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From motorsport to the road: the I.D. R Pikes Peak leads the way for e-mobility

24.7.2018
From motorsport to the road: the I.D. R Pikes Peak leads the way for e-mobility

In just 250 days the Volkswagen team developed the I.D. R Pikes Peak, a 100% electric prototype of huge potential, able to write a new chapter in the history of the Race to the Clouds: the ideal ambassador for the brand’s and Group’s electric offensive.

Climbing from 2,862 to 4,300 metres in the shortest possible time, along a 19.99 km route which includes 156 bends. That is the challenge of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the most famous hill climbing race in the world, which as of this year has a new champion: the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak has indeed reached the top in 7 minutes, 57.148 seconds, beating all comers, even those equipped with traditional engines, and improving on the track’s all-time record. Designed and developed by Volkswagen Motorsport, it represents the ultimate in zero-emissions technology, at the forefront of the Volkswagen brand’s, and indeed the entire Group’s, e-offensive which will begin with the launch of the I.D. models planned for 2020.

Quicker off the block than an F1 car

The record set in Colorado showed the full potential of the VW electric motors, able to put out 500 kW (680 HP), which push the vehicle from 0 to 100 km/h in an incredible 2.25 seconds – even faster than a Formula 1 car. In designing the I.D. R Pikes Peak, Volkswagen covered new ground in terms of charging technology as well, with the goal of accelerating these operations as much as possible and minimising their environmental impact. Glycerol was used to power the generators used for charging. The race rules are clear: in the event of a run suspention, there would only be 20 minutes for recharging the batteries.

Innovative and complex

Volkswagen used a simulation software to precisely calculate how to obtain maximum efficiency and performances. In terms of aerodynamics, when attempting to beat the Pikes Peak record, the challenge was to compensate for the loss of downforce caused by the thinner air at altitude. The results of these efforts are clearly visible in the flat, tapering roof and large rear spoiler. “The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the most innovative and complex vehicle ever developed by Volkswagen Motorsport” explained Sven Smeets, Director of Volkswagen Motorsport. “Everyone involved in the Pikes Peak project had to constantly push their limits and show great dedication and commitment”. 

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From the USA to the UK

Shortly after its American challenge, the I.D. R Pikes Peak came back to Europe to participate in the Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb, the most prestigious motorsport event in the Old continent. Once more, proving to be a fantastic ambassador for the fully electric I.D. family: “Our brand has dedicated itself to electromobility, and we want to show everyone how emotional this topic can be” Smeets added. Here too, the Volkswagen electric supercar set a new record in its category. 

After the great success on Pikes Peak, at Goodwood we have shown once again how impressive the performance of an electric racing car can be” commented Herbert Diess, Chairman of the Board of the Volkswagen Group and the Volkswagen brand. “This is a very good preparation for our electric car offensive.

The four-wheel-drive sports car is an ambassador for the upcoming 100% electric I.D. family. The Volkswagen brand plans to offer more than 20 fully-electric cars by 2025. Series production of the first I.D. model is scheduled to start at the end of 2019 in Zwickau, Saxony.

SourceVolkswagen AG

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