Volkswagen ID R smashes Goodwood hill climb record with 39.9-second run

Fresh from setting its EV lap record at the Nürburgring only last month, the 670-horsepower Volkswagen ID R has set another record, this time at the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s hill climb.

The electric time-attack special, piloted on Saturday by 2-time Le Mans-winner Romain Dumas, needed just 39.9 seconds to complete Goodwood’s challenging 1.16-mile course, smashing the 20-year-old record of 41.6 seconds set by Nick Heidfeld in a McLaren MP4/13 Formula One race car.

Dumas was also the driver of the ID R during last month’s Nürburgring record run, and he also set the record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb driving the ID R during 2018’s race to the clouds.

Romain Dumas drives the Volkswagen ID R at 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Romain Dumas drives the Volkswagen ID R at 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

“I am very proud to have set the all-time record in Goodwood with the ID R,” Dumas said after his incredible run. “The short hill climb is a very special challenge; because the track is so short, I could not afford to make even the slightest mistake, and every aspect of the fine-tuning of the ID R had to be perfect.”

The fine-tuning he’s referring to are the adjustments made to the ID R specifically for the Goodwood hill climb. Recall, Dumas could only manage a time of 43.05 driving the ID R at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

That car ran the same configuration used for Pikes Peak, which is a much longer, much steeper run than at Goodwood. As a result, VW engineers created what they call a “sprint” version of the ID R for this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed. Specifically, a much smaller battery was utilized. The electronic control units were also tweaked to draw more power at the cost of efficiency. The car also dropped its drag reduction system. As a result of all the changes, VW managed to get the weight down to less than 2,200 pounds—with the driver on board.

Volkswagen ID R Nürburgring

Volkswagen ID R Nürburgring

“We have developed another evolutionary stage of the ID R—a sprint version with smaller batteries, in order to further reduce weight,” Volkswagen Motorsport Technical Director François-Xavier Demaison explained. “We have also opted for a far more aggressive energy management strategy for the short distance; you need very high output for a very short time for the sprint in Goodwood.”

The good news is that all of the knowledge gained will go toward the development of road-going models in VW’s ID family of electric cars. The first of these will be the ID 3 compact hatch that debuts in September at the 2019 Frankfurt International Motor Show.

For more Goodwood Festival of Speed coverage, head to our dedicated hub.

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