Volkswagen has been making waves with its electrically powered machines on the world stage. The bespoke ID.R racer has set records at the Nurburgring, Goodwood Festival of Speed and up the Tianmen Mountain Road. You can read about the battery powered racecar’s exploits and see it in action at this link. This weekend Volkswagen unveiled the powerful Golf eR1 prototype at the GP Ice Race event that took place in Zell am See. You can see pics from the GP Ice Race on the Double Apex Facebook page.
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Hiding in plain view
It turns out that the Golf eR1 has been in existence for some time, even though it was only made public this week. It was built to house the drivetrain of the ID.R. It served as a test mule for that car’s powertrain. Under that wide TCR body shell was the ID.R’s 500 kW all-electric battery powered set-up. One motor on each axle means that the eR1 is all-wheel-drive, which made it ideal for slippery conditions at the GP Ice Race.
Now that the eR1 has been presented to the world it will make a number of appearances at high-profile events, and in promotional videos. It will be used to showcase Volkswagen’s commitment to electric performance vehicles. The real take away, of course, is that the Golf eR1 is in all likelihood a precursor to a future hot production model. VW has already launched its ID brand of battery powered models and we will even see an electric version of the Golf 8 in SA (as we reported here).
The VW Golf eR1 was driven at the GP Ice Race by Ben Leuchter. Leuchter was the same pilot who set a front-wheel-drive lap record at the Nurburgring in the Golf ClubSport S.
Talking to Autocar magazine the head of Volkswagen Golf R, Jost Capito had the following to say at the event over the weekend. “In a series like electric touring car racing or Formula E, a lot of the technology is frozen – so while championships like that may be good for product placement and marketing, we’re not looking at them right now.” Capito also confirmed that the “1” in “eR1” indicates there will be a follow-up prototype. “There will be more,” he said, “we just don’t know what comes next yet.”