Volkswagen and the I.D. R Pikes Peak have made history at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Driving the 500-kW (670 HP) 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 fellow Frenchman, Sébastien Loeb’s record from 2013, by a full 16 seconds. Dumas’ new all-time record of 7m 57.148s is now top of the list of Pikes Peak champions, which includes such acclaimed drivers as Loeb, Walter Röhrl, Michèle Mouton, Stig Blomqvist, Nobuhiro (Monster) Tajima and the father and son duo of Rod and Rhys Millen.
“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 of VW Technical Development. “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, which speaks volumes for electric mobility.”
Romain Dumas claimed his fourth overall victory at the 96th running of the iconic Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. With the I.D. R Pikes Peak, Volkswagen has created an extraordinary racing car, 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 and designed to achieve the best possible performance.
Including its battery cells, the I.D. R Pikes Peak weighs less than 1,100 kilograms. VW used simulation software to help optimise power delivery throughout the record-breaking run. Another challenge for VW designers was the aerodynamic efficiency of the car, especially when Dumas headed for the higher elevations at the end of the race. The use of enormous aero parts and a sleek chassis was the key to compensating for the loss of downforce caused by the thin air on Pikes Peak.
French sportscar stalwart, Romain Dumas had this to say following his record-breaking run up the mountain, “Awesome! We exceeded even our high expectations with that result. Since this week’s tests, we have known that it was possible to break the all-time record.
“For it to come off, everything had to come together perfectly – from the technology to the driver. And the weather had to play ball too. That everything ran so smoothly is an incredible feeling, and the new record on Pikes Peak is the icing on the cake. I still cannot believe that Volkswagen and my name are behind this incredible time. I am incredibly proud to have been a part of it.”
Sven Smeets, VW Motorsport Director, concluded, “This is a fantastic day for Volkswagen and one, of which we are very proud. The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the most innovative and complex car ever developed by Volkswagen Motorsport. Thank you to everyone who worked so hard on the project and showed such fantastic team spirit.”