Volkswagen is developing an all-electric race car to enter the renowned Pikes Peak mountain race. The all-wheel drive prototype is scheduled to be at the start of the Hill Climb in Colorado, USA on 24 June 2018. Its goal: to set a new record for electric cars, this would quite the comeback for Volkswagen after more than 30 years of absence.
This new motorsport project is all part of a process for VW to transform itself following the Dieselgate scandal into the leader of electric cars.
Dr Frank Welsch, Member of the Board responsible for Development explains the move:
“The Pikes Peak hill climb is one of the world’s most renowned car races. It poses an enormous challenge and is therefore excellently suited to proving the capabilities of upcoming technologies.
Our electric race car will be equipped with innovative battery and drive technology. The extreme stress test on Pikes Peak will give us important findings that will benefit future development, and it will showcase our products and their technologies.”
Volkswagen Motorsport last participated in the Pikes Peak mountain race in 1987 with a spectacular twin-engined Golf which barely missed finishing. “It is high time for a rematch,” continues Smeets.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb – which insiders also call the ‘Race to the clouds’ – has been run since 1916 in the Rocky Mountains near Colorado Springs.
The race course is 19.99 kilometres long, and it climbs 1,440 metres to the summit at 4,300 metres above sea level. The current record in the class of electric prototypes is 8 minutes 57.118 seconds which was set by US driver Rhys Millenin 2016.