A few months after the Volkswagen I.D. R stormed up the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb and set a new record, Top Gear’s Ollie Marriage became the third person on earth to step into the driver’s seat. His experience in the electric prototype reveals just how extreme this thing is.
Powering the I.D. R are a pair of electric motors that deliver a combined output of 670 hp and 479 lb-ft of torque through all four wheels. That’s not an earth-shattering amount of power but the vehicle only weighs 1100 kg (2200 lbs). It also happens to have an extreme aerodynamics package that delivers more downforce than an LMP1 car and in excess of what the car weighs.
In a straight-line, this race-honed monster rockets to 62 mph (100 km/h) in 2.25 seconds. Perhaps even more impressive than this is the fact that the LMP1-spec Alcon carbon brakes and regenerative system means the I.D. R can pull up to five G under braking.
Things then get even more insane when the car gets a sniff of a high-speed corner.
As Marriage notes, the I.D. R is capable of such remarkable cornering forces that you can briefly lose consciousness during high-speed cornering.
“The split second after turn-in is alarming, terrifying even, but then, because the corner is long, my brain does something funny. It relaxes. It tells me all’s fine and I should take some time out, kick back, have a nap,” Marriage writes in his review.
“And then, as I straighten up, my brain snaps back to attention, synapses whirr and I wake up gasping, as if I’d had a nightmare and sat bolt upright in bed. It’s weird.”
The car’s test driver, Dieter Depping, says this is a phenomena known as G-LOC where you lose consciousness due to high g-forces. It sounds terrifying.
Despite the I.D R’s successes this year, VW will continue to chase records with it next year. At the top of the company’s to-do list is to beat Nick Heidfeld’s outright Goodwood hillclimb record of 41.6 seconds set in a Formula One car.