In Brief

Pikes Peak 2018: Volkswagen smashes record with electric I.D. R

Prototype is first EV ever to beat a combustion-engined car at the event

Volkswagen has set a new outright record for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with its all-electric I.D. R racing prototype. 

Two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner Romain Dumas raced the EV to the finish line of the 12.4-mile hill climb, in the Rocky Mountains, Colorado, in just seven minutes and 57 seconds. 

Dumas’s time beats the previous Pikes Peak record of eight minutes and 13 seconds, set in 2013 by rally legend Sebastien Loeb in Peugeot’s bespoke 208 T16, The Verge says.

The new time was also a minute faster than the previous record set by an electric car, the tech site says. New Zealander Rhys Millen completed the famed hill climb in eight minutes and 57 seconds in an e0 PP100 two years ago.

Dumas’s record run is a “major milestone” for electric technology in motorsport, marking the first time an EV has posted a faster time than a combustion-engined competitor at the event, says Autocar

The car is powered by a 670bhp electric powertrain that is capable of 0-62mph in just 2.25 seconds, Top Gear reports. The vehicle also has a “gigantic wing”, generating aerodynamic grip at high speeds. 

Although the I.R. R was specificially designed for Pikes Peak and is not expected to feature in any other racing series the vehicle signals VW’s plans to become a serious player in the electric car market. 

According to Mashable, the German car giant aims to build up to three million EVs annually by 2025.

The company already offers an EV in the form of the e-Golf hatchback, with more models expected to join the line-up over the next few years.

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