It came as no surprise when the Volkswagen I.D. R not only set the fastest time at this year’s Goodwood Festival of Speed but also broke a new EV hillclimb record, beating the previous record time set by Jonny Cocker in an 850-hp Lola-Drayson B12 69/EV by 3.5 seconds. After all, this is the same car that smashed the all-time Pikes Peak record only a few weeks ago. Setting a time of 43.86 seconds, it wasn’t enough to beat the outright Goodwood Hillclimb record, however, which has been held by Nick Heidfeld for nearly 20 years after he drove McLaren MP4/13 grand prix racer up the hill in just 41.6 seconds.
No doubt Volkswagen will attempt to beat it again next year. However, the I.D. R wasn’t the only car to set an EV record at Goodwood. Technically, Volkswagen’s electric racer isn’t a production car - that honor goes to the Nio EP9. Driven by Peter Dumbreck, the Chinese electric supercar completed the 1.16-mile hillclimb course in just 44.61 seconds.
That makes the EP9 that fastest road-legal car to ever lap the Goodwood Hillclimb, beating the McLaren P1 LM's time of 47.07 seconds in 2016. It was also the fifth fastest time ever recorded in the event’s 25-year history. It’s worth noting, however, that the EP9 isn’t a regular production car since only 16 examples are being built. The car’s street legal tires were also swapped with racing slicks for the record run.
Nevertheless, the EP9 has proven that EVs will set new performance benchmarks for road cars. Powering the Chinese electric supercar are four electric motors delivering a combined 1,342 horsepower and 1,091. That’s enough power to propel the EP9 from 0-62 mph in -60 mph in 2.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 195 mph.
“When it came to my run in the Shoot Out this afternoon the timing beacon seemed to be down and I had to go back from the line, then go forward and get ready again, so it kind of broke my concentration,” said Dumbreck. “But once I got the signal to go, I was pushing very hard and ran just a little bit wide on turn two. It was very dirty and dusty, but it didn’t lose me too much time and I was back hard on the throttle again. From there, I think I did my best top half of the Hillclimb all weekend and I was able to do my fastest run of the event, so I am really happy. It could have been maybe a tenth or two faster, but I doubt that I would have beaten the Pike’s Peak hillclimb car here today, so all in all, we are very happy.”
This isn't the first record the Chinese electric hypercar has set, either. Last year, the Nio EP9 set a new EV record at the Nüuburgring with a time of 6:45.90 – a record that still hasn’t been beaten.