Volkswagen and the I.D. R Pikes Peak racecar have made history at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Driving the 500 kW (670 hp) I.D. R Pikes Peak racer, Romain Dumas defeated a field including cars with conventional drivetrain technology.
In doing so, he not only broke the previous record for electric vehicles, but also bettered Sebastien Loeb’s all-time record from 2013 – by a full 16 seconds.
Dumas’ new record of 7 minutes 57.148 seconds is now top of the list of Pikes Peak champions.
With the I.D. R Pikes Peak, Volkswagen has created a racing car, specifically tailored to the demands of the most famous of hill climbs with a combination of minimum weight, as much downforce as possible, and maximum power, designed to achieve the best possible performance.
Including its battery cells, the I.D. R Pikes Peak weighs less than 1,100 kg.
When evaluating performance, Volkswagen employed simulation software to calculate exactly how to achieve the optimum in energy demand and performance for the record attempt on Pikes Peak.
In the matter of aerodynamics, the key was to compensate for the loss of downforce caused by the thin air on Pikes Peak. The result of this endeavour could be seen from afar: the flat, streamlined chassis and huge rear wing.
Generators at the foot of Pikes Peak provided the electricity required.
Glycerol, which in chemical terms is a sugar alcohol, was selected as the fuel.
A by-product of the manufacture of biodiesel, for example, Glycerol combusts with virtually no harmful exhaust fumes or residues.
Glycerol itself is non-toxic and is even permitted as an additive in the food and cosmetics industries.
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