By on June 20, 2018

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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12 Comments on “Volkswagen I.D. R Sets Ludicrously Fast Qualifying Time At Pikes Peak...”

  • avatar

    Ludicrous speed!

  • avatar

    Maybe, but it’s not nearly as stylish as a Miller FWD.

    • 0 avatar

      Agreed, Pig_Iron. Or as a first-gen Toronado.

      For me, paving the entirety of the course took much of the romance out of this event.

      What’s crazy is that according to this posted time,, Sanborn averaged 51 mph in the Toronado. Now *that’s* ludicrously fast in a stock 1966 vehicle on a loose surface.

  • avatar

    I wonder how much chassis feedback you can hear without an ICE screaming in your ear. I was surprised the first time I rode in a sailplane how much you could hear the airflow, I wonder if this is similar. Hearing the tires would be pretty sweet I’d think.

    • 0 avatar

      You can hear the tires. They sound different as that take on more load. Kind of a louder hiss. The only problem is that in an electric hypercar, the motors are pretty loud.

  • avatar
    Tele Vision

    All I would hear would be panicked screaming.

  • avatar

    Cannot see how an EV loses ANY power at altitude, not just being less affected than an IC engine which inhales air. Cooling system for battery pack?

    Surprised a few Model S Ludicrous Whatever owners aren’t showing up to prove nothing’s quicker. The Drive eO’s PP100 only claims 4 sec 0 to 60 after all. Musk could build Coffee Shop Superchargers at the bottom and top of Pikes Peak as a part of customer service, but lattes and caps at altitude are not hot enough due to the lower boiling point. Pity.

    • 0 avatar

      Yeah, that sentence makes no sense. “something the I.D. R won’t have to contend with” implies it’s not an issue, while “more quickly” implies that EVs are impacted to some degree. I’m not an engineer, but I can’t see how altitude could affect an EV’s performance.

  • avatar

    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.”

    • 0 avatar

      @stuki: Now, convince Germans that the same holds true for slightly longer commutes on the Autobahn……

      They’re doing exactly that with the Taycan and the BMW i4. The Taycan is going to have a 2-speed gearbox for autobahn cruising. 320 miles NEDC range. With the 2-speed, it’ll be interesting to see where EPA and real-world ranges end up. I personally have no problem hitting NEDC numbers.

      BMW i4 is going to have NEDC 435 miles range. At autobahn speeds, I’m not sure what the range will be, but, with that much capacity on tap you should be able to get some decent distances at high speeds.

  • avatar

    The 2019 RDX was a DNF?

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