Volkswagen has revealed that it’s developing an all-electric race car for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb which will take place on 24 June 2018 in Colorado, USA.
With this new challenge, the German car manufacturer aims to set a new record for electric cars. The current record in the class of electric prototypes on the 19.99 km course to the 4,300 m summit is 8 minutes 57.118 seconds, which was set by Rhys Millen (e0 PP100) in 2016. The ultimate record was set by Sébastien Loeb in 2013. He completed the twisty roads with the purpose-built Peugeot 208 T16 in 8:13.878.
The new motorsport project is part of Volkswagen’s process of transforming itself into the leading producer of electric vehicles. By 2025, the Volkswagen brand will already be offering 23 all-electric models.
“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,” explains Dr Frank Welsch, Member of the Board responsible for Development.
“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.”
The vehicle is being developed by Volkswagen Motorsport in close cooperation with Technical Development in Wolfsburg. “The race on Pikes Peak is a new beginning for us. We are developing an all-electric race vehicle for the first time,” explains Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. “The project is also an important milestone in our new motorsport orientation. Our team is literally electrified about taking on this incredible challenge.” 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.