Volkswagen aims to be crowned the Nurburgring EV king.
This summer, Volkswagen will attempt to set a new EV lap record at the Nurburgring with the incredible ID. R. It has a very good chance of succeeding, too, after the electric race car smashed the all-time Pikes Peak International Hill Climb record last year, completing the grueling mountain course in less than eight minutes. To prepare for its upcoming record attempt at the Green Hell, Volkswagen has had to further enhance the ID. R’s aerodynamics since a race track presents different challenges to a hill climb.
"Though almost identical in length at roughly 20 kilometers, the Nordschleife presents a completely different challenge for aerodynamics in comparison to the hill climb at Pikes Peak,” explained François-Xavier Demaison, Technical Director of Volkswagen Motorsport. "In the USA it was all about maximum downforce, but because the speeds are a lot higher on the Nordschleife, the most efficient possible battery use is of much greater importance with regard to the aerodynamic configuration.”
One of the biggest differences between the Nurburgring and Pikes Peak is that the Green Hell is situated at around 1,968 feet above sea level, whereas the finish line at Pikes Peak is 14,114 feet high. To help it cope with the denser air, Volkswagen has adapted the vehicle’s floor and developed a new front splitter, along with a specially designed rear wing that will be much lower than the variant used at Pikes Peak to provide less surface resistance to the flow of air.
To further reduce the drag in certain sections, the rear wing will incorporate Drag Reduction System technology from F1. At the press of a button, the driver will be able to open an element of the rear wing that will reduce downforce by approximately 20 percent and lower the car’s drag. The DRS will allow the ID. R to reach its top speed faster and by using less energy. Volkswagen has been extensively testing these new aerodynamic elements in a wind tunnel and also 3D-printed a number of exterior parts.
After testing the aerodynamics in a wind tunnel, Volkswagen put the ID. R through its paces at the Le Castellet and Ales French racetracks to test the energy management software.
The ID. R will be driven around the Nurburgring by Romain Dumas, who also set the Pikes Peak record in the same car last year. To set a new EV record, he will need to beat the NIO EP9’s time of 6:45.90, which is currently the fastest lap ever set by an EV.