The performance arm of the German car company, Volkswagen Motorsport, are currently working intensively on the continuing development of the purely electric-powered race car.
The focus of the testing and development phase is on increasing the efficiency of the vehicle with two electric motors that dish out a system-output of 680hp.
“The developments in electro-mobility are immense, and once again this year we want to underline Volkswagen’s capabilities in producing fast electric cars that awake your emotions. Just like Pikes Peak, the Nürburgring-Nordschleife presents a serious challenge for an automobile. We want to show just how much performance potential exists today with electric-powered cars,” said Volkswagen Motorsport director Sven Smeets.
“It takes ingenuity to strike the right balance with top speed and the limited electric energy available. So we’re concentrating on the continuing development of the drive technology and battery management,” explains François-Xavier Demaison, technical director of Volkswagen Motorsport.
Volkswagen Motorsport is developing the battery alongside the laboratories that are also involved in researching the technology for the ID. product family and a clearly visible alteration of the ID. R will be the aerodynamics.
“In the thin air of Pikes Peak, which sits 4,302m above sea level, we gave the ID. R a very big rear wing to produce the maximum amount of downforce,” said Demaison.
On the Nordschleife, Volkswagen Motorsport will bring a new aerodynamic configuration that will target the greatest efficiency possible, rather than maximum downforce.
“This concerns not only a smaller rear-wing but also the front splitter and floor of the vehicle,” explained Demaison.
For this, different specifications are simulated on the computer to be then examined in the wind tunnel at the beginning of April before the test drives.
Volkswagen Motorsport in Hannover carried out these simulations, which are also put to use in order to optimise battery management and to adapt suspension components for the higher loads of the Nordschleife.
“We are receiving a great deal of support from the technical development in Wolfsburg,” said Volkswagen Motorsport head of calculation/simulation Dr Benjamin Ahrenholz.
Romain Dumas will sit in the cockpit of the ID. R again this year.
The Frenchman, who is somewhat of a Nordschleife expert with four overall victories at the 24-hour race, is excited by the continuing development of the car.
“Viewed in isolation, the individual changes don’t appear to be so pronounced, but the ID. R is a very complex overall package. It will all come down to the sum of the tiny details,” he said.
The current record for a purely electric-powered vehicle on the Nordschleife stands at 6min 45.90s – set by Briton Peter Dumbreck at the wheel of an NIO EP9 in 2017.