Volkswagen is delivering on its promise of an electric car powerful enough to conquer the Pikes Peak hill climb. It has formally unveiled the I.D. R Pikes Peak, and the design is very clearly tailor-made for the job — it looks more like a Le Mans machine than the relatively pedestrian I.D. models you’ve seen before.
The company still isn’t offering specs beyond four-wheel drive. However, it’s still determined to break the existing Pikes Peak electric vehicle record of 8 minutes and 57 seconds, which suggests it will have a monstrous amount of power. The current holder, a Drive EO PP100 driven by Rhys Millen, mustered 1,596HP.
It’s reasonable to presume that the VW entry will smash the record for a production-grade electric car, which Faraday Future set at 11 minutes and 25 seconds with a prototype FF91 sedan.
VW isn’t shy about why it’s fielding the EV at the Pikes Peak race on June 24th: it’s about showing “what is possible in motorsport with an electric drivetrain.” It’s also a big opportunity to advertise VW’s shift to electric cars, for that matter.
The concern is whether or not anything learned from creating the I.D. R Pikes Peak will translate to everyday designs. It could help VW keep its cars at maximum performance, but there’s a good possibility this is more symbolic than practical.