Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak is Light and Electric
When it comes to hill climbs, being light is key, and every ounce matters when it comes to braking and accelerating through turns at an altitude of 14,115 feet above sea level. The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 2018 is set to take place on June 24 in Colorado Springs and Volkswagen has designed the optimal racing car to take on this 12.4-mile hill climb.
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As Volkswagen’s first fully-electric racing car, engineers found the perfect balance between performance and weight. Computers were extremely important in the development of the I.D. R Pikes Peak, as they analyzed different configurations and simulated various designs before actually assembling the car made almost entirely of steel and aluminum with perfect weight distribution. The chassis and aerodynamic components were made from an extremely light carbon fiber/Kevlar composite to give the car a weight of less than 2,425 pounds — and that’s including the driver.
Speaking of the driver, since every ounce of unwanted weight affects the overall performance, engineers also turned to the driver’s suit to eliminate any excess weight. Romain Dumas, who is set to drive the I.D. R Pikes Peak at the hill climb, has a fire-resistant race suit made from a particularly light material that has sponsor logos printed on it rather than sewn because the weight of those patches and threads do add up. However, he is required by regulations to have the large event emblem sewn on. “The thread used for that weighs almost as much as the entire suit,” joked François-Xavier Demaison, Technical Director at Volkswagen Motorsport.
The I.D. R Pikes Peak is the first car in the I.D. family, Volkswagen’s future range of fully-electric vehicles. The design elements that will be characteristic of the I.D. family is integrated in the exterior of the Pikes Peak racing car as a sneak peek for what’s to come.
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