curb your enthusiasm

VW’s Tesla-Fighting Electric Sports Car May Be a Long Time Coming


March 19, 2020 Cars By
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Affordable performance has been a Volkswagen brand hallmark for decades, thanks in large part to cars such as the GTI and the Golf R. Nowadays, VW is pushing hard into electric cars with its ID sub-brand — but that doesn’t mean the carmaker is planning on leaving fast, fun cars behind.

The company’s sales chief has gone on record saying the future of the R performance division “must be electric.” As such, many VW enthusiasts have been hoping the company will come after Tesla with a sporty EV fusing iconic VW handling with instant electric acceleration. Unfortunately, such a car does not appear to be imminent.

Jost Capito, who leads Volkswagen’s R division, told Motortrend that, while he would want to build it, an affordable electric performance car will be some time away — if it even happens. VW, he says, is unsure about the consumer demand for it. (Volkswagen is sticking with pure internal combustion for the next generation of Golf R.)

Of course, Volkswagen Group is not ignoring the potential for electric performance cars. The company built a record-smashing ID.R race car as part of its global ID-brand marketing campaign; Porsche, notably, launched the Taycan to do things the Model S cannot last year; and Audi has announced higher-performance “S” versions of the e-Tron electric SUV. But with those Audis likely starting at or near six figures, we remain a long way off from a sporty EV most people would define as “affordable.”

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Tyler Duffy

Tyler Duffy is Gear Patrol's Motoring Staff Writer. He used to write about sports for The Big Lead and The Athletic. He has a black belt in toddler wrangling. He's based outside Detroit.

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