The Volkswagen ID R Pikes Peak is a four-wheel-drive, electric-powered prototype which was designed to compete in the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in June. Its much-awaited prototype will be unveiled in France on Sunday, April 22, 2018. The new machine will be shown at an event on Sunday, before an on-track testing programme for its record attempt on the 156-turn, 19.98-kilometre mountain begins the following day.
The machine has only been shown in computer-generated images, so far. It has been developed by VW's motorsport arm as an attempt to showcase the performance capabilities of contemporary electric drive systems. A series of new images released by Volkswagen show that the pure-electric coupé takes on the appearance of a modern-day Le Mans prototype. The release of these images follows the automaker's initial confirmation last October that it had begun development of a new car for Pikes Peak.
VW R&D boss Frank 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.” The company says that it represents the “first step in an intensification of the co-operation between Volkswagen R and Volkswagen Motorsport.” The car is important to VW, since it will act as a high-tech spearhead for a range of new electric-powered ID road cars which are due to begin production at Volkswagen's Zwickau factory in Germany from the end-2019.
Although the German carmaker 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 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 that insiders suggest will use contemporary cell technology similar to that planned for VW’s pure-electric road cars.
The ID R Pikes Peak's aerodynamic package includes a sizeable front splitter, a centre fin extending over the rear bodywork (which appears to help support the car’s huge rear wing) and a multi-channel diffuser element.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb – also known as the Race to the Clouds – is a 19.98km 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. VW last entered Pikes Peak in 1987 with a dual-engine Golf producing 661hp.
Le Mans 24 Hours race winner Romain Dumas took overall Pikes Peak victories in 2014, '16 and '17 in a Norma M20D. He will drive the ID R Pikes Peak in an attempt to beat the current electric car prototype class record of 8min 57.118sec. This record is held by driver Rhys Millen in a Toyota-sponsored prototype in 2016.