Built to destroy Pikes Peak in 1987, it is being restored to its former glory.
Volkswagen will be using the fully-electric I.D. R prototype racer to attempt a new Pikes Peak record for EVs at the famous hill climb in June. It will mark the first time VW has participated in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in over 30 years. Back in 1987, the German automaker took on the world’s most difficult mountain course with a unique Golf MK II featuring a twin-engine setup. Driven by Jochi Kleint, the car was on track to set the fastest time but was forced to retire just a few corners before the finish line due to a mechanical failure.
This year, Volkswagen is returning to settle some unfinished business at Pikes Peak with the I.D. R. To celebrate, the automaker is painstakingly restoring the original Golf that competed in the 1987 event back to its former glory. The original car was built in just six months and managed to set the fourth best time in practice sessions while only using one of the car’s two engines. It was purpose-built for Pikes Peak and weighed just 2,248 lbs. In a unique setup, power was provided by two turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engines sourced from the Golf II GTI 16 V. Combined, they produced an output of 643 horsepower.
Each engine also had its own Hewland transmission, which meant the Golf could be front-wheel drive, rear-wheel drive or all-wheel drive when required. “Of all of the cars that Bergmann developed, the 1987 Pikes Peak Golf II was easily the most radical upgrade,” said head mechanic Jörg Rauchmaul. “It’s an absolute miracle that Bergmann and his team were able to develop and build such a beast in only six months.” Described as a “freshly technically restored piece of motorsport history,” the restored car has been kept as faithful to the original as possible. “They have to be tuned to each other in such a way, that they work synchronously to provide power," explained Rauchmaul.
Otherwise, the vehicle will be unstable and impossible to control on asphalt,” When work is complete, Rauchmaul aims to tune each engine to produce between 236 and 256 horsepower, resulting in a combined output of around 500 hp.