VW's R brand will go electric
A combustion-engined Golf R will debut this year, but it could be the last combustion-engined R branded car ever...
As you'll have no doubt seen within the last 10 years or so, the rise of electrification is really shaking things up in the automotive industry. Every big manufacturer in the world is now making commitments to electrify either part of all of their lineup. One of those big manufacturers banking really heavily on electrification is the VW Group. Volkswagen has invested heavily in battery technology, inked major technology sharing deals with companies such as Ford and now it's been revealed that the VW R performance range will go fully electric very soon.
This somewhat earth-shattering news was reported by Top Gear last week via a conversation with VW Group board member Jürgen Stackmann, who stated that "The future of R needs to be, and will be, electric... We’re still working on what we started two and half years ago – which was obviously not electric, though exciting – but the work going forward is and will be electrified." An electrified R branded car is already avaliable to the public in the form of the Touareg R that was unveiled earlier this year, the first R model with a hybrid powertrain. The super-SUV uses a turbocharged 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine combined with an electric motor powered by a 14.1 kWh battery to produce a total of 456 hp (336 hp from the engine and 130 hp from the electric motor) as well as a more than respectable 516 lb-ft of torque.
Whilst there will definitely be a fully combustion powered Golf R coming soon, with Stackmann's announcement that the R brand will be fully focused on electrification it could very well be the last combustion-engined (or at least last fully combustion-engined) Golf R to ever be produced. It could even be the last fully combustion-engined R car in general to ever be produced. Don't be too worried that the switch to electric will mean the end of the crazy VW speed machines though; if the absolutely monstrous VW ID.R is anything to go by, things could be getting even more insane in terms of performance for VW's fastest road cars. Stackmann himself is definitely very optimistic for the future of the R brand: "I'm excited to carry the news of R into the next generation, stronger than ever I would say."
If you're into the R branded Volkswagens, whether you own one yourself or you'd like to own one, you can rep your brand pretty easily by getting this R branded cap from Volkswagen themselves! It's a great design with the R logo embossed on the front and some subtle blue details at the back, in keeping with the typical colour scheme you'll find on any model in Volkswagen's R range.