Volkswagen promises ‘extreme’ R models

A 400bhp Volkswagen Golf R and hardcore electric models for bolstered R brand

Not only will Volkswagen make its R models more ‘extreme’, its future range of I.D. electric cars won’t be exempt from the high-performance treatment, company bosses have told Carbuyer.

Volkswagen’s current GTI and R hot hatchbacks have conceded a significant power deficit to rivals like the Ford Focus RS and Honda Civic Type R. But, a plan to redress the balance is already afoot, says VW’s sales and marketing boss, Jurgen Stackamann.

Carbuyer's best hot hatchbacks

He told Carbuyer, “The R brand is going extreme and can go extreme” at the Beijing Motor Show, adding: “The role of R is that it can go beyond the pure rational; nobody needs a compact car with 400bhp, but there is a place, certainly, and that’s the turf of R.”

Beijing was the venue for the 2014 debut of the Golf R 400 concept, celebrating the 40th anniversary of the iconic model’s launch. Its 2.0-litre TSI engine was tuned to produce 396bhp, sent to all four wheels for a 3.9 second 0-62mph time.

It’s likely the extreme R treatment will be debuted by the Mk8 Golf that’s due to arrive in 2019, but R could also be rolled out on SUV’s in a similar fashion to the new Cupra sub-brand that includes a 296bhp Cupra Ateca crossover. VW bosses have expressed interest in extending the R portfolio to the Volkswagen T-Roc and Tiguan.

“With a little more expressive design and R can go beyond the rational side of things. It [the R brand] 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.” added Stackmann.

VW I.D R electric performance models planned

The future of the R brand won’t be limited to petrol models, expanding into VW’s future range of I.D. electric cars. “The I.D. R that we put into Pikes Peak shows that the R strategy needs a dimension on the electric world,” Stackmann explained. “It cannot stick to just conventional powertrain solutions - it is a new dimension to our brand.”

Volkswagen’s electric I.D. R Pikes Peak car aims to beat the existing 8:57.118 minute record for an electric car at the treacherous “Race to the Clouds” hill climb in Colorado Springs, USA. It develops 670bhp, with one motor for each axle and shows “how powerful we can get with our MEB [electric platform] idea” and “where can we take the R idea when it comes to the [electric] family”, Stackmann told us.

Recommended

Volkswagen Tiguan SUV review
Volkswagen Tiguan SUV steering wheel
Volkswagen Tiguan
3 Sep 2021

Volkswagen Tiguan SUV review

Volkswagen T-Roc SUV review
Volkswagen T-Roc SUV
Volkswagen T-Roc
12 Aug 2021

Volkswagen T-Roc SUV review

Facelifted Volkswagen Tiguan: eHybrid on sale now for £35,515
Volkswagen Tiguan eHybrid
Volkswagen Tiguan
6 Aug 2021

Facelifted Volkswagen Tiguan: eHybrid on sale now for £35,515

SEAT Ateca SUV review
SEAT Ateca SUV front 3/4 tracking
SEAT Ateca
5 Aug 2021

SEAT Ateca SUV review

Most Popular

Best new car deals 2021
Fiat 500 electric
Deals
24 Sep 2021

Best new car deals 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year
2022 Citroen Ami
Citroen Ami
21 Sep 2021

Electric Citroen Ami to launch in the UK next year

Top 10 best small estates 2021
Skoda Octavia Estate
Skoda Octavia Estate
22 Sep 2021

Top 10 best small estates 2021

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
10 Aug 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
3 Jun 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Tips and advice
15 Jun 2021

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2021
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
12 Aug 2021

Top 10 best electric cars 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
10 Jun 2021

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Mercedes AMG A45 - rear
Hot hatches
25 Jun 2021

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks