Volkswagen is hoping to set a new EV record with the I.D. R electric race car at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb later this month.
Later this month, Volkswagen will be entering the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb for the first time in over 30 years with the I.D. R, the automaker's first fully electric race car. Testing has already begun, as the I.D. R was recently unleashed onto the 12.42-mile mountain course for the first time, as shown in a new video where it looks lightning quick. "The news from Colorado is very positive: we are on schedule with the preparations for the I.D. R Pikes Peak and can now focus on the fine-tuning," explained VW Motorsport Director Sven Smeets.
"It is the result of a very strong team performance, initially here in Germany and now by our team on site in the USA." The team is currently working on an ideal suspension and tire setup to tackle the demanding 12.42-mile course, as well as finetuning the electric drivetrain's energy management system to optimize the use of battery charge and energy recycling when braking.
Driver Romain Dumas came away impressed with the car's performance after initial testing. "The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the best car that I have ever driven up this mountain," he said. "The acceleration and cornering speed are really impressive, and on top of that the car is very convenient. Thanks to the electric drive, I don't need to change gears and can focus on the line instead," explained the Frenchman. "But it goes without saying that there is always room for improvements. In the remaining test drives, we will continue to optimize the tuning."
Powering the VW I.D. R Pikes Peak are two electric motors that send a combined 680 hp and 480 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels. Thanks to its lightweight construction, the electric race car only weighs 2,425 pounds, it can rocket to 62 mph in 2.25 seconds. Volkswagen is hoping this blistering performance will enable the I.D. R to set a new EV record at Pikes Peak when it enters the event on June 24, which means it will have to beat the current record of eight minutes and 57.118 seconds set by hill climb veteran Rhys Millen in the eO PP100 prototype back in 2016.