Volkswagen has revealed the car it hopes will take it to the top of the racing world, quite literally.
It’s called the I.D. R Pikes Peak and, as the name might suggest, it’s purpose built to win the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC).
The car is part racing car and part standard bearer for the brand’s new electric vehicle family. The I.D. range will start production at Zwickau in late 2019, for a 2020 launch. Currently the range only includes a compact car simply named “I.D.”, but Volkswagen has been showing off other concepts that may also reach production. The I.D. Buzz is a camper-style van, the I.D. Crozz is a coupe SUV, and the I.D. Vizzion is a flagship sedan, planned for 2022.
When it races at this year’s PPIHC, the R Pikes Peak will be a symbol for the I.D. sub-brand.
It’s no token effort either. Volkswagen Motorsport’s director, Sven Smeets, says VW has built the car in order to settle the score. Volkswagen’s last attempt at the PPIHC was in 1987, with a twin-engined, 652hp Golf. Driven by Jochi Kleint, that car was fastest in the bottom half of the course but retired 400 yards from the finish with suspension damage.
The I.D. R will of course be electric. That means that despite the 5,000ft climb from the start to the finish line at over 14,000ft, it won’t suffer the power losses due to thinning air that can affect internal combustion cars. The existing record for an electric car over the 12.4-mile course is 8:57.118, set in 2016 by Rhys Millen’s e0 PP100. It’s likely that Volkswagen will be setting that as a minimum target, if not Sebastien Loeb’s overall 8:13.878 record from 2013.
Volkswagen hasn’t revealed any technical details about the I.D. R Pikes Peak, other than the fact it is four-wheel drive. As Millen’s car packed in nearly 1,600hp of motors, it’s likely the Volkswagen will have similar power, or more.
The Race to the Clouds takes place on June 24, 2018.