Volkswagen I.D. R Sets Ludicrously Fast Qualifying Time At Pikes Peak

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
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.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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3 of 12 comments
  • Stuki Stuki on Jun 21, 2018

    Wow. EVs are faster than ICEs for trips up to 3 minutes long! At least they're getting somewhere..... Now, convince Germans that the same holds true for slightly longer commutes on the Autobahn...... Back in the real world, this is the same tradeoff as seen with the Tesla class 8 rig: With an ICE, power is what adds weight. Adding range is (largely) free. With an electric driveline, range is what weights. While adding power is free. So, for short hops, electric makes sense. For drives somewhat longer than up Pikes Peak, ICE. At least until we get active highways, so the electrics don't have to carry with them their entire driving range. Then, both range and power will be "free."

  • NormSV650 NormSV650 on Jun 25, 2018

    The 2019 RDX was a DNF?

  • Lou_BC "They are the worst kind of partisan - the kind that loves their team more than they want to know the truth."Ummm...yeah....Kinda like birtherism, 2020 election stolen, vast voter fraud, he can have top secret documents at Mar-lago, he's a savvy business man, and hundreds more.
  • FreedMike This article fails to mention that Toyota is also investing heavily in solid state battery tech - which would solve a lot of inherent EV problems - and plans to deploy it soon. course, Toyota being Toyota, it will use the tech in hybrids first, which is smart - that will give them the chance to iron out the wrinkles, so to speak. But having said that, I’m with Toyota here - I’m not sold on an all EV future happening anytime soon. But clearly the market share for these vehicles has nowhere to go but up; how far up depends mainly on charging availability. And whether Toyota’s competitors are all in is debatable. Plenty of bet-hedging is going on among makers in the North American market.
  • Jeff S I am not against EVs but I completely understand Toyota's position. As for Greenpeace putting Toyota at the bottom of their environmental list is more drama. A good hybrid uses less gas, is cleaner than most other ICE, and is more affordable than most EVs. Prius has proven longevity and low maintenance cost. Having had a hybrid Maverick since April and averaging 40 to 50 mpg in city driving it has been smooth driving and very economical. Ford also has very good hybrids and some of the earlier Escapes are still going strong at 300k miles. The only thing I would have liked in my hybrid Maverick would be a plug in but it didn't come with it. If Toyota made a plug in hybrid compact pickup like the Maverick it would sell well. I would consider an EV in the future but price, battery technology, and infrastructure has to advance and improve. I don't buy a vehicle based on the recommendation of Greenpeace, as a status symbol, or peer pressure. I buy a vehicle on what best needs my needs and that I actually like.
  • Mobes Kind of a weird thing that probably only bothers me, but when you see someone driving a car with ball joints clearly about to fail. I really don't want to be around a car with massive negative camber that's not intentional.
  • Jeff S How reliable are Audi? Seems the Mazda, CRV, and Rav4 in the higher trim would not only be a better value but would be more reliable in the long term. Interior wise and the overall package the Mazda would be the best choice.