VW to demonstrate its electric future in 2018 Pikes Peak race – Roadshow

Volkswagen Pikes Peak electric race car

Volkswagen released this image of its electric race car, built for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, with no details as to battery capacity or power.

Volkswagen

Since 1916, cars have raced up the treacherous road on Pikes Peak in Colorado, 12 and a half miles with an elevation gain of almost 10,000 feet. Next year, Volkswagen will enter the Modified Electric division of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, fielding a car specially built for the task.

In the automobile industry, racing often serves as a marketing tool, and such is the case with Volkswagen as it puts its diesel legacy behind it and promises 23 electric vehicles by 2015. 

Volkswagen released few details about the race car other than the teaser image, and the fact that it will be all-wheel-drive. That fact suggests the car will use at least two electric motors, but could have as many as four. Individual electric motors powering each wheel would allow for sophisticated torque vectoring, where the system applies more power to specific wheels to aid handling.

Electric vehicles have shown great success in recent years at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. In 2015 the overall winner, beating the times of even combustion engine cars, was driver Rhys Millen in a specially designed electric race car from Latvian company Drive eO. As press materials for the race note, electric cars don’t suffer from oxygen starvation as they gain altitude, something with which the combustion engine cars must contend.

At the 2017 race, Faraday Future won the production division of the electric class with a beta of its FF 91 sedan, beating a Tesla Model S. Electric motorcycles also run the race in their own class.

While the race route used to be dirt and gravel, as of 2012 the entire road as been paved.

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