Volkswagen I.D. R Sets Ludicrously Fast Qualifying Time At Pikes Peak
Volkswagen went to Pikes Peak this week for the explicit purpose of exacting revenge on the mountain, and it looks as if it may soon achieve it. The company’s I.D. R racer just set the fastest qualifying time. At 3:16.083 minutes, the electric behemoth managed to best every other vehicle qualifying on the 5-mile track track.
In fact, three-time Pikes Peak winner and Porsche factory driver Romain Dumas was 11.049 seconds quicker than the next fastest driver — Simone Faggioli in his internal-combustion Norma M20 SF PKP.
That bodes well for VW, as we already know Norma can build a good car; Dumas used an M20 to win the hill climb in 2014 and 2016. Volkswagen already has the right driver so, assuming the car doesn’t go off pace near the top of the mountain, it’s totally possible the world record could end up going to an electric vehicle.
That was a very good day for us,” said Dumas. “The I.D. R Pikes Peak is incredible. I have never experienced acceleration and power like that in a racing car. I am noticing how the car and I are becoming more and more of a unit with every kilometer.”
As of now, the world record stands at 8:13.878 (achieved in 2013 by Sébastien Loeb while piloting the Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak). The electric record sits at a respectable 8:57.118 (with Rhys Millen helming Drive eO’s PP100). Still, the track remains incredibly difficult and confusing thanks to multiple switchbacks, slim margin for error, and an overwhelming length.
Volkswagen is definitely within reach of the electric record and may be able to snag the world record, too. Internal combustion vehicles lose power more quickly than EVs at higher altitudes, something the I.D. R won’t have to contend with. However, the ultra-fast qualifying run isn’t indicative of the overall time, as the middle section of the course is extremely gnarly and takes the longest to navigate.
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