Volkswagen came, saw, and conquered. The Volkswagen ID R has broken the record for the time it takes an electric vehicle to climb a hill. It is a feat of electrical engineering and it hints at the future of electrical vehicle engineering.

The competition is named the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. It is a 12.42 mile race with 156 turns, climbing up to 14,000 feet above sea level. It has been in existence since 1916.

Source: Volkswagen Group

The VW team challenged the PIKE record on June 24th and emerged with a record breaking hill climb. What makes the hill climb unique is that combustion engines struggle more than the electric motor. The combustion engine begins to struggle as soon as the oxygen thins the further above sea level the car climbs. Battery-powered cars, however, have no such issues.

Volkswagen unveiled their first fully electric car in October 2017. They then announced that they intended taking it up the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. They predicted that they would break all previously set records for the fastest electric vehicle hill climb.

Technical Director at Volkswagen Motorsport Francois Xavier Demaison says:

“The idea is to show our capability in doing electric cars. Especially for racing. It’s a racing car, it has to be as fast as possible. So, technically, it has to be light, and drivable...and fast. The idea of the IDR is to have a motor in the front and a motor in the rear.”

The car is a battery with four wheels, says Demaison. It is powered by 3,500 cells that are connected to two motors. It can push out 680 horsepower. The car goes from 0-60 miles per hour in 2.25 seconds.

The record

Volkswagen’s ID R managed a time of 7 minutes and 57 seconds on the 24th of June 2018.

This car suggests that VW is moving towards implementing the electric. And because the car is electric, the driver has to adapt to a car that doesn’t behave like one with a traditional combustion engine.

Romain Dumas was the race car driver who won VW its new record, but before the record was set he said:

“I’m getting more used to the visibility with the speed. You have to readapt your style, you have no gear, you have no noise.  The only kind of feeling you have is the speed.”



Most amazingly the previous record was set in 2013 by a Peugeot 208. The Volkswagen ID R beat the previous record of 8 minutes and 13 seconds by a full 11 seconds. The engineers have promised that they can refine their vehicle and improve their times in the near future.


Works Cited

“Volkswagen I.D. Electric Racer Blasts To New All Time Pikes Peak Record.” CleanTechnica, 25 June 2018, cleantechnica.com/2018/06/25/volkswagen-i-d-electric-racer-blasts-to-new-all-time-pikes-peak-record/.

“Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak - 2018 WORLD RECORD 7'57’ | HOW IT'S MADE Race Car.” YouTube, 24 June 2018, youtu.be/4uZLQvuwsgg.

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