Record-breaking, Peak performance.
This year, the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak made history at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Driven by Romain Dumas, this fully electric 680 PS mean racing machine pummeled through the competition and emerged victorious with a new record time of 7 minutes and 57.148 seconds. This is a 16 second improvement from Sébastien Loeb’s record set in 2013, completed in a petrol-powered Peugeot 208 T16 race car.
Pikes Peak, the venue for the race, is the highest summit of the southern Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in North America. Spanning 19.99 km with 156 corners, this hill is anything but easy to conquer. In fact, the I.D. R Pikes Peak was developed specifically to meet the challenges posed by the most demanding of hill climbs, with greater emphasis having been placed on achieving minimum weight and maximum power. Even with its battery cells, the I.D. R Pikes Peak weighs less than 1,100 kilograms. What’s more, it features a flat, streamlined chassis and a huge rear wing for better aerodynamics.
This ground-breaking achievement speaks volumes for electric mobility. Said Dr Frank Welsch, Member of Board of Management of Volkswagen Passenger Cars for Technical Development, “The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the sporty forerunner of Volkswagen’s I.D. family. Today, we saw what this technology is capable of.”
In developing this racing machine, it was also important to the Volkswagen team that the car be charged up as quickly as possible, and with minimum impact on the environment. As such, the electricity required was provided by generators at the foot of Pikes Peak, while Glycerol was selected as the fuel. A by-product of biodiesel, Glycerol is non-toxic and combusts with virtually no harmful exhaust fumes.
The creation and development of the I.D. R Pikes Peak prototype took 250 days and was worked on by various Volkswagen mechanics, engineers and employees at Wolfsburg, and at the motorsport headquarters in Hannover. Volkswagen also had the benefit of strong partners including ANSYS for software simulations, Michelin for tyre technology, Integral e-drive for work on its engines, as well as OMP for Dumas’ featherweight overall.
Said Dumas on the achievement, “The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the most impressive car I have ever driven in competition. The electric drivetrain means that many things are different and I learned a lot during the project. The team did an indescribably meticulous, yet at the same time relaxed, job. Not only did we get the desired result, but the team spirit was also spot on. I am incredibly proud to have been a part of it.”
With the I.D. R Pikes Peak’s electric drivetrain, power is delivered instantaneously. Just check out how fast this car picks up speed on straight parts of the road! Watch the helicopter footage of the I.D. R Pikes Peak’s record breaking run here: