Volkswagen is developing an all-electric race car for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, scheduled to take place in Colorado on 24 June 2018.
The all-wheel drive prototype aims to set a new record for electric cars at the finish line which is at 4,300 metres elevation. VW said that the new motorsport project is a part of the company’s s trategy to be the leading producer of electric vehicles. By 2025, Volkswagen aims to offer 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,” said 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. Volkswagen Motorsport last participated in the Pikes Peak mountain race in 1987 with a twin-engined Golf which barely missed finishing.
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. The race course is 19.99 km long, and it climbs 1,440 metres to the summit at 4,300 metres above sea level. The current record in the class of electric prototypes is 8 minutes 57.118 seconds, which was set by New Zealander driver Rhys Millen (eO PP100) in 2016.