Romain Dumas, driving the 500kW VW I.D. R Pikes Peak all-electric sports car, has broken the record for the Pikes Peak hill climb by an astonishing 16 seconds. The record, for petrol-powered or elective vehicles, now stands at 7m 57.148s.
The Pikes Peak hill climb is the most famous hill climb event in the world and competitors have to negotiate a 19.99 kilometre stretch of road that has 156 corners. With the I.D. R Pikes Peak, Volkswagen created a car specifically tailored to the demands of the climb: a combination of minimum weight, as much downforce as possible, and maximum power. The result was a car that wouldn’t look out of place on any European race track with a streamlined chassis, a huge rear wing for downforce, and a light weight that, including its battery cells, comes in at less than 1,100kgs.
Volkswagen had some strong partners for the record attempt, including Michelin with the company saying the tyre maker’s years of experience on Pikes Peak allowed them to provide tyre technology perfectly tailored to the demands of the hill climb.
VW gave itself a tough deadline to meet when it announced last year that it was to take a stab at the Pikes Peak record. A mere 250 days passed between that announcement and the record-breaking run – not much time to develop a thoroughbred prototype, including fully-electric drive technology, specific demands on the batteries, aerodynamics and chassis.
“The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the most innovative and complex car ever developed by Volkswagen Motorsport,” said Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. “Every employee involved in the Pikes Peak project has constantly had to push their boundaries and show extreme commitment and dedication. Without this, it would not have been possible to repeatedly overcome new challenges and come up with new solutions. It should actually be impossible to achieve all that and especially the all-time record in such a short time, but our team pulled it off thanks to their passion and commitment.”