Electric Volkswagen Golf R waiting for green light

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Higher-riding, rugged ID 2 SUV tipped to be joined by potent electric successor to Golf R with over 220kW.

Volkswagen is considering a higher-riding version of the upcoming ID 2, with all-wheel drive and the potential for a performance variant which would in essence replace the Volkswagen Golf R.

Dubbed the ID 2X, the rugged variant would be similar to Volkswagen’s previous Alltrack models. But with all-wheel-drive on hold for now, the firm has yet to receive a definitive green light for production.

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Launching a taller and more rugged version of the ID 2 would allow Volkswagen to essentially mirror its current entry-level offering, comprising the Volkswagen Polo and technically identical Volkswagen T-Cross.

The now-axed ID Life concept was itself a similar size to the T-Cross, and the most recent iteration of the Cupra Urban Rebel is of a similar shape and stature, so evidently the MEB Entry platform is being engineered to accommodate compact SUVs as well as hatchbacks.

The introduction of a four-wheel drive system in the ID 2 line-up also raises the intriguing possibility of an electric successor to today’s full-fat Volkswagen Golf R – which would provide Volkswagen with a baby hot EV to rival Abarth’s new 500e and the upcoming Alpine R5.

It has already been confirmed that Volkswagen’s R performance brand will be electric-only by 2030 and has “several electric R models in the planning stages”.

As with the GTI nameplate, Volkswagen is committed to carrying its R lineage into the electric era, with boss Thomas Schäfer telling Automotive Daily Network partner Autocar that using existing monikers can be more effective than creating new ones: “With a strong brand, you need to spend less [on marketing, and have better awareness] getting it out there.”

Any R-badged version of the ID 2 would necessarily be much more potent and performance-oriented than the front-drive standard car and GTI. Volkswagen earlier hinted at its plans for 4WD hot hatchbacks with the ID X concept – a lowered, lightened and stiffened version of the ID 3 with 240kW, a 0-100km/h time of 5.3sec and a dedicated drift mode.

Whether the smaller version of the MEB platform could accommodate this level of power and the associated chassis revisions remains to be seen, but ex-VW boss Ralf Brandstätter said that electric R cars will “take up many ideas” from the project.

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