Volkswagen discusses the future of its R performance division.
The Volkswagen ID.R is an insanely fast electric race car that destroyed lap records at the Nurburgring, Pikes Peak, and the Goodwood Hillclimb. But only a handful of people will get to experience it because it isn't road legal. Do not despair, however, because it could influence a high-performance electric Volkswagen R road car in the future. Speaking to Top Gear, VW Group board member Jurgen Stackmann has confirmed that VW's R performance division is "going electric".
"The future of R needs to be, and will be, electric," Stackmann said. "We're still working on what we started two and half years ago - which was obviously not electric, though exciting - but the work going forward is and will be electrified."
Volkswagen has already started electrifying R performance models with the recent unveiling of the Touareg R, the first VW R model to be fitted with a hybrid powertrain pairing a 3.0-liter turbo 336-hp V6 engine with a 14.1kWh lithium-ion battery and a 130-hp electric motor, for a total of 456 hp. But the decision of whether VW's high-performance EVs will be handled by the automaker's R brand or another "in-house" brand still "needs to be seen".
Stackmann also teased there will be "more stories around R that will probably surprise and amaze you. Clearly, I'm excited to carry the news of R into the next generation, stronger than ever I would say."
In the meantime, Volkswagen is preparing to launch the next-generation Volkswagen Golf R, which will use a non-electrified 2.0-liter turbocharged engine that will send 328 horsepower to all four wheels through a seven-speed dual-clutch gearbox.
To give you an idea of the potential power a fully electric Golf R could generate, VW unveiled the eR1 earlier this year, an all-electric VW Golf R racing concept with two electric motors developing a combined 671 horsepower and 479 lb-ft of torque.