With a 0 to 60mph time of just 2.25 seconds, VW has targetted beating the hillclimb record with its new 670bhp I.D.R Pikes Peak
Volkswagen has unveiled and completed the first test of its all-electric I.D.R Pikes Peak, built to take on the famous American hillclimb on June 24.
The four-wheel drive prototype joins the I.D. concept range, reserved for Volkswagen’s electric models – including the Buzz and Vizzion.
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The car weighs under 1150kg and produces 670bhp and 479 lb-ft of torque from two electric motors, giving it a 0-60 time of 2.25 seconds – faster than both Formula 1 and Formula E.
Volkswagen last entered the Pikes Peak hill climb in 1987 with a twin-engined Golf. Producing 652bhp, it narrowly fell short of victory after suspension failure during the closing stages.
This time around, the marque is aiming to beat the electric prototype class record set in 2016 by Rhys Millen. He completed the 20km route in 8m 57.118 seconds while running with 1600bhp.
It is estimated that, over the course of the route’s 1500m altitude increase, combustion engines lose up to half their power as the air becomes less dense. That has led to the increased competitivity of electric vehicles in recent years.
Two-time Le Mans winner Romain Dumas has already been confirmed as driving, having previously won the hillclimb overall on three occasions with back-to-back victories in 2016 and 2017.
The marque’s Polo model already competes in the World Rallycross Championship. The series plans to go electric from 2020 and Volkswagen has said that the I.D.R Pikes Peak is a precursor for a return to motorsport with EV technology.
By 2025, Volkswagen expects to offer over 20 full-electric cars and this has also been launched as the first step towards better integrating the R and Motorsport programmes.
Volkswagen Motorsport director, Sven Smeets said: ‘It is about time we settled the score. The I.D.R Pikes Peak represents an extremely exciting challenge for us, to show what is possible with an electric engine in motorsport. The entire team behind our driver Romain Dumas is highly motivated to set a new record for electric cars.’
The I.D. R Pikes Peak completed its first laps at a racetrack in Ales.
Dumas added: ‘It was absolutely fantastic to see the completed I.D. R for the first time, and to take it out for its first spin.
‘What Volkswagen has managed to put together from scratch over the past few months has my greatest respect. I had obviously seen initial pictures of the car – but it is even more spectacular in the flesh. We now have a packed schedule of testing ahead of us, and I am looking forward to every metre!’