The ID.R wasn’t just for show, mind you

If the recent rumors hold any truth, the audacious VW ID.R all-electric racer did serve a higher purpose than it was initially thought. It will lend a hand in developing the next-generation all-electric sports cars that VW plans to deliver by 2025.

Mind you, the said sports cars will only inherit a fraction of the ID.R’s mad performance potential - most likely in the form of e-motor technology and perhaps battery know-how, but that should make them less capable on the road.

Is Volkswagen’s MEB EV Platform Capable of Supporting a Sports Car?

2020 Volkswagen ID.3
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VW’s skateboard style MEB (modular electric drive matrix) platform currently underpins the ID3, but its wheelbase can be increased and at the same time, it allows for shorter overhangs, for the dynamic proportions we all like to admire in a sports car.

Autocar reports (citing “highly placed” sources within VW) that the upcoming ID.R-badged electric sports car will come in two guises: coupé and roadster. And we have absolutely no doubt that the MEB’s versatility and generous scaling options were a big factor behind VW’s decision to offer two body types.

2018 Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak Exterior
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Furthermore, VW can tweak the MEB platform to offer two-wheel-drive (front or rear) and all-wheel drive. On top of that, it can host either a single electric motor or a pair of those (each allocated to one axle).

To keep the parallel with the ID.R alive, VW’s monster EV packs two e-motors that deliver 500 kW (670 horsepower) sent to all four wheels. The batteries that feed these electric motors, however, are positioned next to the driver and behind the cockpit, something that’s not possible with the MEB platform, which is designed for battery storage in the center of the vehicle, right under the floor.

Volkswagen ID.R Specifications
Electric motor Dual motor 1 per axle Permanent four-wheel drive with active torque distribution
Battery Lithium-Ion
Power 670 HP
Torque 479 LB-FT

This arrangement works hand in hand with the purpose of a sports car because it spawns a low center of gravity and a well-balanced weight distribution ratio, two factors that directly influence the vehicle’s agility and driving-induced sensations.

Volkswagen Has a Battery Secret That Has Sports Car Written All Over It
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We don’t know the ID.R’s battery capacity, but the ID.3’s top-spec pack offers a capacity of 77 kWh. For the sake of the argument, the largest battery pack available inside the Porsche Taycan is reserved for the top-spec Taycan Turbo S and Taycan Turbo. It is made of 33 cells of 12 clusters each and offers a capacity of 93.4 kWh.

According to Autocar, though, the new electric sports car from VW might be granted with a battery that uses a different chemical process than the ID3, along with a new cell architecture - one that could be inspired by the ID.R.

Source: Autocar

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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