The German carmaker has now revealed the four-wheel drive, electric-powered prototype being developed by its motorsport division. Christened the ID R Pikes Peak, the car will run on the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in June.
The car has been conceived to display the performance capabilities of modern-day electric drive systems and will act as a high-tech spearhead for a range of new electric-powered ID road cars due to begin production at VW’s Zwickau factory in Germany from the end of 2019.
On Monday, VW released a series of computer-generated images released. These images show that the pure-electric coupé looks a lot like a modern-day Le Mans prototype. Its aerodynamic package includes a sizeable front splitter, a centre fin that extends over the rear bodywork – which appears to help support the car’s huge rear wing – and a multi-channel diffuser element.
The release of the images follows initial confirmation by VW in October last year that it had begun development of a new car for Pikes Peak. “We want to be at the forefront of electro mobility with the ID family," said VW R&D boss, Frank Welsch. “Competing in the most famous hill climb in the world with the ID R Pikes Peak not only has symbolic meaning but is also a valuable test for the general development of electric cars.”
Welsch, who is also responsible for the development of the upcoming range of ID electric road models, says the ID R Pikes Peak is equipped with “innovative drive and battery technology”.
Although the automaker is keeping quiet about technical details of the ID R Pikes Peak’s driveline, the car is expected to use two electric motors – one for each axle in a four-wheel-drive set-up – mirroring the design being developed for the production versions of the company’s ID Crozz, ID Buzz and ID Vizzion concept cars. Electricity used to drive the motors is planned to come from a large lithium-ion battery. Sources at our sister publication, Autocar UK, suggest that the battery would most likely use contemporary cell technology similar to that planned for VW’s pure-electric road cars.
Volkswagen suggests the ID R Pikes Peak represents the “first step in an intensification of the co-operation between Volkswagen R and Volkswagen Motorsport” – a move that could see future electric-powered ID models receive the sporting R-treatment.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, also known as the 'Race to the Clouds', is a 19.99km route near Colorado Springs in the US. The starting point is situated at an altitude of 2,800 metres above sea level, with the finishing point at 4,300 metres. At present, Rhys Millen holds electric car prototype class record of 8min 57.118sec. This record was made in a Toyota-sponsored prototype, back in 2016.
Le Mans 24 Hours race winner Romain Dumas – who has taken overall Pikes Peak victories in 2014, '16 and '17 in a Morma M20D – will drive the ID R Pikes Peak. VW last entered Pikes Peak in 1987 with a dual-engine Golf producing 661hp.