Who wouldn’t want to drive this on a timed tranquil drive to the top of Pikes Peak at 14,110’ ASL? Wayne Gerdes – CleanMPG – April 23, 2018 VW Motorsport has now open track tested for the first time its I.D. R Pikes Peak in Alès, France. The supercar is being tested to compete at the Pikes Peak International Hill climb in Colorado Springs, CO, on June 24, seeking to beat the existing electric car record of 8:57.118 minutes in the annual “Race to the Clouds.” The I.D. R Pikes Peak race car weighs less than 2,500 lbs and produces 680 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque, giving it a 0-60 time of 2.25 seconds. The top goal when developing the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak was to find the ideal balance between energy capacity and weight. VW’s prototype for Pikes Peak the “R” for racing and the “I.D.”, the symbol of VW’s smart E-technology. The I.D. R Pikes Peak designers opted for a two-motor drivetrain generating a system capacity of 680 hp. Li-Ion traction batteries are used as the energy storage system with high power density. Despite the extreme climb from start to finish, approximately 20 percent of the electric energy required is generated via regenerative braking during the run. When braking, the electric engines act as generators, converting some of the braking energy into electricity and feeding this into the battery. VW’s I.D. R Pikes Peak program enters a crucial phase with the unveiling of the car in Alès. Testing on the actual 12.42-mile route of the Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado Springs is limited, and only possible on certain sections so the bulk of the testing is not done on the actual route, but at racetracks. With the vehicle revealed to the world, testing has commenced! World-class driver and defending Pikes Peak champion, Romain Dumas, will be at the wheel of the VW I.D. R Pikes Peak for the attempt to break the existing record for electric cars. The 39-year-old Frenchman has three victories at Pikes Peak and won the 24 Hours of Le Mans twice. Between now and the race date, the all-electric prototype will undergo a program of testing initially in Europe and then in the USA. On June 24th, the Race to the Clouds involves a 4,720 vertical-foot climb, 156 corners, and is accomplished with just a single attempt. Not only must the technology and driver be on top form as they attempt to set a record, but the external conditions must be perfect. It is not unheard of for finish-line temperatures at the 14,115-foot summit of Pikes Peak to be below freezing at the end of June. Because of the low air density, drivers are required to wear oxygen masks during the Race to the Clouds.