The folks at Volkswagen are surely raising a glass and shouting, Prost! That’s the German word for Cheers. And, even I’m giving a hat tip in honor of the ID.R shattering the record at the Goodwood Festival of Speed.
- The ID.R and took on Goodwood and reigned supreme, setting two new records.
- Before tackling Goodwood, the ID.R already proved a formidable contender with records at Nürburgring Nordschleife and Pikes Peak.
- In showcasing the ID.R’s technology and capabilities, Volkswagen is helping electric cars gain respect and traction with the public.
Established in 1993, Goodwood gives automakers the opportunity to highlight the latest technology and performance in their vehicles. The race to the top takes place on the driveway surrounding the Goodwood House estate. The time to beat was 41.6 seconds when Nick Heidfeld driving a McLaren MP4/13 Formula 1 car set the bar in 1999.
In a blisteringly fast run up the 1.16-mile course, the ID.R, driven by Romain Dumas, clocked 41.18, toppling Heidfeld’s record. A startling performance where attendees got to witness a two-decade old record eclipsed. But, that was just a teaser of what Dumas and his VW supercar had in store. The following day, Dumas cranked up the hill in a neck-snapping 39.9 run.
Dumas didn’t make history just once that day, but twice. His sub 39.9 second bullet ride was the first time anyone had burned rubber up that hill below 40 seconds at the Festival of Speed. Can you imagine what it would’ve been like to be there to witness the ID.R in action?
Electric Juice Conquers Gas Fueled
If anyone had doubts that an electric motor could outperform a gas-powered engine, Volkswagen disavowed them of that notion. Built specifically to take on Pikes Peak, the electric ID.R didn’t disappoint. It roared up that 12.42-mile course, climbing 4,720 feet in under eight minutes to set a new record.
In preparation for Pikes Peak, the ID.R cut its teeth this year at Nürburgring Nordschleife. Although it didn’t take the track record, it did crush the electric car record held by Chinese EV startup NIO’s EP9 supercar in 2017, shaving off 40 seconds for an official time of 6:05.336.
However, the run on Goodwood wasn’t the ID.R’s first time on this track or its first taste of victory there. Last year the ID.R set the all-electric record, already achieving the third fastest time overall.
From these “training” runs, the engineers at Volkswagen evaluated the ID.R’s performance and continually primed the car by making adjustments for each competition. For Goodwood, the 680 horsepower ID.R got its power from a smaller battery to reduce weight and the power output adjusted for the short course.
From Concept To Production
The ID.R is Volkswagen’s flagship electric car, a concept vehicle to test and demonstrate the automaker’s latest technology. It’s part of Volkswagen’s line of ID concept vehicles. The ID.3 will be the first car to go from concept to production and will hit the streets in 2020. In addition, this hatchback has the distinction of being the first to roll out on Volkswagen’s Modular Electric Drive Toolkit (MEB) electric car architecture. A flexible modular system, it was introduced in 2016 to bring down costs of electric car production.
When ID.3 is released, Volkswagen projects the ID.3 will sell at over 100,000 per year. By 2025, Volkswagen intends to sell over 1 million electric vehicles per year spanning more than 20 models.
The ID.R tearing up all the worldwide tracks breaking records is not only a coup for Volkswagen (and Dumas), but also for electric vehicles. By winning these races, Volkswagen exhibits electric vehicles have got the chops to compete, and win, against their gas-powered counterparts. And through making electric vehicles exciting, Volkswagen further helps their adoption by the public.
Prost, to Dumas and the whole Volkswagen team!