Volkswagen Enters Pikes Peak Hill Climb With 3D Printed Supercar

Like many other companies, German automobile manufacturer Volkswagen is entering this year’s Pikes Peak Hill Climb. As the name suggests, the climb is an annual race to the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado, 14,114-feet up. This year, Volkswagen are introducing the I.D. R Pikes Peak, a 3D printed electric vehicle they believe is ideal for racing all the way to the top in first place.

The conditions of the race require that cars are not just extremely aerodynamic, but can also adjust to changing air pressure. This is why the I.D R uses a system with computational fluid dynamics. It also helps that the combined weight with a driver in tow is less than 2424 lbs. Fitted with 2 electric motors and an acceleration of 0-60 in 2.25 second, it can whizz pass any ordinary vehicle with no trouble. For context, that puts its thrust beyond the level of most F1 and FE vehicles.

The race is due to take place on June 24th 2018.

Saving Time With 3D Printed Prototypes

Volkswagen’s goal is to reach the pinnacle of electromobility with the I.D. family. The hill climb on Pikes Peak will definitely be a real acid test for the electric drive. Customers have always benefitted from the findings made in motorsport, and we expect to take these findings and use them as a valuable impetus for the development of future I.D. models,” said Dr. Frank Welsch, Volkswagen Member of the Board of Management with responsibility for Development.

The engineers stated that they printed about 2,000 parts as prototypes, saving them precious time. The car was approved as recently as August of 2017, so speed was a crucial factor to getting it on the road. It also played a crucial role considering the goals of producing this car were different than that of most others. The weight and energy maintenance were core aspects, rather than to balanced design.

Volkswagen looks eager to beat the previous record holder Rhys Millen. They’ve recruited Romain Dumas to take the ID.R Pikes Peak on the road in June, hoping to beat that 8 minute 57.118 second record. While anything could happen on the day of the race, one thing is for sure.

Volkswagen has certainly put forth a formidable contender.

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