Video: Volkswagen ID.R sets record time up Tianmen Mountain Big Gate Road
Volkswagen's barnstorming electric race car has set a new benchmark for the 99 turns leading up to Heaven's Gate in China. With Pikes Peak hero Romain Dumas at the wheel, the ID.R ascended this stunning and treacherous road in 7 minutes, 38.585 seconds.
So now we know what a good time looks like for the incredible Tianmen Shan Big Gate Road, which has begun featuring in a few fun promotional videos of late. It's a stunning piece of engineering that loops around, over and through the near-vertical limestone protrusions towering over Zhangjiajie in Hunan, China. We don't think it's much of an exaggeration to call it one of the most spectacular roads in the world – and it's a pretty hairy drive, as well, with tourist bus drivers reporting their passengers often scream like they're on a roller coaster.
Romain Dumas was probably going a bit quicker than a tourist bus driver as he set the first official record time on this road. It's almost a bit of a pity that the first record has been set by the ID.R. The 99 turns of Heaven's Gate is such a staggering part of the world that we're low-key hoping it becomes another Pikes Peak or Nurburgring where auto manufacturers go to set definitive times and rank themselves against each other. But the ID.R is already so brutally fast, cornering at up to 3.5G and blitzing time trial records wherever it goes, that it's hard to imagine who's going to bother coming out and trying to break this record anytime soon.
So the video below might be the last we see out of the area for a little while. And that's a pity, because while it's a very good video, we can't help thinking it could be done better. Then again, some places are just so spectacular that no video can do them justice. Check it out.