Volkswagen teases a return to Pikes Peak with new EV racer

VW teases mysterious racer for upcoming Pikes Peak image

The Pikes Peak International Hillclimb has become an important proving ground for electric cars, and it is here that Volkswagen will be looking to flex its muscles as it continues its EV march. VW is building the vehicle with the specific goal of setting a record for the legendary race up America's Mountain.

Volkswagen is hoping to make a big noise quietly on the world's highest major auto race, with a one-off, all-electric racer set to tackle next year's Pike's Peak hillclimb. "We are developing an all-electric race vehicle for the first time", Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport director, told an interviewer. "The project is also an important milestone in our new motorsport orientation". It's a famously unforgiving race, as cars climb a 156-turn, 12.42 mile-long (20km) track which also spans almost a vertical mile (4,720ft/1,440m) and averages a 7.2% vertical grade.

The current record in the class of electric prototypes is 8 minutes 57.118 seconds, which was set by USA driver Rhys Millen (e0 PP100) in 2016.

Volkswagen's development boss has pushed for the Pike's Peak challenger to be the trailblazer that gives credibility to its ZEV fleet. Revenge for the automaker is planned for June 24, 2018.

But the all-electric racer has taken Volkswagen Motorsport's brainpower beyond its limits, so it had to tie in closely with Dr Welsch's technical development team in Wolfsburg. VW's entry in the grueling event will be an all-wheel-drive model whose aim is to set a new record for electric cars.

In collaboration with its technology development team in Wolfsburg, Germany, Volkswagen is going all-out in building an all-electric sports auto to compete at the Pikes Peak high-altitude race in Colorado in June 2018. By 2025, VW has set its sights on offering 23 all-electrics, making it the leading producer of electric vehicles in the industry.

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