Volkswagen ID. R breaks the outright record at Goodwood hill climb

Volkswagen ID. R breaks the outright record at Goodwood hill climb


VW ID. R set the overall record at Goodwood

Only a month after eclipsing the lap record for electric cars at the Nurburgring, and just a year after its bar-raising performance at Pikes Peak, Volkswagen has once again used its seemingly unbeatable ID. R race car to set yet another fastest time – the outright record for the Hill Climb at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in England.

The Goodwood Festival of Speed features a long, winding “driveway” that goes from a property entrance up to the house, and a little past. Driver Romain Dumas blasted up the driveway on a sunny Saturday in an electrifying 39.9 seconds, knocking almost two whole seconds off the existing record set by Nick Heidfeld 20 years ago in a McLaren MP4/13 F1 car. So an electric car is faster than an F1 car. At least here.

“The ID.R has once again shown that Volkswagen’s electric powertrain can outperform even the most powerful conventional powertrains,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. “After the victory on Pikes Peak and the e-record on the Nurburgring-Nordschleife, (driver Romain Dumas) has now achieved another milestone for electromobility. It was a strong performance from our whole team, which only had a very short time, in which to get a lightweight variant of the ID.R up and running for the ‘Festival of Speed.”

Volkswagen Motorsports prepared the ID. R specifically for the mile-long hill at Goodwood, with a drive configuration and battery size designed specifically for the task at hand.

“We developed another evolutionary stage of the ID.R—a sprint version with smaller batteries, in order to further reduce weight,” said François-Xavier Demaison, Technical Director at Volkswagen Motorsport. “We also opted for a far more aggressive energy management strategy for the short distance. You need very high output for a very short time for the sprint in Goodwood.”

For his part, Dumas was satisfied with both his and the car’s performance.

“I am very proud to have set the all-time record in Goodwood with the ID.R,” Dumas said. “The short hill climb is a very special challenge. Because the track is so short, I could not afford to make even the slightest mistake, and every aspect of the fine-tuning of the ID.R had to be perfect. That was particularly challenging, as we were not able to test on the route beforehand.”

What’s next for the ID.R? There’s a road in China called Tianmen Mountain. Tianmen means “Heaven’s Gate” in Chinese. The road up it has 99 hairpins in six miles, rising 3642 feet in that length. Photos of the road show short, straight stretches connected by hairpin turns. Few stretches of road stay straight for more than 150 feet.

The Chinese believe that Tianmen Mountain forms the link between heaven and Earth. If VW gets this record, too, maybe it’ll form the link between Wolfsburg and Bejing.

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