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By Charl Bosch

Motoring Journalist

Volkswagen reaffirms future of R is electric

Unlike the current R models, the next generation will reportedly use the SSP platform currently being developed by Porsche.

Volkswagen’s move towards electrification before 2030 will not only involve its next generation of bread-and-butter models, but also the high performance R brand.

According to recent reports from UK publications Auto Express and Autocar, Wolfsburg has reaffirmed comments made back in 2020 that the division responsible for the Golf R, Tiguan R and Arteon R and Touareg R will drop internal combustion motivation before the next decade.

Performance means electric

A gradual roll-out of fully electric R model will subsequently take place within the next few years as the brand, together with Volkswagen itself, transitions to EV propulsion similar to comparative sister marques Audi and Audi Sport.

“In order to become a fully electric brand by the end of the decade, we’re already taking the necessary steps today for the forthcoming transformation,” R division boss Reinhold Ivenz confirmed to Autocar.

“The globally successful products from Volkswagen R are part of this exciting change process and will stand in [the] future for sustainable electric mobility”.

The work of Porsche?

In conversation with Auto Express though, the executive stated that the electric R models won’t use the dedicated EV MEB platform that underpins the ID line-up of models.

“We discussed several concepts in the MEB world and we are not confident with what we can do with the battery at the moment. If we want a specific MEB R model it would need its own battery, which is so expensive so we are not planning such a car at the moment,” he said.

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While performance versions of the ID.4 and ID.5 do feature under the GTX designation, it is believed that the R models will employ a version of the SSP platform Porsche is currently developing for the successor for the 718 Boxster and Cayman, as well as the replacement for the Audi R8.

Despite not naming the platform by name, Ivenz told Auto Express, “The next generation electric platform has much more horsepower. The MEB is not so powerful, but we don’t think in horsepower, we think in acceleration”.

Although not wanting to confirm which ID model would be the first to receive the R applique and when, Ivenz hinted that the ID.4 and not the ID.3 could be first in in-line once the Golf name bows out reportedly with the current eighth generation in 2025 or 2026.

“The ID. 4 is a better concept because it’s all-wheel drive, so we have a good base to make an R model. But things change rapidly at the moment, so we will see. There is greater volume for the ID.4, and in the ID. world, the R models are better suited to ID.4, ID.5 or ID.6,” Ivenz added.

A first demonstration electric R model will be previewed in 2024, though it is unclear as to which ID model it will be based upon if indeed so. Details are expected to be released next year.

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