ID.3 R hot-hatch likely to be rear-wheel drive only and have at least 304hp on tap
Standard ID.3 international deliveries to start from September despite software issues
Production ID. Roomz, ID. Buzz and ID. Vizzion expected to arrive by end-2022 followed by an ID city car and Mercedes EQB-rivalling SUV
Volkswagen bosses are close to signing off plans for a hot, R-badged version of the forthcoming ID.3 electric hatchback. Sources have told our sister publication Autocar UK that the performance machine is set to be launched in 2024.
The electric hot-hatch is the brainchild of the German firm’s R performance division. It’s intended to reinforce the links between the successful ID. R record-breaking prototype and Volkswagen’s crucial new ID road car range.
Volkswagen development chief Frank Welsch said the ID.3 R is “something we’re looking at”. He added: “I like the idea, but we have to decide if the market is ready to accept such a model.”
Welsch said the proposed R model would sit at the top of the ID.3 line-up and could be the only pure performance variant.
Volkswagen’s planned electric-specific performance badge, GTX, won’t be used on the ID.3, because it’s reserved for cars with the twin-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain. While that will fit in the larger ID.4 SUV, the ID.3 is being launched with a single-motor, rear-wheel-drive setup only.
“The ID.3 can accept four-wheel drive, although it’s unlikely to receive it during the first generation,” Welsch told Autocar UK. “There will not be a GTX variant, but we’re yet to decide on a rear-wheel-drive R variant.” Last year, Welsch had said such a car “would need a performance e-motor and four-wheel drive”.
The most powerful of the ID.3 launch models offers 204hp, although the planned R model is expected to have at least 304hp. However, the performance necessary for an ID.3 R could be made possible by likely developments in EV technology by 2024.
R chief Jost Capito recently told Autocar UK it was working with Volkswagen’s motorsport arm to see what technology from the performance batteries used in the ID R could be applied to road cars.
ID 3 to arrive in September despite software issues
The late stages of the ID 3’s development have been badly hit by software issues, but new Volkswagen CEO Ralf Brandstätter confirmed that deliveries will begin in Europe and the UK in early September.
However, the initial limited-edition First models will arrive without a number of software features. These include the augmented reality functions for the car’s head-up display and some of the App Connect features, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
A free software update will be offered once the systems are available. Early buyers can also choose to delay receipt of their ID 3 until the systems are fully ready.
The ID 3 will eventually be sold with three battery capacities and two power outputs. The First edition, which was offered to people who pre-booked a car, will use the mid-sized 58kWh battery for a claimed range of 420km. It will have 204hp, 310Nm and a 160kph top speed.
More ID models also in the works
The next ID model from VW is set to be the ID4 which is set to debut in late-August this year. The electric SUV will mirror the exterior dimensions of the soon-to-be-facelifted second-generation Tiguan and offer seating for up to five.
Two versions will be offered: a standard model with an upright tailgate and an emphasis on versatility and a sportier version with a coupé-like profile, potentially using the Cross suffix.
At launch, the ID.4 will be exclusively rear-wheel drive, with a single electric motor offering up to 204hp and 310Nm. A more powerful, four-wheel-drive GTX model running two motors with a combined 306hp and 450Nm will join the line-up within the first 12 months of sales.
The ID 4 will be sold with a range of batteries up to 83kWh, giving a range of as much as 500km. All models will also offer charging at up to 125kW.
Sources have also revealed to Autocar UK that development of the production version of the ID Roomz, ID Buzz and ID Vizzion concepts is already well progressed with all three set to make their debuts by the end of 2022.
Work is also advanced on the ‘ID Entry’ small car, set to be named the ID.1. Positioned as a successor to the Volkswagen e-Up, Seat Mii Electric and Skoda Citigo-e iV, it’s due to enter production by 2023.
It was originally planned to have its own low-cost platform and electric drivetrain developed by Seat and the Volkswagen Group’s Chinese partner, JAC Automobile, but development has been taken in-house at Volkswagen.
Also under development, but yet to be confirmed, is a production version of the secretive ID Ruggdzz. The Land Rover Defender-esque off-roader forms part of what sources call an ‘icon project’ to establish “a line of ID models with the same timeless and classless qualities as the original Beetle”.
Conceived to rival the Mercedes-Benz EQB, it’s said to feature rugged styling cues and a choice of five or seven seats. Sources suggest the range-topping ID Ruggdzz model will have a twin-motor, four-wheel-drive powertrain.
The ID Ruggdzz is expected to enter production in 2023 as part of a 30-strong Volkswagen SUV line-up planned by 2025.
The ID. all-electric range is expected to come to India sometime next year with the introduction of the ID.4 SUV. The EV was showcased in pre-production form as the ID. Crozz at Auto Expo 2020.
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