VW won’t be making an ID.3 R electric hot hatch | Top Gear
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Thursday 28th September

VW won’t be making an ID.3 R electric hot hatch

VW’s performance arm boss Reinhold Ivenz tells TG that the MEB platform doesn’t allow for R models

Published: 01 Nov 2022

We’ve been hearing rumours that a Volkswagen ID.3 R might happen ever since we first saw the standard version of VW’s entry-level EV. Today though it would seem that those rumours have been quashed, because R boss Reinhold Ivenz has told TG that the company won’t build any R models on the MEB platform. 

“For the MEB we discussed concepts, we discussed what the platform can offer us, and we said that is not enough for an R model,” said Ivenz.

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“If you want to make an R model in the MEB world we must make a new platform for this, and this is too expensive. So we’ve said we’ll start with the next generation.”

That next generation platform will presumably be VW’s upcoming 800V SSP platform, with Ivenz confirming that the R sub-brand is now involved in discussions surrounding the requirements for a performance-focussed EV. 

“We’ve discussed concepts with the next generation platform,” he said. “We must define now what we need in the new platform. There are lots of discussions about what we can do and what we don’t need. It’s an open discussion with the technical departments and so I cannot say right now what we’ll be able to make on top of that platform. This is the beginning.”

So, we’ll have to wait a little while longer for a full-fat performance EV from VW then. And will we ever get an electric hot hatch? In the meantime, the ID.4 and ID.5 GTX will continue to top the brand’s range of EV SUVs, although Ivenz does say that those are “not a performance car”. 

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“We need more horsepower and we need a more dynamic car,” he tells TG. “With a torque splitter and features that make the car more sporty.

“At the moment we say it’s about acceleration. 0-62mph in about four seconds. Not less – that makes no sense for us. Currently our cars are around 4.0 to 4.5 from 0-62mph and we’d like to retain that with EVs. We don’t want a super sports car. We are a part of Volkswagen, and our strategy is to support the top of volume positioning. It’s not necessary to have something with the speed of a Porsche Taycan. The cars can’t be too expensive, or we’d lose the customers that we want to reach.”

So, future performance EVs are being talked about, with R itself recently confirming that it’d be all-electric by 2030. However, unless we see that new platform soon we’ll just have to keep speculating on what those cars will look like. Will they be worth the wait, Internet?

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