The Volkswagen ID R electric race car will attempt to set a new lap record for EVs at the Nürburgring Nordschleife, and testing is already under way.
Following a debut of the updated and tweaked version of the ID R for the Nürburgring, VW got right to work at the racetrack. The team hit the track for the first time last Friday with driver Romain Dumas behind the wheel, and produced the video above to show its progress.
Dumas has vast experience at the Green Hell and also piloted the ID R race car to an all-out record time at the Pikes Peak International Hillclimb last year. Still, the ID R and the Nürburgring each present their own set of challenges.
Dumas said the cornering speeds are much higher than what he's used to and the lack of noise from the absence of an internal-combustion engine made him reinterpret his sense of speed. The ID R's shock absorbers are also an important element of the car and the experience; Dumas noted that the track notoriously has more bumps than other tracks.
Volkswagen ID R time attack special at the Nürburgring - Image via S. Baldauf/SB-Medien
Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets said the first real-world tests helped validate computer simulations for many areas the team had worked on, most notably the energy management of the electric powertrain. However, the real-world testing is crucial in selecting a racing tire from Bridgestone, VW's partner for the record attempt. Elsewhere, the first tests helped the team with adjustments to the suspension and the new drag reduction system (DRS). This was done with Dumas' feedback, and the team had to adjust the car's ride height to account for the track's bumps.
All of the tweaks and additions to the electric race car should help the ID R conquer the demanding circuit, where speed and efficiency make champions and victors. With fresh data from the first test, VW will go back to the lab to fine-tune the race car. The lap record attempt is scheduled for this summer.