Volkswagen Aims to Conquer Pikes Peak with a Purpose-Built Electric Racer [News]

Volkswagen Aims to Conquer Pikes Peak with a Purpose-Built Electric Racer
Volkswagen has teased an image of a purpose-built electric racer to tackle the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. [Photo: Volkswagen]

Volkswagen has teased a purpose-built electric racer to compete in its first Pikes Peak Hill Climb event in 31 years.

Since 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb – also referred to as The Race to the Clouds – is an annual event hosting talent from all over the world. The 12.4-mile, 156-turn course climbing 4,720 feet to the summit of Pikes Peak enjoys a fearsome reputation. It’s a place for drivers to prove their salt in one of the world’s oldest motorsport events. So, too, is it a place for manufacturers to dominate the competition in one of the world’s most renowned races.

These days, the fastest cars to traverse the twisting course have been electric. Unlike their internal combustion counterparts, EVs don’t suffer any drop in power from the air thinning as they climb. Now, Volkswagen has decided to throw their hat into the ring with a purpose-built EV racer, for which they’ve teased the above photo. VW will enter the event for 2018 – the first time the company’s competed in the event in 31 years.

Even without a lot of detail, the car looks pretty awesome. Unfortunately, there isn’t much information available on this car beyond the photo above and it being electric. Seeing as VW seeks to conquer the hill climb with a new record, we can make a few assumptions. It will likely have at least 1,000 horsepower. In order to put that power down, it will likely be all-wheel-drive.

It seems Volkswagen is also looking at the Pikes Peak Hill Climb as a test bed for their future EV projects. VW board member Dr. Frank Welsch said of the project, “it poses an enormous challenge and is therefore perfectly suited to proving the capabilities of upcoming technology.” Lessons learned here could filter down into future products such as the new Microbus in 2022 as well as an EV crossover in 2020.

The current EV hill climb record was set by Rhys Millen in 2016, driving an E0 PP100. Volkswagen’s chance to shatter that record takes place on June 24, 2018.

Check out the course – Pikes Peak Road Trip Video

To see the course itself and check out the scenery on tap from the Pikes Peak Highway, check out Nathan’s road trip review of a Charger SRT Hellcat below: