VW Smashes Nordschleife EV Record

Volkswagen’s electric race car, the ID.R, has broken the Nürburgring Nordschleife electric lap record by a huge margin.

The car, driven by two-times Le Mans winner Romain Dumas, lapped the track at 6:05.336, a little more than 40 seconds faster than the NIO EP9 managed in 2017. Last year, the ID.R also became the first car to complete the Pikes Peak hillclimb in under 8 minutes, at 7:57.148.

It’s Volkswagen’s first BEV race car and is part of the German automaker’s ‘R’ performance line. It uses two electric motors, one on each axle, producing almost 680bhp and employs large lithium-ion batteries stored behind and alongside the driver. The Nordschleife is one of the most famous tracks in the world, partly owing to its 12.93 mile length, which means the ID. R could complete just one lap before running out of charge.

The battery pack comprises of eight modules, each holding 56 cells. Once the car has completed a lap, the recharging process begins. Using two fast chargers, at 90 kW each, and up to 1,000 volts, the car can be recharged fully within half an hour. However, temperature while charging is vital to the amount of charge the battery can hold, meaning it is also plugged in to an air conditioning unit. The charger itself runs on glycerin, the by-product of bio-diesel, which when burned is almost carbon-neutral. As well as breaking the electric lap record, the car also beat the long-standing Nordschleife lap record set by Stefan Bellof, in 1983, in a Porsche 956, a 6:11.130.

However, VW’s effort is still nearly a minute slower than the outright record set last year by Porsche’s 919 Evo hybrid, using a V4 two-liter turbo charged gasoline engine, that achieved a 5:19.546 lap. Naturally, unlike the ID.R, it was not limited to single lap attempts thanks to the more practical hybrid technology.

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