Having your name in the record books for a run up the Pikes Peak is a significant achievement considering how difficult the task is. Volkswagen has taken up the challenge and decided to break the record for electric cars going up the famous mountain.
Its weapon of choice will be the I.D. R Pikes Peak. With 680bhp and 650Nm from its two electric engines in a car weighing just 1100 kg, the super sports car will take on the iconic Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado Springs, USA, on 24 June 2018. The goal will be to beat the existing record of 8:57.118 minutes for electric cars at the Race to the Clouds. The I.D. R sprints to a 100 kmph in just 2.25 seconds which is faster than Formula E and Formula 1 cars.
As in production vehicles with electric drive, lithium-ion batteries are used as the energy storage system. Unlike in the manufacturing of production vehicles, the goal of the motorsport engineers was not maximum range, but the highest possible power output on the way to the Pikes Peak summit. Roughly 20 per cent of the electric energy required is generated during the 20-kilometre drive. The key here is energy recovery. When braking, the electric engines, which in this case operate as generators, convert some of the braking energy into electricity and feed this into the battery.
It’s going to be a tough task with the D-day being 24th June 2018. Start at 2,862 metres above sea level, 1,440 vertical metres of climbing, 156 corners, 100 per cent asphalt, and just one single attempt, not only must the technology and driver be on top form as they attempt to set a new record for electric cars, but the external conditions must also play ball. It is not unheard of for the 4,302-metre summit of Pikes Peak, which also represents the finish, to experience temperatures below freezing point at the end of June.