Volkswagen’s Pikes Peak Record – 7 minutes 57.148 seconds
History has been made at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Volkswagen have powered to a new all-time record with the I.D. R Pikes Peak racing car.
Romain Dumas defeated a field including cars with conventional drivetrain technology and made history driving the 500-kW (680 PS) I.D. R Pikes Peak. Dumas not only broke the previous record for electric vehicles, but also smashed Sébastien Loeb’s previous record from 2013 – by a massive 16 seconds.
New Pikes Peak Record
Dumas set a new record of 7 minutes 57.148 seconds and is now sits atop of the list of Pikes Peak champions. The list of champions includes such acclaimed drivers as Loeb, Walter Röhrl, Michèle Mouton, Stig Blomqvist, Nobuhiro Tajima and also Rod Millen and his son Rhys.
“The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the sporty forerunner of Volkswagen’s I.D. family. Today, we saw what this technology is capable of,” said Dr. Frank Welsch, Member of the Board of Management of the Volkswagen Passenger Cars brand with responsibility for “Technical Development”. “Every Volkswagen employee can be extremely proud of today’s result. I congratulate the team from the bottom of my heart. With a combination of outstanding engineering skills, passion and commitment, the team has managed to create a fantastic racing car in just eight months. The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak has now set the fastest time in the history of this hill climb, which spans more than 100 years – that speaks volumes for electric mobility.”
At 19.99 kilometres long and involving 156 corners, the Pikes Peak is the ultimate driving challenge, with racers given just one attempt. Romain Dumas claimed his fourth overall victory at the iconic Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, which has now been held 96 times since 1916.
Volkswagen has created an extraordinary racing car with the I.D. R Pikes Peak, specifically tailored to the demands of the most famous of hill climbs: a combination of minimum weight, as much downforce as possible, and maximum power, designed to achieve the best possible performance. Including its battery cells, the I.D. R Pikes Peak weighs less than 1,100 kilograms.
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. The result of this endeavour could be seen from afar: the flat, streamlined chassis and huge rear wing.
Environmentally Friendly Race Car?
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. A by-product of the manufacture of biodiesel, for example, Glycerol combusts with virtually no harmful exhaust fumes or residues. Glycerol itself is non-toxic and is even permitted as an additive in the food and cosmetics industries.