Volkswagen Is Planning Some Spicy Electric Cars Based On The MEB Chassis

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Racing improves the breed, they say. Which is why Volkswagen took its ID R race car to the Pikes Peak hill climb last year, where it set the all time elapsed time record — not just for electric cars but for all cars, whether powered by gasoline, diesel, hydrogen, or pixie dust. The ID R was essentially a mobile laboratory for the company’s electric car plans.

VW ID R electric race car
Image courtesy of Volkswagen

Now Autocar says the lessons learned from the ID R may one day lead to high performance versions of the ID. branded cars coming in the next few years, cars that do for EVs what the Golf R has done for the company’s gasoline powered vehicles. Autocar says it has learned of an internal proposal that would see an all-wheel drive MEB-based coupe or roadster produced by VW’s Karmann factory going on sale by 2025. [If you don’t know the difference between a roadster and a convertible, you should.]

Volkswagen will reportedly offer three versions of its electric cars — base, GTX with all-wheel drive, and a range-topping R version offering maximum performance. The GTX trim is set to be unveiled when the ID. 4 goes into production later this year. The performance oriented R version could even replace the sporty Audi TT one day.

The British publication says design studies for an ID. R road car already exist at the company’s Wolfsburg headquarters. Sven Smeets, who heads the company’s motorsports division, says the key to the high performance road cars will be a “new performance-based battery” being developed in-house by the company and based on the battery used in the ID. R racer.

“We are beginning to work on the first batteries for the performance road cars, using the dedicated team from the ID R, so there will be a direct link between them,” Smeets says. “The batteries start in the same area. At the moment we’re finalizing the performance parameters of the batteries.”

While technical details are a closely guarded secret, Volkswagen’s performance EV battery is said to use different chemistry than what is used in the ordinary ID. branded road cars. It also uses a new cell-to-pack architecture for greater efficiency and packaging benefits, Autocar reports.

Jost Capito, head of Volkswagen’s R performance car division, says “We have different cells and ways of building and all the technical learnings from motorsport. There are different demands on a performance car than a road car, and we’re looking at all aspects to see what we can do with the technology. We’ve seen how it works in the ID R and now we want to see how it looks in a road car.”

Whether the sportiest models from Volkswagen’s ID division can compete with the forthcoming Tesla Roadster 2.0 — which promises to be the fastest and quickest production car in history — remains to be seen. But even if it lacks rocket motors to help it negotiate corners, it will likely be a priced considerably less than the $200,000 Tesla and be a car that turns heads wherever it goes.


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Steve Hanley

Steve writes about the interface between technology and sustainability from his home in Florida or anywhere else The Force may lead him. He is proud to be "woke" and doesn't really give a damn why the glass broke. He believes passionately in what Socrates said 3000 years ago: "The secret to change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old but on building the new."

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