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VW Says ID.4 Is too Dull to Get a High Performance R Version



Volkswagen ID4

Photo: Volkswagen

When we reviewed the Volkswagen ID.4, we didn’t exactly think it was a bad car, but we also didn’t think it was a great one. Really, it was fine. A decent EV. If all you want is an electric car, the ID.4 is an electric car. So we’re not exactly surprised to hear VW confirm there won’t be an I.D4 R, but what is surprising is just how blunt they were about it.

Top Gear recently spoke to Reinhold Ivenz, the head of Volkswagen’s R division, not long after VW said the R sub-brand will go all electric by 2030. Considering VW plans to go all-electric too, we just kind of assumed that was the case, but oh well. Now it’s official.

During that conversation, Ivenz explained that none of VW’s current EVs will get an R version because the MEB platform is simply too boring to make it worth the development costs. Next-gen EVs, on the other hand, are a different story.

“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,” Ivenz told Top Gear. “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.”

Speaking specifically about the ID.4, Ivenz straight-up said it’s “not a performance car.” Which is true, but it’s also not something you hear directly from the company all that often. “We need more horsepower and we need a more dynamic car,” he said. “With a torque splitter and features that make the car more sporty.”

That said, don’t expect VW’s electric performance cars to melt faces and destroy drag strips. They’re targeting quick but not Tesla Plaid-level acceleration that more mainstream buyers will be able to appreciate and also afford:

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 don’t expect a budget Taycan Turbo S with a VW badge anytime soon. Got it. That also sounds just fine to us because 0-to-60 times in the low four-second range are still pretty darn quick.

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