Meet the new outright record-holder at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Records are made to be broken, but some last longer than others. Like the outright hillclimb record at Goodwood. That was set 20 years ago by Nick Heidfeld in a McLaren MP4/13 grand-prix racer. But after two decades, the record has finally fallen – to an electric Volkswagen, of all things.
Not just any electric Volkswagen, mind you, but the ID. R – the same purpose-built hillclimb machine that took the outright record at Pikes Peak last year, and the electric lap record at the Nürburgring. And now it can add another feather in its cap.
The VW didn't break the record by much, mind you, crossing the line after 41.18 seconds – less than half a second ahead of Heidfeld's previous record. But that's still more than enough for the ID. R to take the crown.
Handling the wheel was no less talented a hot-shoe than Romain Dumas. The 41-year-old Frenchman has twice won the 24 Hours of Le Mans – in other Volkswagen Group machinery no less: once with Audi and once with Porsche. He also won at Pikes Peak three times before winning again (and taking the record) in this same VW last year.
And what a VW it is. The ID. R packs 670 horsepower's worth of electric motors under its wings. Weighing less than 2,500 pounds (including the driver), it'll scurry off to 62 mph in 2.25 seconds and top out at 168 mph – faster than the twisty hillclimb route will allow, at any rate.
"Electric cars are becoming increasingly more powerful and it's great to see them now rivalling combustion engines on track," said VW motorsport director Sven Smeets. "To get an idea of how far we've developed the car, in 2018 we ran a 00:43.86 – this year we were almost three seconds faster."