When it comes to racing up Pikes Peak, handling isn't the only thing a car needs to exhibit. It also needs to be quick -- really quick -- and the Volkswagen I.D. R definitely fits the bill.
Volkswagen's newly unveiled electric racecar will tackle the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in June. It will climb 4,720 feet through 156 corners in an attempt to set a new record for electric vehicles.
Under its carbon fiber body is a pair of electric motors that puts out 680 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. With a curb weight under 2,500 pounds, Volkswagen estimates that the I.D. R will hit 60 mph in just 2.25 seconds, which is quicker than the quickest hypercars, even eclipsing some open-wheel racecars.
Energy recovery will be the key to success. It will capture energy by using its brakes as generators, the same type of brake regeneration used in modern hybrids. VW estimates that 20 percent of the energy used during the 12.42-mile hill climb will come from regenerative braking.
Romain Dumas will be the driver responsible for shoving the I.D. R up the mountain as fast as possible. He's a good person for the job, with three Pikes Peak and two Le Mans victories under his belt. We'll see whether he can beat the current EV lap record of 8:57.118 in about a month.
The I.D. in the racecar's name comes from Volkswagen's forthcoming lineup of all-electric vehicles. While you won't be able to buy this one at dealerships, the future will hold a number of different EV body styles on a single platform dedicated to electrified vehicles. We're probably most excited about the, which is slated for release in the beginning part of the next decade.