Volkswagen has broken the outright Hillclimb record at Goodwood Festival of Speed, with the 680hp ID R electric racer.
Driver Romain Dumas initially took the record on the second day of the event, setting a time of 41.18sec in a practice session, before going even faster a day later, with 39.90sec in the timed shootout.
The previous record for the Sussex course had stood since 1999, when Heidfeld set a time of 41.6sec at the wheel of McLaren MP413 F1 car – a pace so far ahead of anything else that Formula One cars were subsequently banned from making timed runs. The ID R broke the outright record at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb last year but needed heavy modifications to cope with the 20.76-km Nordschleife's long straights and fast corners.
Volkswagen adapted the ID R specifically for Goodwood, with the smallest battery yet fitted to the car in order to reduce weight to below 1,000kg with the driver. This is as light as the car will ever get, technical director François-Xavier Demaison said. We have no need to conserve energy here, power is always at a maximum.
With one day of the 2019 Festival remaining, Dumas will get another chance to go even faster, although a chance of rain may prevent further improvements. He joked after breaking the record for a second time saying, if we stay one more week, it’s possible we could find a few more tenths.
The ID R came to Goodwood fresh from its record-breaking efforts at the Nurburgring, where it set the fastest lap ever for an electric car with a time of 6min 05.336sec.
The ID R broke the outright record at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb last year but needed heavy modifications to cope with the 20.76-km Nordschleife's long straights and fast corners.
They included a new F1-inspire aerodynamics package, which added a new rear wing, redesigned front splitter and drag reduction system (DRS) which, when deployed, reduces downforce by as much as 20 percent. Changes to the energy management system help the car reach its top speed faster, while using less energy from its twin lithium-ion battery packs.
Romain Dumas, who has won the Nurburgring 24-hour race four times, dethroned the Nio EP9 electric hypercar by more than 40sec. The EP9 set the previous record for fastest EV around the 'Ring in 2017, with a time of 6:45.90.
Volkswagen also teamed up with free-to-play racing simulator RaceRoom to let players digitally compete with its real-world record attempt. A virtual version of the ID R was created, using data from the original car, with VW Motorsport engineers helping to create a realistic driving experience.
“The ID. R’s mission to be the spearhead of the fully electric ID. product family from Volkswagen continues in full force,” Volkswagen's Motorsport director Sven Smeets, said. “Once again, this time in 2019, the ID. R will demonstrate the great potential of electric drive, combining emissions-free technology with true emotion.”