Volkswagen has unveiled its fully-electric super sports car, the I.D. R Pikes Peak, today. With 500 kW (680 hp), 650 Nm of torque and weighing less than 1,100 kg, the super sports car will take on the iconic Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado Springs, USA, on 24 June 2018.
The car has been build with one aim, to beat the existing record of 8:57.118 minutes for electric cars at the “Race to the Clouds”.
To achieve this, the I.D. R Pikes Peak is designed to sprint to 62mph quicker than a F1 or Formula E race car, arriving there in just 2.25 seconds.
Dr. Frank Welsch, Volkswagen Member of the Board of Management commented:
“Customers have always benefitted from the findings made in motorsport, and we expect to take these findings and use them as a valuable impetus for the development of future I.D. models. The hill climb on Pikes Peak will definitely be a real acid test for the electric drive.”
Another goal when developing the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak was to find the ideal balance between energy capacity and weight. The focus was not, as is usually the case with racing cars, on maximum performance.
As with the sensational twin-engine Golf that took on the Pikes Peak challenge in 1985, 1986 and 1987, the engineers have opted for a solution with two power units. The I.D. R Pikes Peak features two electric engines, generating a system capacity of 500 kW (680 hp).
As in production vehicles with electric drive, lithium-ion batteries are used as the energy storage system. There is great demand on the battery cells: Their power density is the crucial factor for the system when producing high voltage. Unlike in the manufacturing of production vehicles, the goal of the motorsport engineers was not maximum range, but the highest possible power output on the way to the Pikes Peak summit.
Roughly 20 percent of the electric energy required is generated during the 20-kilometre drive. The key here is energy recovery: When braking, the electric engines, which in this case operate as generators, convert some of the braking energy into electricity and feed this into the battery.
The Pikes Peak hill climb starts at 2,862 metres above sea level and takes in 1,440 vertical metres of climbing, 156 corners. In the one single attempt not only must the technology and driver be on top form, but the external conditions must also play ball. It is not unheard of for the 4,302-metre summit and finish line, to experience temperatures below freezing point at the end of June.
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