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Volkswagen R will be electric by 2030 – report

Volkswagen’s hottest performance cars will trade their turbocharged engines for electric motors by 2030.

According to a report from Autocar, the performance brand will convert “gradually” from its current petrol and plug-in hybrid range as part of Volkswagen’s broader push to be electric-only in a number of key markets by 2035.

The reports quotes Volkswagen, which says there are “several electric R models in the planning stages”.

“We’re currently assessing various concepts and possibilities but will only offer R models that meet our requirements. One thing is certain: the future of R is electric,” the brand told Autocar.

Much of the current Volkswagen R range features a version of the same turbocharged EA888 four-cylinder engine, although the Touareg R pairs a 3.0-litre turbocharged petrol V6 with an electric motor.

The ID. R prototype (above) should set the direction for the future of the ID brand. It holds the current record up the Pikes Peak hillclimb, and packs 500kW from its dual-motor powertrain.

Although it’s possible we’ll see Volkswagen R products built on the current MEB electric platform, it’s likely the R brand will push harder into electric power when the new SSP platform drops in 2026.

This will be the successor of not only today’s MEB and PPE all-electric architectures, but also the MQB, MSB and MLB architectures currently used for internal-combustion engine vehicles.

That means it’ll be highly scalable, with models on those existing architectures ranging in size from light hatchbacks (the MQB-based Volkswagen Polo) to full-sized luxury sedans (the MSB-based Bentley Flying Spur).

Currently, the most aggressive electric Volkswagen products are badged GTX.

The ID.5 GTX SUV features 220kW of power and 310Nm of torque from its dual-motor powertrain, similar outputs to the Volkswagen Golf GTI Clubsport offered abroad.

That falls slightly short of the 245kW and 420Nm on tap in an upcoming update to the Golf R, however.

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