The Volkswagen ID.R electric race car has yet another lap record under its belt.
It's certainly been an eventful day for new automotive records. The Bugatti Chiron became the first production car to break the 300-mph barrier, beating the Koenigsseg Jesko and Hennessey Venom F5 to the punch. Now, Volkswagen has announced the ID.R has set a new lap record at the treacherous Tianmen Mountain road, often hailed as one of the most dangerous roads in China. Behind the wheel was Romain Dumas, who completed the 99 tight corners and narrow winding roads of the Tianmen Mountain in seven minutes and 38.585 seconds, setting a new official record time.
However, as Volkswagen notes, "an official fastest time for racing cars did not exist before the record attempt." Nevertheless, the ID.R has set an impressive benchmark for competitors to beat.
According to VW, Romain Dumas approached the 6.77-mile "China Challenge" to "Heaven's Gate," with "respect and courage". Situated 656 feet above sea level, the Tianmen Mountain presented a significant challenge for the ID.R, with its 99 hairpins, some of which have a radius of just 19.6 feet, short sprints, fast winding sections with speeds of up to 142 mph, and narrow tunnels. Volkswagen says a start and finish line were designed for "notarial purposes."
"I will certainly remember this record run on Tianmen Mountain for ever as my most spectacular outing. I am proud to have set a record with the electric Volkswagen ID.R in China," said Dumas. "The little information and testing we had beforehand made it a huge challenge. The road is incredibly narrow and winding, but the drive was unbelievable fun with the electric power of the ID.R. The huge torque was a big advantage on the short straights, while the aerodynamics provided additional traction in the fast sections."
If you need a refresher, the ID.R is powered by two electric motors generating a combined 670 horsepower. We suspect this record won't be beaten for a long time, since the ID.R also currently holds electric car lap records at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hill Climb, and the Nurburgring Nordschleife.