For the last 100 years, cars have been setting records on top of Colorado’s Pikes Peak.
Another record has been broken this year, but this time it comes courtesy of a specially-designed electric race car developed by Volkswagen, the I.D. R Pikes Peak.
The prototype, helmed by French racing driver Romain Dumas, broke records on the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, clocking a time of 7:57 on the 12.42 mile (19.99 kilometre) track.
The time not only breaks the record for the fastest electric car, but eclipses the all-time record set in 2013 by Sebastian Loeb’s modified Peugeot 208 (which uses a conventional V6 engine) by 16 seconds.
The Pike Peak track climbs 4,720 feet (1,440 metres) to a finish 14,110 feet (4,300 metres) above sea level, where cars twist around 156 turns, battling the thin air at the top of the mountain.
Volkswagen last competed in the event in 1987, where it took a dual-engine Golf to the event dubbed “The Race to the Clouds.”
Inside the I.D. R Pikes Peak, there are two electric engines, which give the car 500 kW (670 hp) of performance, allowing it to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 2.25 seconds.
“The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is similar to the 24-hour race at Le Mans,” Dumas said in a statement before the race.
“It’s not like the World Rally Championship or Formula 1, where if you screw up during a race, you just focus on the next one. At Pikes Peak, you cannot afford to have any problems. You only have one shot. Le Mans is like a marathon, whereas Pikes Peak is the 100-metre final.”
While only the lucky few can get themselves inside the I.D. R Pikes Peak, the car is part of wider plan by Volkswagen to build up to three million EVs annually by 2025.