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Volkswagen Race Car Eyes Pikes Peak EV Record

I.D. R will rely on energy recovery to make it to the top

As part of Volkswagen’s push toward electrification, the German automaker will attempt to capture the all-electric car record at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. VW already showed off renderings of its purpose-built I.D. R Pikes Peak race car, and now we get to see the real thing.

Like other Pikes Peak entrants with record-setting ambitions, the I.D. R looks a lot like a sports car prototype, complete with a sleek composite body, a bubble canopy, and an aggressive aero kit. The fixed rear wing extends beyond the width of the bodywork, as does the front splitter, to provide maximum downforce. VW says the car weighs less than 2,500 pounds and makes 680 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque from two electric motors. With that kind of power on tap, the car is estimated to hit 60 mph in 2.25 seconds.

The race car’s lithium-ion batteries are said to be similar to production EVs, but won’t have enough juice to get to the top on a single charge. The I.D. R will have to produce roughly 20 percent of the energy it needs to complete the 12.42-mile uphill course from regenerative braking, according to VW.

If Volkswagen wants to claim the EV record at Pikes Peak, then 8 minutes, 57.118 seconds is the time to beat. That record was set by Rhys Millen in a custom-built 1,595-hp eO PP100 back in 2016. Luckily for VW, it will have overall record-holder Romain Dumas at the wheel of the I.D. R.

The 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb takes place on June 24.

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