The ’Ring Electric: VW Will Shoot for EV Lap Record at the Nürburgring

Further development is planned before the record attempt

After its record-breaking Pikes Peak Hill Climb run, Volkswagen and its ID.R all-electric race car have their sights set on the Nürburgring's Nordschleife this summer. The automaker hopes to capture the fastest time for an electric car around the Green Hell.

The ID.R is powered by two electric motors that deliver 670 horsepower. The race car weighs less than 2,500 pounds with the driver, or about as much as a Mazda Miata. Because the Nürburgring is vastly different from Pikes Peak, further development of the ID.R is required, and aerodynamics will be one area of focus. "Unlike the U.S. classic on Pikes Peak, which starts at an altitude of more than 9,000 feet and ends at 14,115 feet, the Nordschleife winds its way through the Eifel region at between 1,050 and 2,024 feet above sea level," said Volkswagen Motorsport technical director Francois-Xavier Demaison in a release.

Before the summer record attempt, the ID.R will be put through an intense development program at various racetracks. Piloting the electric race car will be Frenchman Romain Dumas, the same driver who captured the record at Pikes Peak. But breaking the Nurburgring's record won't be easy because it currently stands at 6:45.90 for all-electric vehicles. This was done in 2017 by Britain's Peter Dumbreck in a NIO EP9 with an average speed of almost 115 mph.

The famous Nürburgring Nordschleife is a 12.9-mile track with more than 70 turns. Besides being used by various automakers for rigorous testing, the track also hosts the 24 Hours of the Nürburgring endurance race and is a venue for the FIA World Touring Car Cup series. Why is Volkswagen gunning for a record there? For starters, VW has already invested a good deal in the development of the ID.R—why not get another record out of it? Plus, 'Ring records earn your brand substantial street cred, which VW could use given its diminished reputation in the wake of the TDI scandal and its ambitious electrification plans that call for 15 million vehicles in the first phase of its EV push.