VW ID R prepares for Nurburgring lap record attempt

Volkswagen has begun testing its ID R electric race car at the Nurburgring, ahead of an attempt to set a new lap record for electric vehicles.

The 671bhp ID R, which broke the outright record at the Pikes Peak hill climb last year, has been heavily modified to cope with the 12.9-mile Nordschleife’s long straights and fast corners. A new F1-inspired aerodynamics package includes a new rear wing, redesigned front splitter and drag reduction system (DRS) which, when deployed, reduces downforce by as much as 20%.

Changes to the energy management system help the car reach its top speed faster, while using less energy from its twin lithium-ion battery packs.

Driver Romain Dumas, who has won the Nurburgring 24-hour race four times, will be aiming to dethrone the Nio EP9 electric hypercar. It set the record for fastest EV around the ‘Ring in 2017 with a time of 6:45.90. 

“The extent to which the ID. R has been continuously developed compared to 2018 is impressive,” Dumas explained. “I can’t wait to finally drive the ID. R on the Nordschleife.” 

The modified car is aiming for an average speed of 112mph around the circuit, and should achieve top speeds of 168mph on the straights. That suggests it won’t seek to challenge the 5min 19.545sec outright record set by the Porsche 919 Evo hybrid last year.

Volkswagen has also teamed up with free-to-play racing simulator RaceRoom to let players digitally compete with its real-world record attempt. A virtual version of the ID R was created using data from the original car, with VW Motorsport engineers helping to create a realistic driving experience.

“The ID. R’s mission to be the spearhead of the fully electric ID. product family from Volkswagen continues in full force,” Volkswagen’s Motorsport Director Sven Smeets, said. “Once again, this time in 2019, the ID. R will demonstrate the great potential of electric drive, combining emissions-free technology with true emotion.”