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Wednesday, 10-07-2019 Press-Service

Dr. Frank Welsch: “The ID.R is an important ambassador for Volkswagen”

  • The Chief Development Officer talks about parallels between the ID.R electric racing car and future electric production vehicles from the ID. family1
  • Records with the ID.R underline the performance capabilities of e-drive from Volkswagen
  • Technology transfer between production development and Volkswagen Motorsport

Volkswagen has added two more chapters to the ID.R’s success story: the lap record for electric powered vehicles on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife was followed by the absolute track record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. This once again impressively demonstrated the performance capabilities of electro technology.

But the ID.R is more than a record holder – it is the racing spearhead to the ID. family of fully electric powered production vehicles, which will appear on the market from 2020. In an interview, Dr. Frank Welsch, Chief Development Officer of Volkswagen Passenger Cars, speaks about the significance of the records for the brand’s electro-mobility offensive.

Dr. Welsch, how important are the two most recent records of the ID.R for you?
The records on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife and the Goodwood Festival of Speed are a further demonstration of the excellent work put in by the entire Volkswagen Motorsport team, and they make me personally very proud. Electric drive heralds a new era in production vehicles. Volkswagen will make an important contribution to this with the ID. model family that is set to be launched. In this regard, I see the ID.R as an important ambassador.

In your view, what is the overall significance of the ID.R’s performance for Volkswagen?
With the ID.R we have repeatedly demonstrated just how strong the performance capabilities of Volkswagen cars with electric drive are today. From 2020, with the ID. models, we will bring a whole family of fully electric vehicles on the market. As the racing spearhead of these future production models, the ID.R combines our technical competence in electric drive with the emotions and the fascination of motorsport.

Motorsport is considered a test bench for the technology of production vehicles. What role do the ID.R’s record outings play in this regard?
First of all, the entire development of the ID.R has led to a technology transfer between Volkswagen Motorsport and various specialist departments of production development at Volkswagen. This concerned above all the field of electric drive. For example, Volkswagen Motorsport benefited from the production development know-how in building battery cells and handling high-voltage components in the vehicle.

Did the technology transfer also function in the opposite direction?
Absolutely. The production car developers, for example, watched with great interest how the motorsport team dealt with rapid charging technology, how it used components from the 3D printer for the bodywork of the ID.R and with which strategy it optimised energy deployment and recuperation while driving. Even though we have very different requirements for our production vehicles in comparison to the ID.R, for example with energy management which, for the latter, is pushed at the absolute limit, the basic task is the same: to optimally use the available energy.

What’s next for the ID.R?
As early as September, Tianmen Mountain in China is the next exciting project on the agenda. There is no record time yet for this mountain, which is regarded as mystical in China. Therefore, we would like to set a benchmark and underline our competence in the development of electric drive technology in this very important market. By 2028, we would like to produce half of our planned 22 million electric cars in the People’s Republic. But in Europe too we still have some ideas as to how the ID.R, as a racing car that evokes strong emotions, can support the spread of electro technology as well as the introduction of the ID.32 and the other ID. models from 2020.


1Concept cars.

2The vehicle has not gone on sale yet.