German carmaker Volkswagen could have its answer to the Tesla Roadster electric sportscar in the pipeline.
As one of the world’s largest auto groups – second only to Japanese car maker Toyota by market share – Volkswagen has made it clear that it intends to take on Tesla, the Californian electric vehicle maker that has taken Europe by storm driving a surge in electric car sales.
VW has already started rolling its replacement for the e-Golf, the ID.3 electric hatchback, off the line in Zwickau as the first step in its “electric offensive”, and it may now be preparing to bring to market a substantially more exciting electric vehicle – a top-of-the-range electric ID.R road car.
VW will use this new electric sports vehicle, which would based around the hill-climbing and lap-winning ID.R sportscar – and be a marriage of coupé and roadster in style, according to highly placed sources that shared the information with Autocar – to pioneer new performance battery technology.
According to Autocar, there are already design studies of an ID.R road car at the company’s headquarters – although there have not yet been any official images released to the media (the above image is of the original ID.R sports concept, not the road vehicle).
It is understood that the ID.R road car would use VW’s MEB platform which underpins the ID.3 uses a skateboard chassis that allows for either single or dual motor drive.
An internal sub-brand strategy paper that muses the new vehicle and was shared to Autocar suggests that the top-of-the-range ID.R would be available in either a two-seater or 2+2 format, with a dual motor drivetrain.
It is also understood that it has been flagged as a perfect vehicle in which to test “secret” battery tech for a future fleet of electric ID R sportscars.
“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,” the company’s motorsport director, Sven Smeets, was quoted as saying by Autocar.
“The batteries start in the same area. At the moment we’re finalising the performance parameters of the batteries.”