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.
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.