VW unveils electric race car built to tackle Pikes Peak

The I.D. R Pikes Peak could set a new performance record for EVs.

Volkswagen is delivering on its promise of an electric car powerful enough to conquer the Pikes Peak hill climb. It has formally unveiled the I.D. R Pikes Peak, and the design is very clearly tailor-made for the job -- it looks more like a Le Mans machine than the relatively pedestrian I.D. models you've seen before. The company still isn't offering specs beyond four wheel drive. However, it's still determined to break the existing Pikes Peak electric vehicle record of 8 minutes and 57 seconds, which suggests it will have a monstrous amount of power. The current holder, a Drive eO PP100 driven by Rhys Millen, mustered 1,596HP.

It's reasonable to presume that the VW entry will smash the record for a production-grade electric car, which Faraday Future set at 11 minutes and 25 seconds with a prototype FF91 sedan.

VW isn't shy about why it's fielding the EV at the Pikes Peak race on June 24th: it's about showing "what is possible in motorsport with an electric drivetrain." It's also a big opportunity to advertise VW's shift to electric cars, for that matter. The concern is whether or not anything learned from creating the I.D. R Pikes Peak will translate to everyday designs. It could help VW keep its cars at maximum performance, but there's a good possibility this is more symbolic than practical.