As you may or may not recall, back in March we old you how Volkswagen created the new four-wheel-drive I.D. R Pikes Peak all-electric prototype race car to give us an idea of what will go into their upcoming production of fully-electric cars for consumers.
This year’s run on Pikes Peak’s 12.4-mile course was targeted a little bit of redemption for Volkswagen as the last time they entered the Pikes Peak hill climb was back in 1987 in a 652 horsepower, dual-engine Golf and “narrowly missed out” on setting a new record.
With driver Romain Dumas behind the wheel of the new 500-kW (680 PS) I.D. R Pikes Peak in 2018, Volkswagen proceeded to crush the old record of 8:57.118 minutes, set in 2016 by New Zealand’s Rhys Millen, driving a 1,596 horsepower Drive eO PP100, with a time of 7:57.148 — almost a full minute faster that Millen’s time.
Dumas not only broke the previous record for electric vehicles with his fourth overall victory at Pikes Peak, but he also bettered Sébastien Loeb’s all-time record from 2013 — by a full 16 seconds.
Of course he was helped a little bit by the fact that the I.D. R Pikes Peak, including its battery cells, weighs less than 1,100 kilograms (2,425 lbs).
When evaluating performance, Volkswagen employed simulation software to calculate exactly how to achieve the optimum in energy demand and performance for the record attempt. In the matter of aerodynamics, the key was to compensate for the loss of downforce caused by the thin air on Pikes Peak. That’s where the flat, streamlined chassis and huge rear wing came into play.
Said Dumas after the record-breaker, “Awesome! We exceeded even our own high expectations with that result. Since this week’s tests, we have known that it was possible to break the all-time record. For it to come off, everything had to come together perfectly – from the technology to the driver. And the weather had to play ball too. That everything ran so smoothly is an incredible feeling, and the new record on Pikes Peak is the icing on the cake. I still cannot believe that Volkswagen and my name are behind this incredible time. The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the most impressive car I have ever driven in competition.”
Check out the record-setting run below…