Motorsports Alternative Future? The Volkswagen ID R
Changing views and attitudes are thrusting electric and renewable energy machines firmly into the spotlight. One manufacturer that is taking this technology to extremes is German carmaker VW and it’s an all-electric race car, the I.D-R has been toppling records around the world.
It’s hard to imagine that just a few short years ago, all of this electric tech was very much just a vision of the future as manufacturers struggled to get their head around this technology. Battery capacity wasn’t yet there and electric ranges for early all-electric cars were dismal.
Fast forward not even 10 years and you now have electric cars being produced on mass. Volkswagen arguably has been slow to switch to an electric future until only recently. Embroiled in a hugely damaging emissions scandal Volkswagen now has a full focus in electric vehicles to try and repair some of the damage to its image and to catch up with industry rivals.
Motorsport has long been considered the science lab and research hub for the worlds car makers for decades, so what better way to prove a concept than to build an all-electric race car? This is exactly what Volkswagen did and it’s called the I.D-R concept.
The I.D-R concept takes the possibilities of electric cars to extremes. Underneath it’s sleek and heavily aerodynamically profiled body sits two electric motors. Combined these electric motors produce 680 hp and this translates to some truly staggering performance statistics.
Electric vehicles are infamously torquey meaning that accelerating comes in devastating fashion. In the I.D-R standstill to 62 mph comes in at a might 2.25 seconds. This machine is quick and when you consider, that thanks to all of its electric gubbins, it’s over 1,100 kg, this stat seems even more impressive.
The I.D-R is certainly a product of its time. With the likes of Formula E establishing itself as the de facto electric formula, naturally, other forms of motorsport are having to follow suit. Formula One has been Hybrid since 2014 and now even in the likes of the British Touring Car Championship, cars from the start of next season, will have to feature some form of hybridisation.
These moves in motorsport represent a massive sea change for both motorsport technology and engineering and Volkswagen’s I.D-R challenger is proof that electrification need not be a negative step.
This car has already dominated its class at the famous Pikes Peak Hillclimb and not satisfied with that, VW turned it’s attention to toppling the electric car record around the famous Nurburgring. With Volkswagen works driver Romain Dumas at the wheel, the marque managed a new record, lapping the famous circuit in an incredible 6:05.336. A lap time that broke the previous record, set by an NIO EP9 by a full 40 seconds.
The I.D-R would, just a few short weeks later, also go on to topple the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb record, a record that was set way back in 1999 with German Formula One driver Nick Heidfeld at the wheel of that season's Formula One challenger.
With electric development in motorsport and the wider automotive world itself continuing at pace, Volkswagen has demonstrated what is possible in an electric motorsport world and it will be exciting to watch VW write the next chapter in this rapidly developing story.