he developed knowledge of the e-bike and e-scooter markets. 

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artill 4 August 2018

Surely the problem for fast

Surely the problem for fast electric cars is handling. No electric car is particularly light, so making then handle like a much less heavy hot hatch wont be easy

xxxx 3 August 2018

Maybe this will help

Tesla Long Range AWD 310 miles 0-60 4.5 (RWD 5.1)

Tesla Performace AMD 310 miles 0-60 3.5

Same battery, Same range but performance model is 25% quicker so the performance cost is mininal. As I said comparrasion to hot ICE cars is irrelevant

dps8888 3 August 2018


No different to a hot hatch petrol car that does 10 MPG

xxxx 3 August 2018


It's an EV not a petrol car, that on it's own explains my comment.