About two weeks ago, at the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Volkswagen set the fastest time ever on the 20-km, 156-turn uphill course. With an electric car.
The plan in putting together the I.D. R Pikes Peak was to break the EV record set in 2016 by legendary Pikes Peak performer Rhys Millen. Driver Romain Dumas obliterated Pikes Peak EV record by nearly a minute and in the process, broke the standing overall course record (set by Sébastien Loeb in 2013) by nearly 17 seconds and became the first driver to run the course in under 8 minutes.
You’re probably thinking of things you might be able to do in the time it took Dumas to go from the base of Pikes Peak to its summit. One of the things you could do in eight minutes is watch the video of Dumas’ run, from start to finish …
Bearing a closer resemblance to a Formula E car than an urban-use EV, the I.D. R Pikes Peak was created to promote the flexibility of electric powertrains and Volkswagen’s upcoming I.D. family of production EVs that’s due to start arriving in showrooms in 2020.
The team of designers and engineers working on the I.D. R Pikes Peak had some unique challenges with the drivetrain technology, battery life (it may seem silly to worry about battery life when it only had to offer 20 km of range, but it was a concern especially if there happened to be delays) and aerodynamics.