Volkswagen ID. R smashes Nurburgring electric-car lap record

Nurburgring electric-car lap record snatched from NIO EP9 as Volkswagen ID. R records stunning 6 minutes 5 seconds

The Volkswagen ID. R has annihilated the electric-car lap record at the Nurburgring, with driver Romain Dumas lowering the benchmark to a staggering 6m 5.366s.

Dumas' time chopped 40 seconds off the previous record, set by Peter Dumbreck in the NIO EP9 in 2017.

The ID. R – which won 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, where it also set a course record – achieved an average speed of 129mph around the 12.9-mile Nordschleife.

The electric racer had new aerodynamic package revealed earlier this year ahead of its assault on the Nurburgring.

The changes allowed the ID. R to reach a higher top speed than it was cable of at Pikes Peak, with the car hitting around 168mph on the long, straight sections of the German track.

"Last year, the many-cornered hillclimb track and the thin air at Pikes Peak demanded maximum downforce,” explained Volkswagen Motorsport's technical director, François-Xavier Demaison.

He added that the ID. R would benefit from improved "energy management", with a Formula 1-style Drag Reduction System (DRS) – a flap that opens on the rear wing – added.

“After the record on Pikes Peak, the fastest time for electric cars on the Nurburgring Nordschleife is the next big challenge for the ID. R,” said Volkswagen Motorsport's director, Sven Smeets, earlier this year. “A lap record on the Nordschleife is a great accolade for any car, whether a race car or a production car.”

The ID. R is powered by two electric motors and produces around 671bhp, generating significant downforce thanks to its enormous rear wing. The 0-62mph sprint is believed to take around 2.25 seconds and the car weighs less than 1,100kg, even with driver Romain Dumas strapped into the driver's seat."

“The thought of driving the ID. R on the Nordschleife is already enough to give me goosebumps,” said Dumas, who also guided the car to the Pikes Peak record.

“I know the track very well, but the ID. R will be a completely different challenge, with its extreme acceleration and huge cornering speeds. I can hardly wait for the first tests. Breaking the existing electric record will certainly not be a stroll in the park.”

Volkswagen says the ID. R follow its Nurburgring run with another record tilt, next time at the Tianmen Shan Big Gate Road in China in September.

Located over 900 miles southwest of Beijing, the 11-kilometre route (see image below) features 99 corners and an altitude gain of 1,200m.

There is no existing record, as the course isn't accessible to the public, so Volkswagen will invite competitors to set a virtual benchmark on a simulator prior to the ID. R's run.

“So far, I only know the road from photos and a few videos,” said Dumas, who'll also pilot the ID R. along the 'Road to Heaven'. “The surrounding area is remarkable, like a film set.

The route is very winding, extremely narrow in places, and very uneven. It is certainly going to be a special experience. I am looking forward to this new challenge.”

The Volkswagen ID. R is spearheading the company’s move towards electric vehicles, with several new cars set to go on sale over the next couple of years.

The ID. hatchback will be revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, with the ID. Crozz SUV and ID. Buzz microbus set to follow in the early part of the next decade.

Volkswagen ID. R Pikes Peak record

The ID. R was originally designed to set the record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb: it did so in some style in 2018, smashing the old record by a whopping 16.73 seconds with a time of 7m 57.148s. It became the first car to complete the 12.42-mile course in under eight minutes.

As well as gaining 1,440 metres of altitude between the start and finish lines, the ID. R had to negotiate damp conditions and restricted visibility in some sections, raising the question of how much faster it could have gone in ideal weather.

Prior to the ID.R, the record at Pikes Peak was held by the Peugeot 208 T16, with nine-time World Rally Championship winner Sebastien Loeb setting a time of 8m 13.878s in 2013.