More than 30 years have passed since Volkswagen last entered the legendary road race, charging up the hill in a 652-hp twin engine Golf but falling short of the finish line due to suspension failure. The German automaker's return is as much about proving its racing credentials as it is about its overall electric vehicle strategy, which will be headlined by its I.D family of zero-emission vehicles. The Crozz crossover, Kombi-inspired Buzz and the steering-wheel-free Vizzion are all concepts that have been floated as future members of the I.D. range.
The I.D. R Pikes Peak was unveiled today in Alès, France, and should be ready to roll in two short months. Just like the Golf in 1987, it will be powered by twin engines, though this time around they'll be strictly electric. With a lithium-ion battery system onboard, the car generates 680 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque.
VW says this affords it a zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) time of 2.25 seconds, placing it among the likes of the Bugatti Chiron and Formula One race cars in terms of acceleration. It weighs under 2,500 lb and VW says it reclaims around 20 percent of its energy through regenerative braking.
The company is planning to not just win the race, but to claim the existing electric car record for the Pikes Peak International Climb, which stands at 8:57.118 minutes. The I.D. R Pikes Peak will be driven by defending champion Romain Dumas, with the event taking place on June 24.
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