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.