VW Seeks to Smash the Electric Vehicle Lap Speed Record on the Nürburgring
May 02 2019,
Volkswagen is taking its electric race car to one of the most challenging race tracks in the world. The ID. R is headed to the Nürburgring, looking to smash the electric lap record around the circuit.
The ID. R is the same car that Volkswagen sent to Pikes Peak last year for the famous Hillclimb in Colorado. At the race to the clouds, the all-electric ID. R beat not just the electric record, but set the fastest time ever up the road. It was the first car to break the eight-minute mark on the run.
Now it’s headed for a completely different type of circuit. The low-altitude ‘Ring with 154 corners over a 20.8 km length.
To make the ‘Ring run, Volkswagen put the ID. R through some serious changes. Up in the thin air of the Rocky Mountains, downforce is paramount. Massive wings are needed to produce the downforce that would be easily achievable on a normal circuit.
The Nürburgring is a faster course, as well as being in thicker air. The ID. R. will have a top speed of around 270 km/h, with an average of around 180. So while it still needs downforce, it needs to sacrifice much of that for top speed.
Even though the ID. R’s electric driveline puts out 670 hp and uses two batteries to provide enough energy storage for the lap (and be able to provide sufficient regenerative braking), VW still needed to do more to make the car quicker.
So they’ve taken a page from Formula 1 and added a Drag Reduction System. DRS is basically a hydraulically adjustable element on the car’s rear wing. Thumb a button and the wind resistance drops about 20 percent. That means the car can hit a higher top speed with the same amount of power. But when the driver gets to a corner, the wing closes again to make sure that there’s plenty of grip.