Blog Page

: Volkswagen I.D. R Electric Supercar Dominates Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Volkswagen I.D. R Electric Supercar Dominates Pikes Peak Hill Climb

13 Aug

Since the automobile first appeared during the end of the 19th century, motor car enthusiasts have thrilled to an unending quest to drive more speed out of their chariots.

Electric cars were the kings of speed during that early era.

Le Jamais Contente electric car was the first road vehicle to travel over 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) during May 1899.

Le Jamais Contente (translation: “The Never Satisfied”) was an electric race car shaped like a torpedo, that was driven by Camille Jenatzy on open roads in Paris, France.

The metal body of the electric car was made of partinium, a light alloy of laminated aluminum, tungsten, and magnesium. Two electric motors delivered a combined 68 horsepower to the rear wheels of the vehicle. The motor was driven by a 200-volt battery pack underneath the driver, that could provide 124 amps of current to each motor.

Innovative rubber tires were produced by the Michelin brothers from nearby Clermont-Ferrand in France, to provide better traction and reduce rolling resistance to the wheels of Le Jamais Contente.

During May 1899, the car and driver were the fastest team on land, exceeding 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) for the first time ever recorded.

120 years later in 2018, electric race cars are once again setting land-speed records in the worldwide automotive racing community during the 21st century. Revolutionary, electric-powered automobiles may soon regain their lost racing crowns from the gasoline-powered, internal-combustion-engine vehicles of yesteryear.

Volkswagen I.D. R electric supercar shattered the existing Pike’s Peak hill climb racing record by 15 seconds.

Volkswagen unveiled its new I.D. R electric race car during the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado Springs on June 24, 2018.

Driven by European racing champion Romain Dumas, the Volkswagen I.D. R shattered the standing record for the high-altitude race course, previously set during 2013 by Sebastien Loeb and his Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak at 8 minutes, 13.873 seconds.

The all-wheel-drive electric supercar from Volkswagen completed the “race to the clouds” over the twisting 12.4-mile vertical roadway in just 7 minutes, 58.147 seconds.

Dumas and the Volkswagen I.D. R eclipsed the best internal-combustion-engine record ever achieved on the hill climb course by 15 seconds!

The record-breaking run was filmed by aerial helicopter cameras for Volkswagen Motorsports and distributed on YouTube:


The electric supercar drivetrain employed two electric motors that combine to produce 670 horsepower and 479 lb-ft. of torque to accelerate the supercar from zero to 60 miles per hour in just 2.2 seconds.

Regenerative braking helped Dumas glide through multiple hairpin turns on his race to the top of the mountain.

The electric supercar weighs just 2,245 lbs. and is equipped with a front-end diffuser, a massive rear wing and floor extensions on either side that create a strong downforce to keep the car pressed to the road.

Inside the roll cage cockpit of the Volkswagen I.D. R electric supercar.

Safety apparatus and a strong roll cage are critical to protect the driver in case of an accident caused by tricky weather conditions, road hazards, or driver error.

Dramatic Pike’s Peak races of the past have been accompanied by many compilation videos on YouTube that show what happens when a racer runs off this mountainous two-lane roadway, as his vehicle rolls hundreds of feet down the mountainside.

Earlier race cars with internal combustion engines would often struggle to maintain a good air-fuel mixture while climbing to an altitude exceeding 14,000 feet high atop the Rocky Mountain range of Colorado.

No such problem for the Volkswagen I.D. R electric supercar.

NEVA blog by Stan Hanel, Outreach Coordinator

Leave a Reply: