Volkswagen’s electric racing car I.D. R Pikes Peak sets a new record
Wolfsburg: Volkswagen and I.D. R Pikes Peak have made history at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Driving the 680 PS I.D. R Pikes Peak, Romain Dumas defeated a field including cars with conventional drivetrain technology. In doing so, he not only broke the previous record for electric vehicles, but also bettered Sébastien Loeb’s all-time record from 2013 by 16 seconds. Dumas’ new record of 7m 57.148s minutes is now top of the list of Pikes Peak champions, which includes such acclaimed drivers as Loeb, Walter Röhrl, Michèle Mouton, Stig Blomqvist, Nobuhiro Tajima and Rod Millen and his son Rhys.
Setting the fastest time in the history of the hill climb which spans more than 100 years speaks volumes for electric mobility and what it is capable of. The climb of 19.99 kilometres has 156 corners and Romain Dumas had just one attempt to make his conquest a successful one.
With the I.D. R Pikes Peak, Volkswagen has created a racing car with a combination of minimum weight, as much downforce as possible, and maximum power. Including its battery cells, the I.D. R Pikes Peak weighs less than 1,100 kgs. When evaluating performance, Volkswagen employed simulation software to calculate exactly how to achieve the optimum in energy demand and performance for the record attempt on Pikes Peak. In the matter of aerodynamics, the key was to compensate for the loss of downforce caused by the thin air on Pikes Peak.
Volkswagen also struck out in a new direction when it came to charging technology, the goal being to charge the car as quickly as possible with minimum environmental impact. The time was defined by the regulations. In case of the race being suspended, it must be possible to completely charge the car in under 20 minutes. The electricity required was provided by generators at the foot of Pikes Peak. Glycerol, which in chemical terms is a sugar alcohol, was selected as the fuel. It combusts with virtually no harmful exhaust fumes or residues, is non-toxic and even permitted as an additive in the food and cosmetics industries.
The I.D. R Pikes Peak prototype was developed and built in a mere 250 days, including its fully-electric drive technology, specific demands on the batteries, aerodynamics and chassis.