The F1 great says he felt right at home in VW's electric race car.
Ever since its June 2018 debut at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the pure-electric Volkswagen ID.R race car has been on a roll. To date, the car has amassed a collection of no fewer than five records on race tracks all around the world, from the Nurburgring Nordschleife to China's Tianmen Mountain.
Volkswagen Motorsport and the ID.R shows no signs of slowing down, but even race cars need a day off now and again. The racing-bred EV just had a leisurely go around the Nurburgring Grand Prix circuit (not the Nordschleife) in the hands of 2016 Formula 1 World Champion Nico Rosberg.
Well, we say "leisurely" because the ID.R wasn't actively trying to set a new record this time around; in reality, the drive was anything but. Wind, rain, and ambient temperatures below 10°C made for harsh conditions for Rosberg's test drive. Couple that with the fact that we're talking about a world-class performance driver in a ludicrously powerful, capable electric machine, and you can pretty much work out how the drive went.
Rosberg had only kind words to share about the drive, remarking that despite the rain, he "immediately felt like a fish in water in the ID.R... The traction, the acceleration, the downforce - it was all very familiar."
The ID.R is something of a proof of concept for Volkswagen's "ID"-branded electric vehicles, generating some publicity for the brand as the Volkswagen ID.4 electric crossover - VW's first ID model in the US - readies for launch.
Of course, those two vehicles are worlds apart; where the ID.4 uses VW's pedestrian MEB modular electric vehicle platform, the ID.R was engineered from the ground up for all-out performance, with a chassis co-developed with French race car constructor Norma. It weighs in under 2,500 pounds, despite being tasked with lugging around some 45 kWh's worth of batteries, and it will do 0 to 60 mph in just two and a quarter seconds.