Many will argue that the true proving-ground for any production car, electric or not, is Germany’s notorious Nurburgring, which has become the site of a new electric vehicle (EV) lap record by German electric vehicle-maker Volkswagen’s ID.R electric race car.
The Volkswagen-developed EV set a new pace of 6:05:336, eclipsing the 2017 record by Chinese EV start-up NIO’s EP9 vehicle by over 40 seconds.
The ID.R just recently set the outright record at the annual US Pike’s Peak hill-climb race, beating out conventionally-fuelled rivals thanks in part to EVs better performance at higher altitudes.
The vehicle’s technology is in a class of its own. The two electric engines, one per axle, produce a combined 915 volts, enough to melt carbon fibre.
Beyond power, thermal protection and heat reduction are also key, as with most EVs, to prevent the two-chamber, eight-module, 896 cell battery from over-heating.
The batteries are air-cooled to save weight, and charge optimally at 86 degrees Fahrenheit, leading to Volkswagen pre-heating the batteries ahead of fast laps, and cooling them down once the car is parked.
The EV is fast-charged in the pits, using two systems operating at a “comparatively low output of 96kW each”.
The charging systems’ magnetically-shielded, high-voltage cables are fuelled by glycerine-burning generators, delivering a 20-minute charge-time with very little heat generation, another problem EV-owners are facing on occasion.
The rest was up to the vehicle’s driver, Romain Dumas.
Volkswagen said Dumas managed an average speed of 206.16 km/h, (128.6 mph) around the 144-turn Nurburgring.
The track is remembered by racing, and non-racing fans alike as the site of the horrific accident that scarred recently-deceased racing legend Niki Lauda.
Here’s the video from Volkswagen.[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9nNfNjH_rAE&w=640&h=360]