Volkswagen Sets Sights on Nürburgring Record with Modified I.D. R: Report

Simulator times allegedly put the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo’s record within reach, so VW will have to work extra hard.

byJames Gilboy|
Volkswagen News photo

Volkswagen will reportedly deploy a modified version of its record-breaking I.D. R electric prototype race car to seize the electric vehicle lap record at the Nürburgring.

Volkswagen took the I.D. R program from inception to a record-setting run at the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in just 249 days, completing all design, construction, and testing in that period. The prototype race car features 680 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, distributed through all four wheels, and reigned in by its driver Romain Dumas with full traction control. Peak downforce exceeds 2,200 pounds, even at the high-altitude racing environment of Pikes Peak, where the start line is above 9,000 feet of elevation, and the finish at the 14,114-foot summit.

The German automaker's goal with the I.D. R was the electric record at Pikes Peak, though Dumas had such a good run that the then-overall internal combustion record held by Sebastien Loeb fell victim too. An entry at Goodwood followed in July, where the I.D. R flattened Goodwood's electric record and laid down the third-fastest run in the race's history.

Next in line for Volkswagen will reportedly be the Nürburgring, according to Autocar, which reports that the I.D. R will tackle the track, citing a source inside the I.D. R program. VW has reportedly reserved the Nürburgring to itself for a period in May of 2019, prior to which it will complete a technical overhaul on the I.D. R to better suit the car to the superlative racetrack. Drivetrain and aero alterations will reportedly boost the vehicle's top speed beyond that of the 149 mph limit of the Pikes Peak package, as imposed by a limiter to conserve electric energy.

The time to beat will be the 6:45.9 set by the Nio EP9, though according to the source, even the overall record of 5:19.6 set earlier this year by the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo may be within reach.

"We're still at an early stage of preparation, but we've already seen lap times below five minutes and 30 seconds in the simulator," the source reportedly said. "There's more to come, we're sure."

Allegedly, VW plans to return to the Goodwood Festival of Speed in 2019, for another crack at the overall record with the updated car.

"It will be tight, but we're confident we'll get at least one good run at it before we begin preparations for Goodwood."

When contacted, a VW spokesperson could neither confirm nor deny the above itinerary.