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VW working on electric ID 4 R performance crossover and Alltrack wagon

Volkswagen's ID 4 crossover isn't out yet and its R performance division is already brainstorming an R version.

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- 02:22
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The ID Crozz concept.

Volkswagen

During a roundtable at last week's Chicago Auto Show, I asked Hein Schafer, Volkswagen's senior vice president of product marketing, about the potential for an electric performance SUV from VW. He said VW's R performance division is already working on one.

"R ... are definitely looking at finding ways to extract a little bit of a faster 0-60, and I've seen some very cool body kits and design sketches of what potentially could be an ID Crozz R," Schafter said. "I think a lot of it depends of whether they can extract a little bit more horsepower and a faster 0-60, but they are thinking about that."

When he says ID Crozz, he's talking about the concept that is being put into production later this year as the ID 4. The ID 4 will be sized similarly to the existing Tiguan while offering more interior space, and it will start at around $33,000. It should mirror the ID 3 hatch in offering a rear-drive base model with a dual-motor all-wheel drive option, the latter of which would likely be the basis for a faster version.

Performance EVs aren't as simple to create as faster versions of traditional gas-powered cars. "That's the difficulty when you start talking about batteries and cells, because you don't just bolt on a bigger turbo and it goes faster. It all boils down to technology," Schafer said. 

Larger electric motors could boost power and lower acceleration times, as would different electronics tuning. An R variant would likely get other upgrades such as lowered suspension, bigger wheels and brakes, grippier sport seats and even different fake engine noises. As a tradeoff for the increased performance, an ID 4 R would probably have a lower range than the standard models.

VW isn't showing off the production ID 4 until later in 2020, so an R model would be at least a few years away. For the first couple of years the ID 4 will be imported from Germany, but starting in 2022 it will be built at VW's factory in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where the batteries will also be produced.

Schafer also said the brand is considering an Alltrack-like version of last year's ID Space Vizzion concept for production. "We've had some discussions with Wolfsburg whether that car could work as a kind of Volvo crossover with body cladding and slightly higher suspension." 

We already knew that the Space Vizzion was getting put into production, with "different versions" to be sold in the US, Europe and China, and this is our first confirmation of what that could be. A crossoverized Alltrack version of the Space Vizzion would be a much easier sell to US customers, and hey -- it would still be a wagon. And we love wagons.