Volkswagen's R Models Will Become More Extreme and Electric
Those who thought the current Golf R looked a little too mature? Good news.
Admirers of Volkswagen's decidedly grown-up approach to hot hatchery, we have some bad news. The German automaker recently spoke to Auto Express and expressed intentions (see what I did there?) of making its high-performance R models more "extreme."
"The R brand is going extreme and can go extreme," VW sales and marketing board member Jürgen Stackmann told the British publication at the Beijing Motor Show. "The role of R is that it can go beyond the pure rational; nobody needs a compact car with 400 horsepower, but there is a place, certainly, and that’s the turf of R."
Does that mean the next-generation Golf R will follow its Ford and Honda competitors in becoming a vessel for vents, scoops, and spoilers galore? Sounds like it. "With a little more expressive design, R can go beyond the rational side of things," Stackmann added. "It can find its place in a different league of pure performance and there’s a space where customs are willing to pay a significant amount of money."
The company also says its upcoming I.D. electric models will be getting the R treatment, pointing to the I.D. R Pikes Peak racer as a proof of concept. "The I.D R that we put into Pikes Peak shows that the R strategy needs a dimension on the electric world," the VW exec said. "It cannot stick to just conventional powertrain solutions - it is a new dimension to our brand."
Indeed, electrification will be coming even to the automaker's non-I.D. models with the Mk8 Golf pegged to get a 48-volt mild hybrid system. That car is slated to enter production in 2019. Given Stackmann's statements, expect the R version to assault your eyes, mind, and wallet with its increased amounts of extreme. Hey, with the Focus RS effectively dead, someone had to take its place eventually.
When we reached out to Volkswagen, a spokesperson said the company cannot provide any further comment at this time.