VW could use lessons learned from the ID R to make a performance electric production car.
As we know, Volkswagen is working on a new family of electric cars previewed by four I.D. concept cars: the original ID hatch, I.D. Buzz, I.D. Crozz and I.D. Vizzion. More recently, the I.D. R smashed the outright Pikes Peak record with Romain Dumas behind the wheel by completing the grueling 12.42-mile course in seven minutes and 57.148 seconds. But that was a purpose-built race car, so will we see an I.D. R performance car for the road?
Quite possibly, as Volkswagen is considering giving one of the upcoming I.D. models the R treatment – but only if it lives up to the name. "If we do an R electric car, then it will be a proper R, or else it wouldn't make sense," Volkswagen's R division boss Jost Capito told Autocar.
"We have an idea, based on what's going on the racing and production side, but we haven't defined a date yet," he said when asked when an R-badged electric car could arrive. "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."
Captio added the challenge of producing an R version of an EV was finding the balance between the performance of a racecar like the ID R and the battery life, comfort and practicality of a road car. VW hasn't yet decided which ID road car will get the R treatment, but the I.D. hatch or the I.D. Crozz SUV crossover seem like the most likely candidates. "You need the space for motors and batteries, and the battery technology. It's more complex in the past than with performance engines," Captio explained. Don't forget the Crozz will be offered with a twin-motor layout, which would provide more room to pack a performance drivetrain.
Volkswagen has already proven electric cars can match and even exceed the performance of combustion-engined ones with the ID. R Pikes Peak. Its two electric motors produce a combined 671 hp, which enabled the car to beat the previous Pikes Peak record set in 2013 by Sebastien Loeb in a Peugeot 208 T16. "This project was a demonstration of what the ID family will be, and what R will be in an electric future," said VW's motorsport boss Sven Smeets. "Our idea was to convince people that electric cars are not boring. They can be very emotional – and we've proven that."