Advertisement

Sign up for our newsletter

Advertisement

Romain Dumas confirmed to drive VW’s new electric racer at Pikes Peak 2018

evo staff
31 Jan 2018
VW Pikes Peak teaser

VW is hoping to break the EV Pikes Peak record with former winner Romain Dumas at the wheel

Advertisement

Romain Dumas will drive for VW on its return to the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in June 2018. The former, three-time Pikes Peak winner will spearhead VW’s attempt to break the course record in the electric race car class.

> VW Golf GTI review

As well as his Pikes Peak victories, Dumas collected the WEC title in 2016, driving the Porsche 919 Hybrid. The combination of his vast experience at the Colorado-based event and familiarity with electrified race cars made him the obvious choice for VW.

‘Romain is one of the fastest drivers to have ever entered the Pikes Peak race. What’s more, he has thousands of kilometres of experience with racing prototypes under his belt. This makes him the perfect driver for Volkswagen as it makes its debut with a fully electric racing car,’ said Volkswagen Motorsport Director, Sven Smeets.

Recognising the significant elevation change (1440m) over the 12.42-mile long course at Pikes Peak, Dumas pointed out the advantage of running a fully-electric car. ‘The power remains constant over the entire 20-kilometre route. By contrast, vehicles fitted with combustion engines lose a significant amount of power in the thin mountain air’. He went on to say ‘I am really looking forward to being able to drive from the start at 2862 metres to the finishing line at full power for the first time.’

> VW Polo GTI review

VW last participated in the world-famous hill climb event in 1987, entering a twin-engined Mk2 Golf. Two, 1.8-litre turbo-fours, drove the two axles independently of each other and developed a combined 652bhp.

VW Teases Pikes Peak car

The last teaser images point ahead to the next generation of VW motorsport, showing a futuristic Pikes Peak racecar without any visible links to a production model. Looking at the latest image, you’ll see a canopy-style roof without visible segmentation between the screen, roof and side windows. The short bonnet alludes to the lack of a combustion engine ahead of the driver.

VW Pikes Peak teaser

For those who are unfamiliar, the Pikes Peak Hill Climb is held in Colorado every year, bringing together a variety of both dedicated hill climb vehicles and modified racing cars from other racing disciplines. The overall record is currently held by Sebastian Loeb, who set an astounding 8:13.8 back in 2013 in a custom built Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak. The record for an electric vehicle was set last year by Rhys Millen in something called the e0 PP100, another custom built racer which covered the course in 8:57.1.

Read more about:

Experience the thrill of driving every month with evo magazine, devoted exclusively to the greatest performance cars in the world. If you're passionate about performance cars then evo is your ultimate monthly read.

Advertisement