Goodwood isn’t as extreme as the 12.42-mile Pikes Peak course, which climbs to the 14,115-foot summit of its namesake Colorado mountain. But during the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed, all sorts of cars turn up to set fast times, giving VW an opportunity to compare electric power to all comers. The I.D. R beat the previous electric-car record, set in 2013, by 3.48 seconds, according to VW. But it wasn’t able to break the overall record of 41.6 seconds, set by racing driver Nick Heidfeld in a McLaren MP4/13 Formula One car in 1999.
The I.D. R is powered by two electric motors — one for each axle — producing a combined 680 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque. Extensive use of carbon fiber keeps weight down to 2,400 pounds despite a heavy lithium-ion battery pack. Volkswagen claims the car can do 0 to 62 mph in 2.25 seconds, and reach a top speed of 150 mph. Elaborate aerodynamic aids, including a massive rear spoiler, help stick the I.D. R to the tarmac at high speeds.
At Goodwood, the I.D. R was piloted by the same driver who broke the Pikes Peak record. Frenchman Romain Dumas has won Pikes Peak four times and is also a two-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner with Volkswagen sibling brands Audi and Porsche.
Volkswagen wasn’t the only automaker to set a record with an electric car at Goodwood. Chinese startup Nio’s EP9 electric supercar clocked a time of 44.61, which is a new record for street-legal vehicles. The EP9 boasts 1,342 horsepower and 1,091 pound-feet of torque, and is capable of 0 to 60 mph in 2.7 seconds and a top speed of 195 mph, according to Nio. However, just 16 copies were made, priced at $1.48 million each. Nio’s first true production model is the ES8 SUV, which is currently being sold in China. The company does have plans to sell cars in the U.S.beginning in 2020.
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