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.”
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.