The I.D. R Pikes Peak is Volkswagen's first entry into the hillclimb race since 1987. That year, it raced a twin-engine Golf which didn't quite make it to the end of the 12.4-mile course. The route begins at just above 9,000 feet and climbs all the way to 14,115 feet at the summit.
VW hasn't released powertrain details, but the four-wheel-drive car will have to be quick enough to beat a time of 8:57.118 minutes if it wants a shot at being king of the mountain. That prototype class record was set by Rhys Millen in 2016.
"We want to be at the forefront of electro-mobility with Volkswagen and the I.D. family," said Frank Welsch, VW board member responsible for development, in a release. "Competing in the most famous hillclimb in the world with the I.D. R Pikes Peak is a valuable test for the general development of electric cars."
The front lights and other styling cues are reminiscent of those found on other electric cars in the I.D. family. Volkswagen will launch the first non-racing model, a hatchback, in 2019 followed by a crossover in 2020. A new version of the Microbus is coming in 2022 along with a sedan. In total, the VW brand plans to offer more than 20 battery electric cars by 2025.