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VW's electric Pikes Peak racer is now the champion at Goodwood, too

It was the fastest car of any kind in the Hillclimb... this year.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
July 16, 2018
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VW made good on its promise to conquer Goodwood's Hillclimb with its pure electric race car soon after tackling Pikes Peak. The I.D. R Pikes Peak was the fastest vehicle to take on the legendary ascent at the Festival of Speed, finishing the climb in a brisk 43.86 seconds -- as you'll see in the video below, driver Romain Dumas outpaces the competition almost immediately. It's the first electric car to win the Festival's shootout, and certainly the fastest EV in the competition. Second place was also an EV -- Nio's EP9 was slightly slower at 44.32 seconds.

Unlike at Pikes Peak, VW won't be returning home with the all-time record. That honor goes to Nick Heidfeld (appropriately now a Formula E driver), who reached the end in 41.6 seconds using a McLaren-Mercedes Formula 1 car. Goodwood no longer accepts Formula 1 cars in the shootout for safety reasons, so that record may stand for a while yet. VW might not mind so much knowing that it now has the third-fastest time in the shootout.

As with Pikes Peak, the very nature of the course played into VW's hands. The twisty incline favors the instant torque of an EV, especially over a short distance (1.15 miles) where gas-powered vehicles can't make the most of their torque ranges or top speeds. VW can't win every race with the I.D. R Pikes Peak, in other words. This just shows that electric racers have some distinct advantages in the right circumstances, and that conventional cars might not rule the roost for much longer.

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