It appears that Volkswagen is looking to introduce a high-performance version of its newly-unveiled ID.3 electric hatch, and it’s due by 2024, according to a report by Autocar. The supposed ID.3 R is tipped to run on an all-wheel drive system with at least two performance-oriented electric motors, promising even better acceleration than the outgoing Golf GTI.

Company R&D boss Frank Welsch said the ID.3 R was one of his top prioritise to optimise the ID.3 as it ages, and said: “We should have the same as cars such as the Golf, the GTI and R. People like performance and I’m sure people will love performance in ID cars too.”

“The situation is different – even in the normal ID, we have good performance right from the very beginning, you just touch the pedal and you feel the punch. From 0-60km is like the GTI. No GTI is faster than the ID.3. At the upper end, of course GTI is better,” he explained. Welsch also said the ID.3 R would need all-wheel drive and performance electric motors, but it won’t be called the ID.3 GTI. “Let’s see whether it’s R or something else,” he added.

Volkswagen sales boss Jurgen Stackmann chimed in and said: “If there is a future for R it must be electric, it’s very simple. It won’t be next year, because we need to define what R is in the electric world.” For the time being, the company will channel electrification efforts, particularly in the performance arena, into developing the Touareg R with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, said Stackmann.

“Clearly the word R means high output combustion engine, and that will now move to higher output plug-in hybrid systems and then it will move onwards to R electric. We need to get firm on our electric vision fast,” Stackmann added. As for the ID.3 R, he said the solution must address range and performance.

“Today, if you look at high performance and electric, it’s actually a huge compromise, and you pay the penalty with a small range. We should be able to deliver something meaningful in under five years but it takes a team of developers, and it’s a turf without a lot of expertise at the moment. We have to start that journey,” he noted.

When asked for a tentative timeline, Welsche told the publication: “In under five years is okay. We have a lot of other work to do with other ID models and the Golf, Tiguan and so on, before then.”

To recap, the new ID.3 is Volkswagen’s first pure EV car, with three variants – ID.3, ID.3 Plus, ID.3 Max – available at launch. All three get a rear axle-mounted electric motor that generates 204 PS and 310 Nm of torque, with a rated top speed of 160 km/h.

The base model gets a 45 kWh battery pack offering 330 km of range, the Plus gets the 58 kWh battery pack with 420 km, and the Max gets the largest 77 kWh battery pack option with up to 550 km of range on the WLTP cycle. Prices start from under 30,000 euros (RM138,308) in Germany.