Volkswagen has revealed the first pictures of the electric racing concept car that it hopes will be able to set a new record on the iconic Pikes Peak hillclimb route in Colorado Springs.
Driven by two-time Le Mans winner and three-time Pikes Peak winner Romain Dumas, Volkswagen’s I.D. R Pikes Peak EV will set about trying to beat Kiwi Rhys Millen’s 8:57.118 electric benchmark for the 12-mile Colorado climb on 24 June.
Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets said the time had come to erase the German firm’s memory of its last Pikes Peak entry, when Jochi Kleint’s twin-engined Golf came within a couple of corners of winning the 1987 event before suspension failure.
'It is about time we settled the score,' said Smeets. 'The I.D. R Pikes Peak represents an extremely exciting challenge for us, to show what is possible with an electric engine in motorsport. The entire team is behind Romain, who is highly motivated to set a new record for electric cars.'
The car’s I.D. R Pikes Peak identity comes from VW’s I.D. range of electric road cars – to be rolled out from 2020. The R denotes input from Volkswagen’s performance R range.
The Pikes Peak project is pushing motorsport right to the top of Volkswagen’s electric agenda, with Volkswagen board member Dr Frank Welsch adding: 'Competing in the most famous hill climb in the world with I.D. R Pikes Peak not only has symbolic meaning, but is also a valuable test for the general development of electric cars.'
Testing of the I.D. R Pikes Peak is expected to commence in the coming weeks.