It took 20 years to break the Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb record. And it happened twice in the same weekend.
The new record holder is Volkswagen’s ID R electric race car. The vehicle, driven by driver Romain Dumas, broke the record by completing the 1.86-kilometer track (1.15 miles) at Goodwood in the south of England in 41.18 seconds. Dumas then broke his own record the following day by completing the track in 39.90 seconds.
The previous record at the famous hill climb was set in 1999 by Nick Heidfeld, who was driving a 780-horsepower McLaren-Mercedes MP4/13 with a combustion engine. Heidfeld completed the run in 41.6 seconds.
The Volkswagen ID R (and Dumas) has been on a tear as of late, setting records at Nürburgring-Nordschleife and Pikes Peak. The ID R set a new electric vehicle lap record at Nürburgring-Nordschleife by completing the course in 6:05.336 minutes. The previous record was set in 2017 by Peter Dumbreck, who was driving a Nio electric vehicle.
The Volkswagen ID R was modified to best suit the Goodwood hill climb. A vehicle was outfitted with a smaller battery, which helped reduce the weight, and the power output was optimized for the short sprint. A drag reduction system was designed for high-speed sections of the Nürburgring.
Why does all this matter? This race car is a testbed and a flagship for Volkswagen’s ID electric vehicle platform.
Volkswagen has been showing off its ID line of concept electric vehicles for several years. The company is preparing some of them for production, beginning with the ID.3. VW aims to sell 100,000 ID.3 vehicles annually.
The ID.3 hatchback is the first model to be built on the automaker’s new Modular Electric Drive Toolkit, or MEB, electric-car architecture. Introduced in 2016, MEB is a flexible modular system — really a matrix of common parts — for producing electric vehicles that VW says makes it more efficient and cost-effective.
Others will soon follow. VW plans to have a portfolio of more than 20 full-electric models. The automaker’s goal is to sell 1 million electric vehicles annually by 2025.