VW stakes claim to strange Nurburgring record
Recent records at the Nürburging might sound like automakers are scraping the bottom of the barrel for stats to fire at each other; but these tests collect more than bragging rights among performance manufacturers. What makes for an oddly anti-climatic superlative often represents dozens of hours of research into new automotive technology that, given time, might just find itself resting in your driveway.
Welcome the newest contestant in the title fight for “the most energy-efficient lap”—Volkswagen.
Driver Romain Dumas’ specially prepped ID.R electric prototype charged through the “Green Hell” using just 24.7 kWh of power to run the ’Ring in only 6:05.336 minutes. Dumas drove the 12.9 miles of the Nürburgring’s northern route at an average speed of 127.356 miles per hour.
That’s faster than a GT3 RS did in 2018—and the ID.R used about 25 percent of the energy than would have been used in a combustion-powered time trial on the same track.
The ID.R did have some help that the Porsche didn’t, though.
To reduce aerodynamic drag and preserve battery charge for the duration of the lap, Volkswagen used a Formula-1-style Drag Reduction System to trim the altitude of the ID.R’s huge rear wing. Dumas activated the DRS 23 times as he wound around the track. And, as part of the ID.R’s advanced energy management, the ID.R’s regenerative braking system supplied nearly a tenth of the power needed to complete the test.
To achieve the ’Ring’s most-efficient-EV record, Dumas braced himself against cornering and braking g-forces that truly lend credence to the “Green Hell” epithet.
At the course’s Kallenhard section, a quick left-right combination, the ID.R’s sensors recorded 3.49g of lateral acceleration. Braking at the “Aremberg” bend alone registered 2.7g of deceleration. The ID.R’s top speed during the record attempt was 169.6 mph, pegged in the “Fuchsröhre” section of the ’Ring.
You might not rake in the street cred by quoting this latest ’Ring record, but you bet Demas did by making this drive.