Volkswagen’s ID.R has a habit of breaking records not only because the 680hp EV is so tremendously advanced, but because it’s become so adaptable. With no category restrictions or regulations to duck beneath, VW’s engineers have revelled in the chance to make the most of the car’s all-wheel drive EV technology. The results speak for themselves: records have been broken at Pikes Peak, the Nürburgring and Shan Big Gate Road; even Nick Heidfeld’s 20-year-old benchmark at the Goodwood Festival of Speed was smashed last year. But it’s not done yet, because a 2020-spec Evo is in the works.
Progress has, of course, halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, although it has at least given time for us all to look back on this ever-impressive piece of engineering’s achievements. It burst onto the scene in 2018 when Romain Dumas set that new record up Pikes Peak, but 2019 was arguably the car’s defining year, demonstrating just how versatile the dual-motor, torque vectoring prototype could be.
It’s exactly this that Volkswagen highlights in its latest video premiere, which covers the story of the ID.R as it travels the world with a team specialised in ensuring it brings back the silverware (so to speak) after each attempt. Plenty have questioned the ID.R’s relevance given its extreme take on the EV formula, but in much the same way F1 has long pushed the avenues of engine development, VW is using its ID.R to push the parameters of motor and battery hardware.
That technical prowess is mixed into a machine that’s quicker off the mark than an F1 car and generates LMP1-aping downforce. Even those not interested in EVs can appreciate the feats achieved here – and VW’s new film really emphasises the human element that’s made it all possible too. We can’t wait to see what the 2020 Evo has in store.