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VW goes electric for Pikes Peak - New 500kW I.D R racer unveiled

2018-04-23 08:36

Image: Volkswagen

 • Electrically-powered super sports car
 • New Volkswagen I.D R Pikes Peak
 • Volkswagen sets sights on record for electric cars on Pikes Peak
 • VW says "Faster than Formula 1 and Formula E in a sprint"

Volkswagen has unveiled its new electric super sports car, the I.D. R Pikes Peak. With power figures of 500kW/650Nm and weighing less than 1100kg, the super sports car will take on the iconic Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado Springs, USA on June 24.

VW's goal? To beat the existing record of 8min57.118 for electric cars at the "Race to the Clouds". 

VW says its I.D R Pikes Peak can sprint from 0 to 100km/h in 2.25 seconds and is faster than Formula 1 and Formula E cars. The I.D R Pikes Peak was unveiled in the Ales, France, before taking to the racetrack for the first time at its roll-out.

The name is derived from Volkswagen’s performance monikers; The 'R' is synonymous with VW’s performance cars and 'I.D' is the symbol of the automaker’s smart electric technology.

As with the sensational twin-engine Golf that took on the Pikes Peak challenge in 1985, 1986 and 1987, the engineers have opted for a solution with two power units generating a a total of 500kW.

As in production vehicles with electric drive, lithium-ion batteries are used as the energy storage system. Unlike in the manufacturing of production vehicles, the goal of the motorsport engineers was not maximum range but the highest possible power output on the way to the Pikes Peak summit.

Roughly 20% of the electric energy required is generated during the 20km drive, this means energy recovery is key.  When braking, the electric engines, which in this case operate as generators, convert some of the braking energy into electricity and feed this into the battery.

Testing along the 19km route of the hill climb in Colorado Springs is only very limited, and only possible on certain sections. For this reason, the bulk of the testing was not done on the actual route but at racetracks. 

Defending Pikes Peak champion, Romain Dumas, will be at the wheel of the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak for the attempt to break the existing record for electric cars. As well as three victories on Pikes Peak, he has also won the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice. Incidentally, Dumas, who names motorsport legend Jacky Ickx as his idol, was born in Alès. 


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