Watch VW's electric racer destroy the Pikes Peak record

Instant torque goes a long way.

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When VW smashed Pikes Peak's all-time record with an electric car, there was one lingering question for those who couldn't see it live: where's the footage? You've got it now. VW has posted uninterrupted aerial footage of its I.D. R Pikes Peak racer's 7-minute 57-second hill climb, and the pace is as relentless as you'd expect -- the helicopter can barely keep tabs on the EV as it makes short work of undulating turns. Moreover, it's a good primer on why electric cars are well-suited to Pikes Peak.

If there's a running theme in the video, it's that the I.D. R Pikes Peak can recover speed very quickly when exiting a turn, to the point where it's practically catapulting into the straightaways. You can credit that to the inherent nature of electric motors, which deliver maximum torque (in this case, 479 pound-feet of it) at all times. And in a hill climb like this, where the straights are short and the inclines are steep, that matters far more than top speed -- the car's 90.5MPH average speed was more than enough. Although VW's vehicle might have struggled against the fastest gas-powered cars on an oval track, it was in its element here.

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