The Volkswagen ID.3 electric hatch looks set to spawn a rear-driven R variant.
The Volkswagen ID.3 electric hatch looks set to spawn a rear-driven R variant.

R with no vrr-pha: VW working on high performance ID.3 - report

By Motoring Staff Time of article published Jun 29, 2020

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Wolfsburg, Germany - The company that started the hot hatch craze 45 years ago looks set to blaze the trail for the new electric age equivalent.

According to Autocar, Volkswagen is “close” to signing off plans for an R version of the ID.3 electric hatchback. But while ordinary versions of the ID.3 are set to go on sale shortly, those wanting a performance variant will likely have to wait until at least 2024, the UK publication added.

However, unlike the high-performance ID.4 GTX model that’s also in the planning, the ID.3 R will be rear-wheel-driven, Autocar reports, while the output is likely to be in the region of 220kW. That would be a useful increase over the 150kW offered by the current ID.3 flagship. 

It’s also going to be a notably different driving experience that might take some getting used to. No more vrr-pha, that’s for certain, but hot hatch fans are sure to enjoy the electric car’s instantaneous torque delivery.

VW’s development chief Frank Welsch told Autocar that although the ID 3 can accept all-wheel drive, it’s not likely to receive it in the first generation.

“There will not be a GTX variant, but we’re yet to decide on a rear-wheel-drive R variant,” Welsch said. 

There will, however, be an all-wheel driven, high-performance GTX version of the Volkswagen ID.4 crossover model. 

Incidentally, the ID.4 is set to be launched in South Africa in 2022 as the company’s first battery-powered model, although there is no word on whether the GTX version will reach our shores.

The ID.3 has been dubbed the most significant Volkswagen since the Beetle. It and the ID.4 will both be underpinned by the company’s MEB platform for electric vehicles, and the architecture is expected to spawn a wide range of variants, including a retro-styled spiritual successor to the T1 Kombi.

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