We repeat: Volkswagen has smashed the legendary Pikes Peak hill climb record in a specially developed electric vehicle called the ID R Pikes Peak. With Pikes Peak veteran Romain Dumas at the wheel, VW set not only the fastest time set by an EV but the beat the all-time record of 8m13.878s set by Sebastian Loeb in the whacked out Peugeot 208 T16 five years ago.
The ID R Pikes Peak and Dumas conquered the entire 12.4-mile hill climb course and its 156 corners in a gut-busting 7m57.148s, the first ever sub-8 time recorded. That’s even better than they expected by Dumas’ own admission.
This took plenty of prep of course and the test runs over the week had shown positive signs that the team can break the record, but the margin of success was bigger than they had anticipated. What’s the VW I.D. R Pikes Peak got under the body to manage this time? Check our story from before for the full details but the highlights include 670bhp through the electric motors and really big wing. Oh, by the way, VW developed this record-breaking car from scratch in just 250 days. That begs the question, can the I.D. R PP and Romain Dumas go even faster?
This new record-breaking EV is another one that has stolen a significant crown from our beloved combustion engines, the first was when the Nio EP9 road-legal car lapped the Nürburging Nordschleife in just 6m45.9s and that’s two seconds faster than the new Porsche 911 GT2 RS’ time. Only nine Nio EP9s were made whereas way more units of the GT2 RS will be sold for a much lower list price, but one cannot deny that the EV was indeed quicker.
Bentley Bentayga is now the fastest SUV to do conquer Pikes Peak
While VW was busy writing history and tearing up old records, Bentley set one of their own. They ran a Bentayga, slightly modified for the hill climb’s challenging turns and steep elevation, to record a time of 10m49.9s making it the fastest time set by an SUV. What special mods were made to the massive luxury hunk to beat the previous SUV record by two minutes? Not much. Bentley fitted it with a roll cage, a fire extinguisher, special Pirelli tyres, a production-spec Akrapovic exhaust, ditched the back seats, put in racing seats at the front and most importantly — they put in one Rhys Millen behind the wheel.
Rest of it was kept as “standard” with the 6.0-litre W12 that produces 600bhp and 900Nm of torque capable of launching the Bentayga from standstill to a 100kph in just 4 seconds and onto a top speed of 301kph. Yep, “standard”. Another crucial bit of production-spec equipment would be the electric anti-roll technology that keeps the mass of the luxury giant in check when going around bends, especially when there are 156 of them. The man himself, Millen, had much praise for the machine, “I had a great run. The car was planted all the way up and gave me the confidence I needed to push hard. I’m delighted to take the SUV record for Bentley and for everyone that’s been involved in the project.”
As part of the success celebrations, Bentley will be selling a special edition of which 10 units will be made and call it the Pikes Peak Bentayga. It’ll feature the W12 under the bonnet, 22inch wheels, gloss black interior detailing, a carbon fibre splitter, side skirts, a diffuser and a rear spoiler. It also gets Alcantara inserts and trim, the Bentley sports exhaust and Touring spec, added logos and you can also get it in the same ‘Radium’ paint colour that the record attempt Bentayga was wearing. No word on price but expect a fat increase over a stock W12 Bentayga. Still cool though. Just begs the question when Lambo will start gunning for SUV records with Urus doesn’t it?
What do you think of VW’s new Pikes Peak record? Should Bentley do something more interesting and English like doing the fastest time up Pikes Peak with a passenger holding a cup of tea and not a drop is spilt? Share your thoughts in the comments below and don’t forget to subscribe to The Auto Loons for more updates from the world of cars, F1 and Formula E.