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LIVE: Volkswagen unveils electric Pikes Peak racer

by Ronan Glon

The I.D. R is quicker than a Formula 1 car.

Volkswagen introduced an electric race car named I.D. R during a media event held in the south of France. The latest member of the I.D. family will compete in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb this summer.

Blacked out like the Batmobile, the I.D. R relies on lightweight materials like carbon fiber to tip the scale at under 2,500 pounds. Its drivetrain consists of a lithium-ion battery pack and an electric motor over each axle. They provide 680 horsepower and 479 pound-feet of torque, figures that help the R hit 60 mph from a stop in 2.25 seconds. Volkswagen points out its Pikes Peak racer is quicker than a Formula 1 car.

The German firm aims to break the event's electric car record, which currently stands at eight minutes and 57 seconds. It will be the company's first battery-powered run up Pikes Peak, but it won't be the first time a Volkswagen shows up on the starting line. Engineers built a twin-engined, 652-horsepower Golf in the mid-1980s and tried to take first place in 1985, 1986 and 1987, failing all three times.

Testing will begin in Europe in the coming days, and Volkswagen will ship the I.D. R to Colorado at the end of May to put it through its paces on some of the roads it will later race on. Trek out to Pikes Peak on June 24 if you want to see it in action.

Photography by Ronan Glon.