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Volkswagen is gearing up to take on the iconic Pikes Peak hill climb with its first ever all-electric supercar, the I.D. R Pikes Peak. The first test of the race car was completed and driver Romain Dumas was ecstatic with the performance of the car after the initial testing. This is the first time he is behind the helm of an all-electric race car for a race. The initial testing of the all-electric supercar focused on the suspension, tyres and battery performance.
Volkswagen claims that it was allowed to test on the Pikes Peak hill climb only for three hours. The French professional racing driver and current Porsche factory driver is targeting to break the 9-minute barrier in this quest of ‘race to the clouds’. This means that he has to average 134kmph in the all-electric AWD race car if he wants to reach the summit in less than nine minutes.
Perched at an altitude of 4,302 metres, The total length of the hill climb is 19.99km and it has 156 corners. For the better part in the month of June, it hails and snows at the summit. The conditions won’t be race friendly as there are chances of downpour and snowfall during the race. Volkswagen is looking to set the world record for electric cars with the I.D. R Pikes Peak. Volkswagen unveiled the all-electric super car on April 22. The I.D. R Pikes peak is equipped with two electric motors, (one on the front axle and one on the rear) that churn out a combined power output of 670.5bhp and 650Nm of peak twist which is channeled to all four wheels. The car is capable to reach 100kmph from standstill in just 2.25 seconds and has a top speed of 240kmph.
After the initial testing on the iconic hill climb route, the French driver said, “The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the best car that I have ever driven up this mountain. The acceleration and cornering speed are really impressive, and on top of that the car is very convenient. Thanks to the electric drive, I don’t need to change gears and can focus on the line instead. But it goes without saying that there is always room for improvements. In the remaining test drives, we will continue to optimise the tuning. I know the track at Pikes Peak like the back of my hand, but it is the first time I will be driving a racing car with electric drive. I am learning with every metre I drive in the cockpit of the I.D. R Pikes Peak.”
After completion of the first test, François-Xavier Demaison, the technical director at Volkswagen Motorsport, who is also the project manager for I.D. R Pikes Peak said, “Perfect energy management is one of the key factors for successfully attacking the record in the electric car category. The first test drive at Pikes Peak was successful. This shows that our computer simulations and the test drives in Europe were on point.”
This is the 96th edition of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and it will take place on June 24. Stay tuned for more updates. Click here for the video of the first test.