Volkswagen ID.3 R electric hot hatch being "actively considered"

Future of R brand is electric, says VW board member Stackmann

Volkswagen is looking at producing a high-performance 'R' version of its recently unveiled ID.3 Golf-sized electric hatchback, according to a senior figure at the firm.

Speaking to our sister title Auto Express at the Frankfurt Motor Show, Christine Leuderalbert, Volkswagen's e-mobility product marketing specialist, said: “We’re actively considering it, but we need to do some work on how an electric car can also be a performance car.

We know electric vehicles have excellent acceleration, but we need to look at how the rest of the package would affect the car’s efficiency.”

At launch, the most powerful version of the ID.3 will make 201bhp from a single electric motor, mounted at the rear of the car. It's possible the addition of a second motor on the front axle could be used as a way to create a more powerful, grippier version of the ID.3, analogous to the petrol-engined Volkswagen Golf R.

Volkswagen has traded heavily on the performance possibilities of electric power as it has launched its ID sub-brand, taking the bespoke ID.R electric racing car to several iconic tracks and locations around the globe to set a series of new records.

Jurgen Stackmann, member of the Volkswagen management board for sales and marketing, has said that the R brand will have to focus on electrification in the future.

"If there is a future for R, it must be electric," he said. “It’s very simple. We’re really thinking what to do with these cars, because if you’re on the way to zero emissions, it’s hard to imagine that you load the world with more powerful cars.

“So we have to work to put those on the road, but clearly the future of R must be electric and [R boss] Jost Capito’s job is to find a solution for that. We need to define what is R in the electric world; it’s different to what we know of in a Golf or any other car.

“First will come plug-in hybrid, which is already coming with Touareg. That’s something where we have the answer. For the rest, we need to find smart, sustainable answers.

"The plan is filled with great R models going forward, but you have to accept that after this, you just can’t plough on. You’d look at us and ask what we are doing here. We have to find good answers for that and that work is happening now. 

When questioned on when a fully electric R model may appear, Stackmann said: “We should be able to deliver something meaningful in under five years. But it’s turf without a lot of expertise for us, at the moment, so we have to start that journey.”