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Volkswagen Seriously Considering a High-Performance EV

But there's no telling yet what kind of vehicle it will be

Due in part to the fallout from its emissions cheating scandal, Volkswagen has big plans for electric vehicles. Next year, it will begin selling an electric hatchback in Europe, and a year later, an electric crossover will go on sale in the U.S. By 2025, Volkswagen says it intends to offer a total of 15 EVs. So far, executives haven’t said much about what kinds of vehicles those will be, but from the sound of it, at least one will be a performance model.

According to Autocar, Volkswagen is seriously considering offering an R variant of one of its upcoming EVs. At the moment, though, product planners reportedly still aren’t sure which one it will be. There’s also the challenge of making sure Volkswagen’s first high-performance EV lives up to the R badge on the trunk.

“If we do an R electric car, then it will be a proper R, or else it wouldn’t make sense,” Jost Capito, the head of Volkswagen’s R division, told Autocar. But when asked about a potential timeline, Capito kept his response vague. “We have an idea based on what’s going on on the racing and production side, but we haven’t defined a date yet,” he said. “The development [of electric 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.”

As for which EV Volkswagen plans to hot-rod, Capito said it “depends on how we define performance vehicles.” He then added, “You need the space for motors and batteries, and the battery technology. It’s more complex in the past than with performance engines.”

If you look at the electric I.D. R that recently broke a Pikes Peak record, that should give you a pretty good idea of what Volkswagen’s thinking about right now. “This project was a demonstration of what the ID family will be, and what R will be in an electric future,” Sven Smeets, Volkswagen’s racing boss, told Autocar. “Our idea was to convince people that electric cars are not boring. They can be very emotional, and we’ve proven that.”

 

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