Electric cars are going to change the world of personal transportation, but they will eventually take over motorsports as well. Volkswagen is pushing for an image of electric car manufacturer and part of this process is getting people excited about it. In the world of cars this means racing car must be built. And so the company is preparing something special to tackle Pikes Peak International Hill Climb next year.
Volkswagen is coming out of its dieselgate scandal completely changed. It will not focus on building electric cars. The brand will offer 23 all-electric models in 2025. However, Volkswagen is not Tesla – it is difficult to get people excited about it, it just doesn’t sound as new. Volvo changed direction of the Polestar for the same exact reason – a new name, most people will be unfamiliar with, is going to be more appealing to people, because its character can be built around electric mobility. However, Volkswagen has some goals in motorsports as well to change this perception – the company is designing a racing car to tackle electric car record of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb course.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is one of the most important races in the world. You can easily compare it to other events, such as Formula 1, World Rally Championship or 24 Hours of Le Mans. Winning it is a great honour and a huge technical challenge as the uphill race track is situated at 4,300 metres elevation. Volkswagen will attempt breaking current electric car record, which belongs to US driver Rhys Millen and e0 PP100 prototype – he finished the track in 8 minutes 57.118 seconds. The last time Volkswagen participated in this race was 1987 when a twin engine golf did not complete the track. Now Volkswagen Motorsport is cooperating with Technical Development team to create a potent electric racing car. So far we’ve only seen one teaser photo.
Electric car is suitable for the Pikes Peak, because it works well at altitude, develops its torque from a standstill, can be very low to the ground and have some other advantages. Volkswagen will not try to break the record overall, but brand’s racing car will have to be pretty amazing to take on the electric car record anyway. Dr Frank Welsch, Member of the Board responsible for Development, said: “Our electric race car will be equipped with innovative battery and drive technology. The extreme stress test on Pikes Peak will give us important findings that will benefit future development, and it will showcase our products and their technologies”.
Having this record is very important for Volkswagen. It will give them an opportunity to showcase brand’s technology and talk about the achievement when new electric cars will be presented. However, building a good racing car is only half of the job – completing the race is also very difficult. We will see how Volkswagen will do on 24 June 2018, when the race will take place in Colorado, USA.
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