This electric car just set a new record at the Nürburgring

This electric car just set a new record at the Nürburgring

Enlarge / Romain Dumas has set a new lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife for electric cars. (credit: Volkswagen Motorsport)

A few weeks ago, I visited the Nürburgring Nordschleife in Germany as Volkswagen began testing its ID R Pikes Peak electric car at the famous race track. The ID R Pikes Peak is part of VW’s multibillion-dollar apology for all those diesel emissions—a tiny part compared to the fines, the chargers, and the new business strategy, but a part nonetheless. Its job is to imbue the coming onslaught of ID-branded electric vehicles with a halo—the exciting kind one gets from on-track derring-do.

And the derring rarely gets done as well as this. On Monday, racing driver Romain Dumas and the VW Motorsport team set a new electric record at the 12.9-mile (20.8km) track also known as the Green Hell. As corporate apologies go, I like this one.

Dumas lapped

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VW’s record-breaking electric car takes on world’s scariest racetrack, Nürburgring

VW’s record-breaking electric car takes on world’s scariest racetrack, Nürburgring

Enlarge / Romain Dumas at the wheel of the VW ID R electric car on the Nürburgring Nordschleife. (credit: Volkswagen Motorsport)

Although we make every effort to cover our own travel costs, in this case Volkswagen flew me to Germany and provided two nights in a hotel.

NÜRBURG, Germany—What do the race cars of Formula 1, the World Endurance Championship, NASCAR, and IndyCar all have in common? The answer is that each is built to comply with a specific set of rules. That’s understandable: rules in each series exist (ideally) to create a level playing field and to prevent cars from getting too fast and too powerful for the tracks upon which they race. But what if there were no rules? What if you could throw as much power and downforce onto a car as you could to make it go around a track faster than anything else?

This ethos

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