A few weeks ago, I visited the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany as Volkswagen began testing its ID R Pikes Peak electric car at the famous race track. The ID R Pikes Peak is part of VW's multibillion-dollar apology for all those diesel emissions; a tiny part compared to the fines, the chargers, and the new business strategy, but a part nonetheless. Its job is to imbue the coming onslaught of ID-branded electric vehicles with a halo—the exciting kind one gets from on-track derring-do.
And the derring rarely gets done as well as this. On Monday, racing driver Romain Dumas and the VW Motorsport team set a new electric record at the 12.9-mile (20.8km) track also known as the Green Hell. As corporate apologies go, I like this one.
Dumas lapped the circuit in 6:05.336 minutes, lopping a full 40 seconds off the time set by Peter Dumbreck and the Nio EP9 hypercar back in 2017. The lap time is also almost six seconds quicker than the time set by Stefan Bellof in a Porsche 956 in 1983. Though separated by more than three decades, the two cars are closely matched in some regards; at 670hp (500kW) the electric VW is a little more powerful than the 630hp (474kW) Group C Porsche, but at "under" 2,425lbs (1,100kg) the VW is also a little heavier than the 1,852lb (840kg) 956.