Monday, May 7, 2018

A Swift Kick in the Rs: More “Extreme” Performance on its way

By: Sebastien Bell
Although I’m sure that out in the real world most of us would go down swinging before admitting that there are any areas in which the Golf R could improve in any way whatsoever, within the sanctuary of these fora, we can admit that the Golf R might be falling behind the competition slightly.
Turns out Volkswagen agrees.
”The R brand is going extreme and can go extreme,” Jurgen Stackmann, head of sales and marketing, told Auto Express at the Beijing Motor Show. “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.”
With the (dearly departedFocus RS churning out at least 50 hp more and the Civic Type Rcoming from the factory with cartoon-style speed lines, it’s easy for the Golf R to get lost in the crowd. Worse yet, the next Focus RS will allegedly make 400 hp—which may be what Stackmann was referring to, but we sincerely hope it was a taste of what’s planned for the Golf—so Volkswagen R has a lot of work to do.
While you might argue that the Golf R’s appeal was that it was a mature performance car, it must also be said that people tend not to buy performance cars for how sober and serious they are. Fortunately, it sounds like VW’s on top of it.
“With a little more expressive design, R can go beyond the rational side of things,” Stackmann said. “[The brand] can find its place in a different league of pure performance and there’s a space where customers are willing to pay a significant amount of money.”
And just because VW’s working on electric vehicles, doesn’t mean that the brand is an endangered species. With the I.D. R, VW is clearly signaling its intention to make performance electric cars.
The I.D. R shows “where can we take the R idea when it comes to the [electric] family,” added Stackmann.

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