Volkswagen is developing a heavily upgraded version of its record-breaking ID R electric prototype, with a focus on honing the machine's aerodynamics and drivetrain.
Based on a sports prototype, the 671bhp ID R was originally developed for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in 2018, where it broke the outright course record.
VW’s motorsport arm then developed a low-downforce aerodynamic package, which the car used to set an electric lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife and outright hill record at Goodwood last year. The firm also developed different battery pack setups for each of those bids.
Volkswagen Motorsport has confirmed it is developing a second generation of the machine, which will be badged ID R Evo.
Sven Smeets, VW's motorsport boss, said the project would draw on the rapid advances in EV technology. "In the past eight months, e-mobility has made such a leap that we can do with an electric competition car that is bigger and better," he said.
Smeets added that the external design and technical specifications were currently being finalised. While that is done, the existing version of the ID R will attempt to break the outright lap record at Sonoma Raceway in California and better its own Goodwood hill record.
Volkswagen would not confirm what specific challenges the ID R Evo was being developed for, but Autocar understands that a return to the Nürburgring is being strongly considered. The developments made to the original ID R for the track were largely focused on the aerodynamics of the car, and Autocar understands the top speed – and therefore ultimate lap time – on the Nordschleife was restricted by the energy management required to optimise battery life for the full lap.
The ID R lapped the track in 6min 5.336sec. Although that shattered the EV record – and was the second-fastest lap ever recorded at the venue – it’s well short of the 5min 19.546sec set by the Porsche 919 Hybrid Evo, a heavily modified endurance racer.
Volkswagen has committed to pursuing only electric motorsport projects in the future. That means Volkswagen will stop offering the Golf TCR touring car, but it has said that it will develop motorsport projects based on the electric MEB platform. Smeets said the firm would consider building customer cars for the planned eTCR electric touring car series.
The firm has ruled out joining sister brands Audi and Porsche in Formula E, because it feels the controlled technical regulations in such categories limit the development of technology that can ultimately be applied to road cars.
The Volkswagen Motorsport team that produced the batteries used in the ID R is currently developing batteries that will eventually be used in the first electric ID R road cars.
Additional reporting by Greg Kable