Winning the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hillclimb was just the start for VW’s mad ID R. The electric beast’s next stop in its quest for global domination is the Nurburgring, where it’s just arrived in a new, Nordschleife-friendly setup.
There’s a new rear wing which, while still rather vast, sits much lower than it did previously. It’s all in the name of reducing downforce, which is necessary for two reasons. First off, unlike the very tight and technical Pikes Peak course, the Nurburgring is full of fast corners and has several long straights, where too much drag is going to be costly to the overall time.
Then there’s the air density. The summit of Pikes Peak is 4302 metres high, where the air is thinner and easier to punch through. The Nordschleife, on the other hand, is around 600 metres above sea level.
To make the car slipperier still, the wing also features an F1-style drag reduction system (DRS). When deployed, it reduces downforce by 20 per cent. The floor of the car has been modified to suit the different demands of the ‘Ring, and there’s a new splitter at the front too.
All of these changes work together to drastically reduce drag, while still giving the near-700bhp electric car a huge amount of downforce to play with. The ‘Ring-spec car is able to reach its top speed quicker, and crucially, now uses less energy from its two lithium-ion battery packs (one for each axle) to get there.
Romain Dumas - who drove the ID R to victory at Pikes Peak last year - starts his hot laps of the Green Hell today. His target is to beat the current EV record of 6:45.90, held by the Nio EP9.
You’ll be able to join the French racing driver virtually, too, with VW letting gamers try out the ID R at the ‘Ring using the free-to-play online racing sim RaceRoom.