The Volkswagen ID R has set records at Pikes Peak, Goodwood, the Nurburgring, and Tianmen mountain, and the company isn’t planning on slowing down. The company will be bringing the ID R back to Goodwood to try and beat its own record. But before that, it will be heading to the Sonoma Speed Festival to try and break the California track’s record. The current record was set by a Mercedes Formula 1 car driven by Esteban Gutierrez.
This weekend, the ID R is at the GP Ice Race Event in Austria. It’s not racing, just part of a showcase of vehicles the company has there. That’s ice racing as in frozen water, not ICE racing as in internal combustion engine. Volkswagen is compelling the clarification with the ID R and another concept: an electric four-wheel-drive Golf R. VW motorsport boss Sven Smeets calls it “a view of the future.”
The ID R hillclimb car that VW used to set records at Pikes Peak and The Nürburgring is powered by a dual-motor 671 horsepower powertrain that was developed in a Golf TCR. Autocar is speculating that the ice racing Golf R is an updated version of that car.
The company has previously committed to going fully electric with its motorsports projects. VW is focusing on its ID cars for its electrification efforts, and will support electric motorsports with its MEB chassis, so it’s not likely that an electric racing Golf, specifically, is in future plans for VW. The internal name for the project was eR1. According to VW R boss Jost Capito, “If we call it 1, then there will be a 2.” An R version of the electric ID 3 is planned for 2024. A second generation of the ID R vehicle is also in the works, according to Sven Smeets who heads up VW motorsports.
Actual racing cars are always better than demonstration vehicles, but VW’s record-setting ID R and clear shift away from the ICE and into electric racing has me pretty stoked about the future.