Volkswagen wants to let you know that setting the fastest lap for an electric vehicle (and one of the fastest laps ever) around Germany's Nürburgring wasn't their only accomplishment. It turns out that their quick lap of the circuit known as the Green Hell was also a green lap – the most energy-efficient fast lap of the track as well.
With sports car driver and company hot-shoe Romain Dumas behind the wheel, the all-electric ID. R stormed the 20.8-km of the 'Ring in 6 minutes, 5.336 seconds back in June. That was 40 seconds quicker than the second-fastest electric, the NIO EP9, and faster than all but the Porsche 919 Evo Le Mans racer – though even the 919's a hybrid, showing that electrification really does mean performance.
The 680 hp ID. R subjected Dumas to g-forces as high as 3.49, with more than 3 g occurring multiple times around the track. It even hit 2.7g under braking thanks to regenerative braking and the carbon-ceramic discs.
With an average speed of 204.96 km/h, and a top speed of 273 km/h, you'd probably be safe to assume that the ID. R used massive amounts of electricity to complete its lap.
VW says that it used just 24.7 kWh. That's about the same as running your clothes dryer for 8 hours. The equivalent of about 2.7 L of gasoline. Or 13 L/100 km, which is better than a full-size SUV on the highway. Of course, it's also about six times worse than a Tesla Model 3 on the highway, but no conventional electric car could touch a lap time like this, and they'd be hard-pressed to complete a lap at full power at all.
Volkswagen says it's a quarter the energy that a GT3 sports car would use to set a slower lap time. Even more impressively, the longest straight on the circuit is the last three km of the course. The ID. R recovered nearly 10 percent of the energy lost to braking in order to make sure it still had a charge for the Döttinger Höhe straight.
To make sure it has sufficient energy to charge the car, Volkswagen brings a generator along. But rather than use conventional gas or diesel, it uses glycerine – a byproduct of the production of bio-diesel, VW says, that burns "virtually without any harmful emissions or residues."