The all-electric Nurburgring lap record has been smashed by the Volkswagen ID R racer. The hillclimb champ, with Pikes Peak and Goodwood already under its belt, set its sights on the notorious Nordschleife, posting a time of 6min 5.3sec.
The new car is a very different beast to the one that dominated Pikes Peak and Goodwood. The Nurburgring circuit features many straights, with the main one longer than the entire Goodwood hillclimb, and these demand a high top speed. So VW had to reduce drag, which also resulted in a loss of downforce.
Enter an F1-style Drag Reduction System (DRS), good for making the car 20 percent slipperier when the going gets straight and fast(er)
Batteries are easily drained, however, so the ID R’s VMAX is ‘only’ around 155mph. It could be much more, but even with the 20 percent battery boost from KERS, the full 12.9-mile lap necessitates tactical power conservation.
Volswagen ID R: how quick is quick?
For the avoidance of doubt, the time is a full 40 seconds quicker than the previous electric record-holder, the NIO EP9. The EP9 is a road car, though, so a better benchmark ought to be the legendary Stefan Bellof lap in the Porsche 956, which the ID R beats by six seconds.
Until last year – when Porsche went record-hunting with the 919 Evo LMP1 car – Bellof held the lap record for 35 years.
The ID R team was aiming for a 6min 15sec lap, but given VW had two chassis to work with, and quick-charge times of 20 minutes, consistent lapping paid dividends.
What’s next? Well, there’s the Festival of Speed at Goodwood coming up soon, at which the ID R came very close to the overall record last year. Maybe the ‘Ring spec car will be there to make it happen? We shall see…
What’s the point of all this?
There’s no better arena to prove technology to be used in future road cars than the racetrack. The ID R is, in effect, the halo machine for VW’s new ID electric-only model line.
Advancements made in this car today will inform what we see in ID road cars tomorrow.