Volkswagen Unveils 680 Horsepower I.D. R Electric Pikes Peak Car

The I.D. R will tackle the electric course record at the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

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Volkswagen Unveils 680 Horsepower I.D. R Electric Pikes Peak Car © Volkswagen Unveils 680 Horsepower I.D. R Electric Pikes Peak Car

In late March, Volkswagen published renderings of its 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb competitor, the I.D. R, which it announced in October of last year. Sunday, the I.D. R as it will appear at June's race was displayed via live stream, and a press release with some of the car's specifications was issued—Volkswagen will keep knowledge of some of the car's capabilities for itself, so as to not leave potential competitors with performance benchmark targets.


The I.D. R is Volkswagen's first all-electric race car, and was developed with the aid of VAG's Porsche subsidiary.

"Porsche supported us in terms of aerodynamics in a consultative capacity," said Volkswagen's Mark Gillies, in an interview with The Drive. "The overall concept was developed at Volkswagen Motorsport and the expertise of Porsche Motorsport helped us to refine the bodywork. We also used their wind tunnel to confirm the concept."

Development started in August (when the company approved of the program) and will continue up until 10 days before race day at Pikes Peak. In the 55 days until then, testing at European racetracks such as Alès and the Col St. Pierre hillclimb will be conducted, followed by a tire trial with Michelin. Early next month, shipping to the United States will begin, for further testing at Pikes Peak prior to the race.


Performance specifications released by Volkswagen are as follows. A total of 680 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque through torque-vectoring all-wheel-drive propel the car and its driver, sub-1,100 kilogram (2,425 pound) combined, from standstill to 60 in 2.25 seconds. Acceleration is more important than top speed on the hairpin-littered mountain road, and as such the I.D. R is limited to 240 kph (149 mph). The car's custom lithium-ion battery pack will be charged en route to the summit by regenerative braking, said to supply a fifth of the energy needed for the I.D. R's race.


In gunning for the electric course record, the I.D. R's driver, Romain Dumas, will need to beat 8:57.118, the electric record set in 2016 by Rhys Millen in the eO PP100. Dumas' winning run in 2017 was a 9:05.672, so Dumas' chance to crush Millen's record will hinge upon how competitive the I.D. R proves to be.

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