Honda Might Be Afraid, But VW isn’t - There Will be a Volkswagen ID.3 R by 2024
It may not end up in North America, thoughby Robert Moore, on
In the very same day that a project manager decided to kill the hope of ever seeing a Honda e Type R, Volkswagen has confirmed that it’s not only interested in making a hotter version of the ID 3, but it’s pretty sure that the ID 3 R – or whatever it will be called – will be introduced to the market by 2024. That may seem like a long wait, at least four years by our calendar, but the wait will be more than worth it. See, VW could probably introduce a hotter version in the next couple of years, but the battery technology isn’t quite ready yet, so when it does come to market in 2024 it could end up being the best hot hatch Volkswagen has ever produced; fingers crossed. Here’s what we know so far.
Volkswagen Sees Electrification as Potential for Great Performance
Before I go too far into the point I’m making; I should point out that the ID 3 is already giving the same off-the-line feeling that you get with the current Golf GTi. Sure, it’s a little slower to 100 kph (8.0-seconds vs. about 6.1 seconds), but when you hit the go-pedal, we’re told you do get pushed into the seat.
From 0 to around 60 kph, VW claims that the new ID 3 is very similar to the GTI.
That doesn’t mean that the ID 3 should be labeled as a performance or hot hatch. It’s not. But, it does open the door, and Volkswagen is already starting to take the plunge into the inevitable future. “Clearly the word R means high output combustion engine, and that will now move to higher output plug-in hybrid systems, and then it will move onwards to R electric. We need to get firm on our electric vision fast,” said VW Sales Boss, Jurgen Stackmann.
He even went on to admit that there is currently a compromise in all-electric performance. To sum it up, if you want higher performance, you pay the price with range. And, he’s not necessarily wrong, but what’s more important to take from that is that VW is looking to offer an all-electric hot hatch with great range too, and that’s more important than anything when it comes to success of something like the ID 3 R.
An ID 3 R Isn’t the Only Thing on the Table, Either
In the same interview session with Autocar, VW’s R&D Chief, Frank Welsch, admitted that a performance version of the ID 3 is at the top of his priority list. But it’s not just that. His plans include a number of higher-performance ID 3s, and there’s even potential for a middle-range driver’s car like an ID 3 GTI:
“We should have the same as cars such as the Golf, the GTI and R. People like performance and I’m sure people will love performance in ID cars too.”
Welsch even claims that no GTI is faster than the ID 3 in its current form. Performance figures seem to disagree a bit – remember, the current GTI can hit 60 mph in less than six seconds in perfect conditions with the right driver. Maybe he knows something we don’t, though, so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt. What matters right now is the fact that there will most likely be at least two hotter versions of the ID 3 hatchback and that the company should have “something meaningful in under five years,” despite the lack of expertise.
At this time, nobody has actually confirmed that the hotter ID 3 models will carry GTI or R badges, but it’s possible. What we do know is that Volkswagen is shooting for all-wheel drive and a performance electric motor. Welsch says that the first hotter variation won’t go by the GTI nomenclature (that doesn’t mean it won’t be used on a different ID 3, though) and that “we’ll see whether it’s (the hotter version of the ID 3 currently being discussed) R or something else.”
The ID 3 Isn’t Planned for North America Either
Now, all of this sounds quite exciting, but if you live in North America, don’t get too excited yet.
As of the time of this writing, there are no plans to bring the ID 3 as we know it to North America.
There’s no word on whether the hotter version of the ID 3 will make the trip across the big blue or if the ID 3 will immigrate here between now and then, but it seems Volkswagen is still using at least a couple pages out of Honda’s playbook as the Honda e Urban EV isn’t coming to North America either. Why is a question that has yet to be answered, but perhaps it has something to do with logistics or cost of importation as a whole. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens down the road.
Read our full speculative review on the 2020 Volkswagen ID.3.
Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen I.D. Crozz II
Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen I.D. Vizzion Concept.
Read our full review on the 2017 Volkswagen I.D. Buzz.
Read our full review on the 2018 Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak.