Volkswagen's Hill Climb Hero Sets EV Record at Goodwood

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
volkswagens hill climb hero sets ev record at goodwood

In case you thought the Volkswagen I.D. R’s impressive victory at Pikes Peak was a fluke, it managed another one over the weekend at the Goodwood Festival of Speed. On Saturday, Romain Dumas crawled inside the cockpit of the I.D. R and motored it up the hill in a blistering 43.05 seconds — setting a new record for electric vehicles.

The previous record for an EV was set in 2013 by Jonny Cocker, who drove the Lola-Drayson B12 69/EV across the line in an already savage 47.34. If you’re wondering what the all-time course best is, it’s 41.6 seconds — Nick Heidfeld drove a McLaren MP4/13 up the hill back when Goodwood still allowed Formula One cars to participate in the event. Compared to Pikes Peak, Goodwood is an exceptionally short and relatively simple course. But that’s like saying the sun is bright when you compare it to a desk lamp. It’s also unimportant.

The point is they are both stretches of road that allow cars to compete on an even playing field, and the I.D. R once again proved that electric vehicles have placed a target on the back of gas-powered performance.

Volkswagen wasn’t the only company to bring a savage EV to the track, either. Nio allowed the street-legal EP9 to have a go on Saturday, finishing just over a second behind the VW. However, the I.D. R’s 680 horsepower, 480 pound-feet of instant torque, and exceptionally light weight — tempered with loads of downforce — managed to keep it ahead.

After the win at Pikes Peak, Volkswagen made it clear that its high-performance electric would tour the world attacking other records, noting that Goodwood should be very interesting. Watching the run is pretty staggering, although the vehicle sounds more like a tuned-up RC car than we’d prefer. But it’s a comically fast vehicle that was able to take full advantage of its powertrain’s attributes on the shorter course, so it’s silly to complain about the shrill noise emanating from within.

[Image: Volkswagen]

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  • FWD Donuts FWD Donuts on Jul 17, 2018

    Develop a quick change battery system and let it run at places like LeMans. And put some baseball cards on the spokes so it at least sounds something like a race car.

    • See 1 previous
    • Mcs Mcs on Jul 17, 2018

      @Fred We're getting close to batteries that will be able to do it. Lots of little labs making progress in different areas. Here's an example. Hyundai just invested in these guys. What I don't think is on the web site is that fact that they've figured out mass production. They can actually extrude the batteries to manufacture them. There are other companies focused on electrode composition. http://ionicmaterials.com/

  • Art Vandelay Art Vandelay on Jul 18, 2018

    filed in my "Who gives a Rats Kiester" folder.

    • Dantes_inferno Dantes_inferno on Jul 18, 2018

      While you're at it, you can also file it in your "You read the article and took the time to comment - indicating some level of interest" folder. HINT: Your comment provided an opening large enough for a convoy of tractor-trailers to drive through...

  • Wjtinfwb I'll certainly admit to a bit of nostalgia that drives my appreciation for these 70's yachts, but there's more to it than that. It was an era that the Big 3 ruled the luxury market with the German's and British nothing but a beer fart in the marketplace. That changed drastically as the early '80s crept in but in 1977, a Mark V or Seville was where it was at. No rose colored glasses, they were not great cars, what they were was a great living room that you could ride to the office in. I grew up on a diet of Cadillac's, Lincoln and one big Chrysler before dad made the move to a 280SE in about '77. Impeccably built and very road worthy, dad initially didn't like the firm seats, clunky automatic transmission and very weak A/C. The exorbitant maintenance costs didn't help. But he enjoyed the driving characteristics enough to get another Benz, then a 733i, an Audi 5000S and a Jag XJ6. Compare these to today's Cadillac's (non- V) and Lincoln's that with the exception of the Escalade and Navigator, are boring and probably even more pedestrian than the Eldorado, Seville and Mark's were.
  • FreedMike I was lucky enough to grow up in a household with the two best German luxury sedans of the time - a manual '81 733i, and a '75 Mercedes 450SE. The BMW was a joy on back roads, and the Benz was a superb highway car. Good times. And both were dramatically better than the junkheap American luxury cars Dad had before.
  • Wjtinfwb A Celebrity Diesel... that is a unicorn. Those early A-bodies were much maligned and I'm sure the diesel didn't help that, but they developed into very decent and reliable transportation. Hopefully this oil-burner Chevy can do the same, it's worth keeping.
  • Wjtinfwb After S-classes crested the 40k mark in the early '80s, my dad moved from M-B to a BMW 733i Automatic. Anthracite gray over red leather, it was a spectacular driving car and insanely comfortable and reassuring on long interstate hauls. My mom, not really a car person, used the BMW to shuttle her elderly Mom back home to Pennsylvania from Miami. Mom and grandma both gushed with praise for the big BMW, stating she could have driven straight through the car was so comfortable and confidence inspiring. A truly great car that improved through the E38 generation, at which point the drugs apparently took hold of BMW styling and engineering and they went completely off the rails. The newest 7 series is a 100k abomination.
  • Vatchy If you want to talk about global warming, you might start here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Darvaza_gas_crater
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