Most may not know that VW competed in the Pike’s Peak International Hillclimb in the late 1980s with a very special Golf.
A serious contender
The firm’s motorsport division created a twin-engined, turbocharged Golf 2 that produced 490 kW and sprinted to 100 km/h in 3,4 seconds.
The four-wheel drive Golf raced up the, then, gravel and tar road in a time that was competitive enough to make it quickest vehicle at the half-way point of the 19,9 km long track. A suspension failure meant that rally driver Jochi Kleint could not continue to the finish.
You can see the twin-engined Golf 2 in action in the video below.
An old score to settle
VW will be returning to one of the US’ most famous motorsport events in another one-off special, this time an all-electric model called the I.D. R.
VW Motorsport is aiming to take overall victory and set a new record in the all-electric class at the Colorado mountain pass on June 24. The current record is held by Rhys Millen at 8 min 57,118 sec.
Plenty of power and grip
VW claims that the 1 100 kg, 500 kW/650 N.m model will accelerate from 0-96 km/ in 2,25 seconds, thanks to the instantaneous torque delivery of two electric motors, and has a top speed of 240 km/h. The electric drivetrain won’t suffer any power loss, as internal combustion engines do, over the 1 440 m ascent.
Since 2011 the famous road has been completed tarred which allows competing vehicles to run on full slick tyres. The specialised racer will also make use of aerodynamic grip provided by the large wing and front splitter.
No stranger to victory
Charged (pun completed intended) with piloting the I.D. R is Romain Dumas, a Porsche factory driver who won the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2016. Dumas also won Pikes Peak in 2016 and 2017, so he’s no stranger to the Race to the Clouds.
“As with the Volkswagen brand’s production vehicles, fully-electric racing cars will also play an increasingly important role for us in the future,” said Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport director.