Volkswagen Motorsport has unveiled the revised electric-powered ID. R that Romain Dumas will drive in an attempt to beat the current lap record for electric cars at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.
The reveal took place at the German circuit on Wednesday, with Dumas set to drive the first laps of the track on Thursday.
“Following our record run at Pikes Peak last year and our participation at [the] Goodwood [Festival of Speed], we sat together and talked about what the next challenge could be, and we soon came up with the idea to have a go at the Nordschleife,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets.
As technical director François-Xavier Demaison explained, requirements on the Nurburgring are much different than those at Pikes Peak, so the car needed serious modifications as a result.
“Of course, we don’t need nearly as much downforce at the Nürburgring than at Pikes Peak,” he said.
“Here, the aim was to have as little drag as possible, a high aerodynamic efficiency and high top speeds. The battery management, the transmission and the electronics needed changes, too.”
Ex-Sauber Formula 1 chief technician Willy Rampf is acting as a consultant to the project.
“On the new evolution for the Nürburgring, downforce and drag are around 20 percent less than what we had for Pikes Peak,” he said.
“On top of that, we have also added a drag reduction system that is to be operated by the driver on the steering wheel to enhance the aerodynamic efficiency even further.
“I would say that it can be used around ten times during a lap of the Nordschleife.”
Based on his experience from Pikes Peak, Dumas has also had some involvement in the new car.
“The seat, the driving position and the brakes have all been improved, so it would be very interesting to take the car to Pikes Peak now, I am sure I could be faster,” he said.
“But the main focus is on the Nürburgring now, of course. I can’t wait to go out there and drive it tomorrow.”
A four-time winner of the 24-hour race at the Nurburgring, Romain Dumas knows every inch of the circuit by heart.
Still, he had to adapt his driving style, as he already found out in the simulator.
“We have been doing simulator work in preparation for the Nürburgring since September,” he explained.
“Some corners that you brake (for) in a GT car are flat-out with the ID. R. Also, you have to stay away from the kerbstones while in a GT car, you often run over them.
“Drive nicely and cleanly, relax and enjoy the ride, that is what I have to do.”
Along with the planned record attempt, Volkswagen and RaceRoom have developed an online simulation competition named ID. R Time Attack, which goes live at 8 p.m. CEST tonight (2 p.m. EDT).
Online gamers can have a go at it, including a competition that will run until this fall.
After unveiling the car and the simulator, Dumas immediately reached a lap time of 6:33 on the simulator.
The current record lap time for an electric car at the Nordschleife is 6:45.9, set by Peter Dumbreck with a NIO EP9 on May 12, 2017.