Volkswagen R Chief Wants Electric Rs to Get to 60 in 3 Seconds

It’s now widely known that electric vehicles are capable of enormously fast acceleration figures, but so far VW’s fleet has not impressed. That’s set to change, though.

Speaking to Jost Capito, the R brand’s managing director, at the New York International Auto Show, we asked if acceleration figures for VW’s R cars would improve over the likes of the Seat El-Born, which accelerates to 60 in 7.5 seconds. He confidently said yes.

“I would like to see three seconds from an electric R car,” Capito told us. But one of the hurdles VW faces is measuring acceleration figures against range.

That’s a problem that Volkswagen worked hard on solving during its Pikes Peak run in the I.D. R. For its record, VW Motorsport had to figure out how to make its car as fast as possible for as long as possible, so that Romain Dumas could drive at ten-tenths the whole way up the mountain.

Similarly, Capito sees that electric R cars have to be fast and have to get you where you’re going.

Capito was also adamant that despite the facility of electric cars to accelerate, corner speed and driving feel would remain higher priorities for buyers, and therefore Volkswagen R.

“Electric performance cars aren’t just limited to 0-60 numbers,” said Capito. “I like to see electric cars that perform well through the corners. The genes for that are there. But I don’t see EVs that are that much fun like that. I would really like to have a car that drives and handles as well as the Rs drive and handle now.”

The recently minted chief of the Volkswagen R also went into the broad strokes of what his vision for the subbrand is. Like BMW’s M division, R will become its label, with a number of models extending beyond the Golf. But VW will also look to make R cars more than just sporty. They’ll be elegant and refined, too, not unlike the current Golf R.

That means that although there is an understanding within the company that a power gulf between the Golf R and the GTI should be kept, the latter can be the more extreme “boy racer” car, while the former should be understated and offer a degree of luxury.

Capito also revealed that the T-Roc R’s arrival signals VW’s readiness to put the badge on SUVs. While he stopped short of mentioning the Tiguan, he is determined that there is a gap in the market for non-premium performance crossovers.