The electric Volkswagen I.D. R prototype has just broken the record Goodwood's Festival of Speed hillclimb, previously set by Nick Heidfeld in the McLaren MP4/13 in 1999
Heidfeld’s run up the hill two decades ago was pure theatre; the V10 screaming as the car darted all over the road on the bumpy surface (nine-year-old me was lucky enough to be there at the time and needless to say, it left a huge lasting impression).
Quick Nick’s time of 41.6 seconds to cover the 1.16-mile course was not only a record, but so fast and frantic that it prompted Goodwood to ban F1 cars from setting competitive times up the hill ever again.
Since then, many have tried to beat it and failed, including all sorts of outrageous bespoke hillclimb vehicles. If they couldn’t beat it, would anything? Even the electric VW I.D. R, which had shattered the record at Pikes Peak, couldn’t get within two seconds in last year’s event.
Fast forward a year, however, and the I.D. R has undergone some changes, allowing it to set the record for electric cars at the Nordschleife and the second fastest of all time. Volkswagen returned for another crack at Goodwood with the car and, on the Friday of the event, Romain Dumas was finally able to beat Heidfeld’s time.
Technically it isn’t a record because this was merely practice and not the full timed run on Sunday, but we wouldn’t put it past Dumas dropping the benchmark even further by the end of the event.
It’s a seriously impressive run - but in all honesty, I know which video I’d be returning to more often…