First-Ever Car To Break Eight-Minute Mark
On Sunday, Volkswagen took a car to the famous Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with the intention of beating the record for fastest electric vehicle up the mountain. They not only beat the EV record, but smashed the all-time record. It was the first time in three decades that Volkswagen made an official run at Pikes Peak, also known as the “Race to the Clouds.”
The goal was to beat the EV record set by Rhys Millen in a 1,595-horsepower car in 2016 with a time of 8m57s minutes. But prior Pikes Peak champion Romain Dumas, driving VW’s electric I.D. R, didn’t just break Millen’s all-time EV record, he smashed it and also beat the overall best time set by Sébastien Loeb in 2013 by more than 16 seconds. Dumas’ time 7m57.148s minutes.
“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,” said Dr. Frank Welsch, member of the board of management of the Volkswagen passenger cars with responsibility for technical development. “The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak has now set the fastest time in the history of this hill climb, which spans more than 100 years—that speaks volumes for electric mobility.”
While now fully asphalt-paved, the 12.42 mile run up the mountain begins at 9,390 feet and climbs some 4,720 feet through its famous 156 turns up to 14,115 feet.
I.D. R Built in Eight Months
For its reentry into Pikes Peak, Volkswagen built the prototype I.D. R EV in just eight months. With an electric motor on each axle, the prototype car pushes out 680 horsepower (500 kW) and 479 pounds-feet of torque. That rushes it from stop-to-62 mph in 2.25 seconds. An estimated 43-kWh battery feeds juice to wheel motors and can be charged in just 20 minutes using glycerol-fueled generators. Total weight of the car is less than 2,425 pounds, including driver Romain Dumas and all those batteries.
Aerodynamics played a major part considering how thin the air becomes. The solution is a flat-bottom chassis with a monstrous rear wing, shaped by data gathered from Porsche’s LMP1 program. François-Xavier Demaison, Volkswagen Motorsport’s technical director, didn’t give specifics on the amount of downforce created by the wing, only saying that it’s the “size of a park bench” and that it creates more downforce than the total weight of the car.
The car only had enough power to make it to the top of the run at Pikes Peak, so it was out of power by the time it got to the finish line. The driver, Dumas, had to hitch a ride back down the mountain.
The I.D R is seen as the ambassador for Volkswagen’s future lineup of electric vehicles. The I.D Crozz will come to market in 2020 as an electric crossover, while the microbus I.D. Buzz and I.D. Vizzion sedan will see production in 2022.
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