The all-time hill climb record might also be within reach.
There’s another hill Volkswagen intends to climb, and just like it did at Pikes Peak a few weeks back with its electric I.D. R, the automaker is looking to set a record. This time the hill in question is a bit less ambitious – just over a mile in length compared to 12.4 miles – but it’s still one of the most famous hill climbs in the world.
We’re talking of course about the Goodwood Festival of Speed which kicks off this week and yes, VW will be there with the I.D. R seeking a new electric-car record. The current time-to-beat is 47.34 seconds, set back in 2013 by Jonny Cocker in an LMP-based electric car called the Lola-Drayson B12 69/EV. That car packed four electric motors generating over 850 combined horsepower, and it was held to the ground with all kinds of active aero components to make the most of Goodwood’s short-but-sweet course.
By comparison, the I.D. R uses a pair of motors to make 680 combined horsepower, but at just 1,100 kilograms (2,425 pounds) the VW racer can blitz to 100 km/h (62 mph) in approximately 2.2 seconds. That’s quicker than an F1 car, not to mention a few tenths ahead of the current record-holding Lola. But tackling Goodwood is about more than just intense acceleration; it will be interesting to see if the I.D. R’s aero package – which was built to handle the higher altitudes and higher speeds at Pikes Peak – will match up to the Lola-Drayson’s active aero.
Curiously enough, VW doesn’t make any specific mention in its Goodwood press release about possibly capturing the hill climb’s all-time record. However, company was quite keen to mention the details of that record, which stands at 41.6 seconds and was set by former Formula 1 driver Nick Heidfeld behind the wheel of a McLaren-Mercedes F1 car back in 1999. Could this be VW’s wink to the world that an all-time Goodwood record could also be in its sights?
The same sort of posturing took place a few weeks back at Pikes Peak, and we all know what happened then. We’ll be watching Goodwood this week and should the record (or records) fall, we will let you know.
Gallery: Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak 2018 Romain Dumas qualifying
Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak goes in search of more records at Goodwood
- Electric racing car takes on new challenge, fresh from setting Pikes Peak record
- Romain Dumas out to break electric record at Goodwood
- Logistical tour de force from Volkswagen Motorsport in run-up to spectacular event
The I.D. R Pikes Peak is making its competitive debut in Europe at Goodwood. Volkswagen’s first fully-electric racing car is the sporty ambassador for the I.D. family. “I am really looking forward to getting back behind the wheel of the I.D. R Pikes Peak at the Goodwood Festival of Speed,” says Dumas. “The race in Duke of Richmond’s estate is a very special event that is steeped in tradition. The best drivers in the world line up in some legendary racing cars in a great atmosphere. The I.D. R Pikes Peak may still be very young, but the record-breaking run on Pikes Peak has already made it a ‘living legend’.”
“It is a great honour for us to take part in the Goodwood Festival of Speed,” adds Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. “I still get goosebumps when I think about the magnificent success on Pikes Peak. However, that race is history now. We are looking ahead and looking forward to showing European fans the I.D. R Pikes Peak. Our brand has dedicated itself to electromobility, and we want to show everyone how emotional this topic can be, before the first Volkswagen range with fully-electric drive is launched in 2020.”
Hill instead of mountain: hunting down record for electric cars at Goodwood
Volkswagen and the I.D. R Pikes Peak have their sights set on the next record at Goodwood: the record for electric cars. In 2013, Jonny Cocker (GB) set a new fastest time of 47.34 seconds for the iconic Goodwood Hillclimb in a Lola-Drayson B12 69/EV. The all-time record is held by former Formula 1 driver Nick Heidfeld (D). Back in 1999, he covered the short 1.86-kilometre route in 41.6 seconds at the wheel of a McLaren-Mercedes MP4/13 Formula 1 car.
For the plan to come to fruition, Volkswagen Motorsport is currently having to perform a logistical tour de force: after the record-breaking run at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the I.D. R Pikes Peak was prepared as quickly as possible for transport to Europe. It only arrived home in Hannover by air freight a few days ago. The electric racing car is now undergoing further preparations in Hannover, before heading to the south of England to take on its latest challenge. A race against time for the Volkswagen Motorsport team.
Also in action at Goodwood: the 1987 Twin-Golf Pikes Peak
Volkswagen Motorsport has plenty to offer visitors to this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed: as well as the I.D. R Pikes Peak, the Twin-Golf Pikes Peak from 1987 will also take part in the race on the Goodwood Hill. Hans-Joachim “Strietzel” Stuck and Jochi Kleint will share the driving duties in the 480-kW (652-PS) twin-engine racing car. As with the I.D. R Pikes Peak, the engineers opted for a solution with two drive sources when developing the eye-catching Golf. The I.D. R Pikes Peak features two electric engines, which generate a system performance of 500 kW (680 PS). As well as taking on the hill climb, the two cars will also be on display in the paddock, while the drivers will be available to meet fans and sign autographs.