Volkswagen sales boss Jurgen Stackmann said: “If there is a future for R it must be electric, it’s very simple. It won’t be next year, because we need to define what R is in the electric world."
In the interim, VW will dip its toes in electrified performance with a plug-in hybrid Touareg R, said Stackmann.
“Clearly the word R means high output combustion engine, and that will now move to higher output plug-in hybrid systems and then it will move onwards to R electric. We need to get firm on our electric vision fast.”Talking about an ID 3 R, Stackmann said the solution must address range and performance.
“Today, if you look at high performance and electric, it’s actually a huge compromise, and you pay the penalty with a small range.
“We should be able to deliver something meaningful in under five years but it takes a team of developers, and it’s tough without a lot of expertise at the moment. We have to start that journey.”
VW R&D chief Frank Welsch said that a performance ID 3 was one of his top priorities to optimise the ID 3 over the coming years. “We should have the same as cars such as the Golf, the GTI and R. People like performance and I’m sure people will love performance in ID cars too.”
He added: “The situation is different - even in the normal ID, we have good performance right from the very beginning, you just touch the pedal and you feel the punch. From 0-60km is like the GTI. No GTI is faster than the ID 3. At the upper end, of course GTI is better.”
The ID R race car, currently breaking records at various locations around the world including Pikes Peak and the Nurburgring, is key to showing the public that electric performance can be even better than traditional performance, said Welsch.
Talking about requirements for an ID 3 R, he said: “We need four wheel drive and a performance e-motor. It won’t be called GTI, let’s see whether it’s R or something else.”
“In under five years is okay. We have a lot of other work to do with other ID models and the Golf, Tiguan and so on, before then.”