The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has been held 96 times since 1916. The 2018 edition saw Volkswagen’s I.D. R Pikes Peak set an all-time record with Romain Dumas behind the wheel. Dumas completed the 19.99 km run, through 156 turns in a record time of 7m 57.148s.
The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak is the sporty forerunner from the I.D. family, it produces 670 hp. The race car has been designed specifically for this challenging hill climb event. Volkswagen achieved this with a combination of minimum weight, maximum achievable downforce and max power for it to achieve the best possible result. The I.D. R Pikes Peak weighs less than 1,100 kilograms (battery cells included).
Volkswagen used simulation software to evaluate how to reach optimum energy demand and performance for their record attempt at Pikes Peak. As far as aerodynamics are concerned, the loss of downforce caused by the thin air on Pikes Peak was compensated using a flat, streamlined chassis and huge rear wing.
The German stalwart car maker also made progress in the direction of charging technology. The company’s goal was to charge the car as quickly as possible with minimal environmental impact. The time to charge the vehicle was defined by regulation; in case the race is suspended, it must be possible to completely charge the car in under 20 minutes. The electricity required to charge the vehicle were provided by generators at the base of Pikes Peak. The company used Glycerol as fuel for the generators, Glycerol has no harmful exhaust fumes and is a by-product of bio-diesel.