Volkswagen has unveiled their I.D. R electric racer just in time for the Pikes Peak hill climb race.
It’s been a while since we last saw Volkswagen enter the hill climb competition at Pikes Peak International. The last time the German automaker saddled up to the starting line nestled in the Rocky Mountains was 1987, bringing with them a dual-engined Golf that managed a combined 652 hp.
They didn’t place, and since then Volkswagen has been too scared to come back and try their luck again.
“It is about time we settled the score,” says Volkswagen Motorsport Director, Sven Smeets. And to do it, they’re bringing their A-game.
In collaboration with Volkswagen R and Volkswagen Motorsport, Volkswagen has developed the I.D. R Pikes Peak prototype, an electric car designed specifically to best the electric vehicle division of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb competition.
In keeping with the other I.D. concept cars such as the I.D. Buzz, I.D. Vizzion, and I.D. Crozz, the I.D. R is an all-wheel drive, twin electric motor car. Besides that, we know nothing. Volkswagen hasn’t released any other stats and only given us a pair of images to draw our own conclusions from. The I.D. R seems to have taken many of its design cues from Le Mans racers, with a wide body, massive rear wing, and front and rear diffusers.
The big benefit to being an electric car is how it doesn’t need oxygen to operate. Pikes Peak takes cars from a height of 9,000 feet to over 14,000 feet above sea level, where the air can get mighty thin and effect engine performance. Well, engines that need gas and air to work at least. An electric car doesn’t have that problem, so it should be smooth sailing all the way to the top.
“The I.D. R Pikes Peak represents an extremely exciting challenge for us, to show what is possible in motorsport with an electric drivetrain,” said Smeets. “The entire team behind our driver Romain Dumas is highly motivated to set a new record for electric cars.”
The current record for an EV at Pikes Peak is 8:57.118 minutes, set in 2016 by New Zealand’s Rhys Millen driving a Toyota-sponsored prototype.