Peugeot says it’s disappointed with Volkswagen, as it expected the all-electric I.D. R to beat its former record at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with a much faster time.
The French automaker famously sent its bespoke petrol-powered 208 T16 up the famous hill climb with Sebastien Loeb and set a mind-boggling time of 8:13.878, a full 92 seconds quicker than the previous record. Volkswagen toppled Peugeot’s record last year, recording a time of 7:57 with the I.D. R.
According to Peugeot Sport boss Bruno Famin, however, the I.D. R should have been much quicker.
“I was very disappointed by the Volkswagen as they could have done much better, for sure. There’s at least 10 to 15 seconds more to be taken from the record,” Famin told Top Gear.
That’s not all. Famin went on to say that a traditional ICE-powered car can beat the I.D. R’s record.
“Even with a gasoline engine you can go and beat that record, but if you want some good promotion and good marketing you want a pure electric car for sure. If you want some money from the big boss, you have to prove it’s worth it.”
It’s easy to understand where Famin is coming from. Whereas the I.D. R’s electric powertrain ensured it lost absolutely no power as the altitude increased throughout the hill climb, the 208 T16 had a combustion engine. An ICE car at the summit of Pikes Peak (14,112 feet) produces roughly 42 per cent less power than it does at sea level.
Despite his fighting words, Famin said there are no current plans from within Peugeot to snatch back Pikes Peak glory.
“It has been proposed, but not for the time being. I’m convinced we can beat the record, but I know also that it costs quite a lot of money. That was not the case when we smashed the record in 2013, where the cost of the project was almost nothing because we just used components from the 908 racecar, and everything had competed already at Le Mans.
“It was the only way to do it at that time. If you want to beat the current record you’d have to spend millions and develop a bespoke car. You need to divide the front surface by two and have a prototype shape, for sure,” Famin said.