Volkswagen has revealed that its ‘R’ brand performance models will soon benefit from a new philosophy that makes them more extreme than ever before.
During an interview with Auto Express at the ongoing Beijing Motor Show, VW sales and marketing boss Jurgen Stackmann suggested the brand has been motivated by its competitors to create more extreme performance models.
“The R brand is going extreme and can go extreme. The role of R is that it can go beyond the pure rational; nobody needs a compact car with 400bhp, but there is a place, certainly, and that’s the turf of R.”
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Stackmann went on to add that if customers are willing to accept the increased cost, R models will explore new levels of performance. This could all start with the next-generation VW Golf R.
“With a little more expressive design, R can go beyond the rational side of things. It [the R brand] can find its place in a different league of pure performance and there’s a space where customs are willing to pay a significant amount of money,” he said.
The Mk8 Golf R is expected to directly target the upcoming A45 from Mercedes-AMG which itself will deliver over 400 hp. Volkswagen appears willing to chase a similar power figure, giving the vehicle significantly more grunt than the 306 horses it currently offers in European spec.
The marque’s new strategy for the R brand will extend to its family of I.D. electric models. According to Stackmann, the I.D. R racer destined for Pikes Peak shows VW’s willingness to turn the wick up on all-electric models in a move that represents “a new dimension to our brand.”