If you visited the Goodwood Festival of Speed last year, you probably witnessed the ridiculously fast, all-electric, Volkswagen ID R hill climb car fly past you at a substantial rate. Last year, it was there celebrating its successful conquest of Pikes Peak … this year, it could be there celebrating its conquest of the infamous Nürburgring-Nordschleife.
That’s right; having conquered the most treacherous of hill climbs – breaking the previous Pikes Peak record by some 16 seconds – the Volkswagen ID R is heading to the Nürburgring in pursuit of the Electric Vehicle (EV) Nürburgring record. That means getting around the Green Hell’s 12.9 miles in less than 6m 45.9s (a record set by the NIO EP9 in 2017).
If you’ve seen the Volkswagen ID R before, you’ll probably note that it looks a little different in these new images. That’s simply because, despite being a similar length to Pikes Peak, the Nürburgring’s long straights, tricky hairpins and lower altitude require a different approach when it comes to aerodynamics.
That means that the massive wing that the Volkswagen ID R wore in hillclimb guise (to allow for maximum downforce at high altitude) has now been replaced by a smaller rear wing equipped with an F1 style Drag reduction system (DRS), the gargantuan front spoiler has been adapted, the equally large rear splitter has been redesigned and the entire underfloor has been reworked.
Interestingly, the reduction in downforce is for more than just faster acceleration and a higher top speed; in this case, lower air resistance also reduces the amount of electric energy required to go quickly.
This is especially helpful when it comes to the ~1.9 mile Döttinger Höhe straight towards the end of the lap because less energy is needed to reach and maintain the ID R’s top speed.
Speaking of this, Volkswagen Motorsport’s Technical Director, François-Xavier Demaison said:
“Though almost identical in length at roughly 20 kilometres, the Nordschleife presents a completely different challenge for aerodynamics in comparison to the hill climb at Pikes Peak,”
In the USA it was all about maximum downforce, but because the speeds are a lot higher on the Nordschleife, the most efficient possible battery use is of much greater importance with regard to the aerodynamic configuration.”
Much like when it took on the Pikes Peak hillclimb, the Volkswagen ID R will boast a total of 370bhp and 479lb ft of torque from two electric motors that sit on each axle. Weighing in at just 1,100kg, the ID R is capable of firing from 0-62mph in just 2.25 seconds and to a top speed of around 150mph (in hill climb configuration – expect faster from this low drag guise).
Volkswagen say that their incredible ID R racing car sits at the forefront of their electric car efforts; developing and demonstrating electric technology at the absolute extremes of automotive performance. With a plan to offer 70 fully electric models across the Volkswagen Group by 2030, the Group have used the ID R platform to accelerate their research and to raise awareness of EV technology.