The new VW ID 3 looks very promising for a multitude of reasons. It’s practical, it has a range of up to 342 miles, and by the sounds of it, the MEB-based car may not even be that expensive. Has the electric car finally been democratised?
What the ID 3 isn’t, however, is fast. Sure, with 201bhp it’s reasonably powerful, but with a big battery pack to cart around, the EV has a rather porky kerb weight of 1719kg. The good news for anyone wanting more go is there’s a decent chance of a hot one emerging eventually.
Speaking to Auto Express, VW e-mobility product marketing specialist Christine Leuderalbert confirmed that discussions about turning the ID 3 into a hot hatch are already happening.
“We’re actively considering it, but we need to do some work on how an electric car can also be a performance car,” she said, adding, “We know electric vehicles have excellent acceleration, but we need to look at how the rest of the package would affect the car’s efficiency”.
Any such car would likely be branded as an R, rather than a GTI. “If there is a future for R, it must be electric,” VW’s sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackmann said. Don’t forget, the 670bhp ID R bagged multiple records before the ID 3 was even revealed. The car’s PR and marketing assault has made a decent amount of headway in showing the ID brand’s performance potential while also attempting to redefine what people expect from the R designation.
As much as we’d love for VW to boost the rear-mounted motor of the ID 3 to 400bhp, we’d expect an additional unit to appear on the front axle instead. This would give the ID 3 enough performance to give modern hot hatches a run for their money, while giving the all-wheel drive handling security the existing Golf R is known for.
This may take a while to arrive, however - Stackmann has pledged that the first full-electric R production model should be here “in under five years.”