Electric cars stole all the thunder at last weekend’s Goodwood Festival of Speed Hillclimb, even if they didn’t bring the noise. A pair of EVs took first and second spots and shattered records along the way.
The Festival of Speed is an annual hill climb that has turned into a massive show of race cars both new and old, with drivers from nearly all eras of racing in attendance.
The climb itself is a 1.86-kilometre race up the grounds of the Goodwood estate, located in West Sussex, England.
On top of the mix of supercars, classics, and race cars old and new was Volkswagen and the all-electric I.D. R. This is a car that was designed and built to hill climb. The electric racer was coming off of a race win and overall-record breaking performance at the Pike’s Peak International Hillclimb last month.
The I.D. R is an 1,100 kg carbon fibre closed cockpit racecar. It uses a pair of linked lithium-ion batteries and one electric motor on each axle to provide 680 hp. It uses the big motors to produce enough regenerative braking to help it stop even quicker. At Goodwood, the I.D. R wasn’t quite quick enough to beat the overall record, set by a Mercedes Formula 1 car in 1999, but it was close.
The R’s 43.86-second run with driver Romain Dumas smashed the existing electric record and was just 2.26 seconds behind the 1999 Mercedes. But the second place car was an electric record setter too.
The Nio EP9 is a quad electric motor car that manages an astounding 1,342 hp and 1,091 lb-ft of torque. That car had Scottish racing driver Peter Dumbreck behind the wheel. It was able to run the course in 44.61-seconds, just half a second behind the Volkswagen.
That time is even more impressive, since the EP9 is a street-legal car. The Chinese automaker that designed it is planning just 16, so it’s not exactly volume production, but it is a road-legal car. Even if it is wearing slicks for the run. It’s an impressive run either way, and both cars show what electric vehicles are capable of when it comes to performance. The EP9 also holds a production car lap record around Germany’s famed Nurburgring racer track.
The third fastest car was the fastest gasoline-powered car. No average BMW, this 1990s 3 Series was a purpose-built hill climb car that packed a Judd Formula 1 V8 under the hood. Even with all that power, it was more than two seconds behind the EP9.
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