Volkswagen ID.R at the Nurburgring in Germany.
Volkswagen ID.R at the Nurburgring in Germany.

Volkswagen electric vehicle crushes supercars

VOLKSWAGEN has given a tantalising taste of the performance of electric vehicles with a supercar-crushing lap record of the famous Nurburgring in Germany.

The all-electric racer that is being used as a promotional tool for Volkswagen's upcoming ID electric vehicles completed the challenging 20.8km circuit in 6 minutes 5.336 seconds at an average speed of almost 207km/h.

It is the fastest all-electric lap of the famous track that is the unofficial benchmark for performance cars.

Volkswagen’s ID.R set a lap record at the Nurburgring, which is the benchmark for performance cars.
Volkswagen’s ID.R set a lap record at the Nurburgring, which is the benchmark for performance cars.

Manufacturers of high-performance vehicles gravitate to the undulating collection of 154 corners to see how their car performs at pace. The mix of tight corners and fast straights combines with various bumps to test everything from suspension and power to downforce and brakes.

In announcing the record Volkswagen chairman Herbert Diess described the Nurburgring track as "the world's most demanding" and "the ultimate test for production vehicles".

"The ID.R has mastered this challenge with great distinction and has completed the fastest emission-free lap of all time," said Diess. "As further proof of its impressive performance capabilities, Volkswagen's e-mobility can now proudly call itself 'Nürburgring-approved'."

The ID.R's lap record smashes that of many fancied supercars and hypercars, including the Porsche 911 GT2 RS (6:47.25), Mercedes-AMG GT R Pro (7:04.63), Nissan GT-R Nismo (7:08.68) and Lamborghini Aventador SVJ (6:44.97).

It also beat the Nio EP9, a relatively unknown Chinese electric car than in 2017 completed the track in 6:45.90.

Volkswagen has shown that electric cars don’t have to be boring.
Volkswagen has shown that electric cars don’t have to be boring.

To be fair, the ID.R is a race car designed from the outset to showcase the performance potential of electric vehicles.

It is powered by two electric motors making 500kW and has a lightweight carbon fibre body and high-powered 915V battery pack that is relatively small, tailored to its record-breaking attempts.

It was also optimised for the Nurburgring attack, with specific downforce settings for the wings and suspension and tyre changes. The aerodynamic changes included an F1-inspired drag reduction system that alters the wings at higher speeds to allow for higher top speeds.

Even the pre-lap charging was performed meticulously, with heating and cooling systems used to keep the battery at an optimal 30 degrees.

Volkswagen’s ID sub-brand will launch its first electric vehicle in 2020.
Volkswagen’s ID sub-brand will launch its first electric vehicle in 2020.

Rather than long range events, the ID.R's record-setting attempts have so far all been over relatively short distances, including the 19.99km Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado, where it beat all petrol-powered cars in 2018.

Perhaps a fairer comparison is the three-time Le Mans-winning Porsche 919 race car, which lapped the Nurburgring in 5 minutes, 19.546 seconds, smashing the outright lap record.

Still, given the rush to produce electric vehicles the ID.R's impressive time will no doubt become a target for other manufacturers over coming years.

The Volkswagen ID sub-brand will include a range of all-electric vehicles, including the Golf-rivalling ID hatchback and a remake of the legendary Kombi bus.


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