Volkswagen Is Tweaking Its ID R Electric Sports Car to Beat the Nürburgring

Volkswagen is taking on a legendary track to tweak its all-electric sports car. The company’s ID R is designed to demonstrate the firm’s electric capabilities, ahead of a wider range rollout that starts from 2020. Over the weekend, Volkswagen announced plans to tweak the vehicle to set a lap record for electric cars on Germany’s Nürburgring-Nordschleife.

The lap, planned for this summer, comes after its June 2018 lap of the United States’ Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, where it set a time of seven minutes 57.148 seconds, the first time an entrant came under the eight-minute mark in this race. The vehicle boasts two electric engines with 500 kilowatts power total and a weight of under 2,425 pounds, all of which means a 0 to 62 mph time of just 2.25 seconds. The company is developing the car further ahead of its upcoming lap to reflect the fact that the Nürburgring is between 300 and 600 meters above sea level, far lower than the Pikes Peak altitude climb from 2,862 meters to 4,302 meters.

The ID R next to the ID Buzz camper van.
The ID R next to the ID Buzz camper van.

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Volkswagen will be taking on the NIO EP9, which set the current all-electric track record of six minutes 45.90 seconds with driver Peter Dumbreck in May 2017. Romain Dumas, who set the Pikes Peak record, will be taking on the Nürburgring, but although he knows the track “very well,” he admitted in a statement that it will “be a completely different challenge, with [the ID R’s] extreme acceleration and huge cornering speeds.”

All this forms part of Volkswagen’s broader electrification strategy. It’s planning to use the modular electric toolkit chassis to build a production version of the ID Crozz concept car, plus a version of the ID Buzz hippie van that debuted two years ago. The company announced at the Detroit Auto Show earlier this months plans to invest $800 million in its Chattanooga, Tennessee plant to produce more electric vehicles, adding over 1,000 new jobs.

Ahead of its record attempt, Volkswagen plans to send the ID R on more test laps around various race tracks in the spring.

Should it complete its record attempt successfully, Volkswagen could quickly make a name for itself as a serious competitor in the electric automaker space.

Media via VW, Volkswagen