Call it inevitable but also call it another sign of the times. Volkswagen’s vaunted R brand will gradually shift to an all-electric sub-brand by the end of the decade, Autocar reported Tuesday.
Quoting someone within the halls of VW, Autocar reported that VW is “currently assessing various concepts and possibilities but will only offer R models that meet our requirements. One thing is certain: the future of R is electric.”
Those R models aren’t specified but it’s a good guess that they’re R variants of the company’s ID models—ID 3 and ID 4, although ID Buzz feels like a long shot—along with others. Quoting VW R boss Reinhold Ivenz, the sub-brand could take a more active role in the lineup as a halo for performance and sustainability.
The company also added that future R products would be the first stop for trickle-down tech from VW’s numerous R concepts, including the ultra-fast ID R race car. The sub-brand will also focus on quicker and easier charging, although it’s unclear if that means faster-charging hardware.
What this does mean is that it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see electric-powered R’s on lots next to gas-powered variants of the same car. It’s also unlikely that the R sub-brand moves forward on building its own models and will instead stick strictly to high-powered variants of already-existing VW cars. That last point is a tough one to swallow; VW’s made a big deal about its MEB platform and its flexibility for others to build from, which should be an easy showcase with its own performance marque.
We reached out to a Volkswagen of America spokesperson who declined to comment on the report.
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