It’s known as “Heaven’s Gate” – the world’s highest naturally formed arch, with an opening some 430 feet tall and 190 feet wide, about 5,000 feet up China’s Tianmen mountain. A hallowed and scenic site for centuries, visitors can reach the gate on a road that ranks among the most scenic, and twisting, of any in the world, with 99 sharp switchbacks.
Earlier this month, the Volkswagen ID.R team went to the Tianmen Mountain Big Gate Road to set the first benchmark there of any kind for a performance car, let alone a 671-hp, all-wheel-drive electric one. With Romain Dumas at the wheel again, the ID.R glided up the 6.78-mile route in 7 minutes, 38.585 seconds.
Professional driver on closed course.
The feat was the latest in a string of record-breaking events for the purpose-built electric race car. In June 2018, Dumas not only won the famous ‘Race to the Clouds’ at Pikes Peak for electric vehicles with the ID.R, but also smashed the all-time record for vehicles using any kind of fuel by a massive 16 seconds. A few weeks later, Dumas undercut the record for electric vehicles at the Goodwood Festival of Speed’s famous hill climb in England with the ID.R.
Three months ago, the ID. R set a new and dominating electric record on the Nürburgring, and a few days later came the all-time record in Goodwood – demonstrating how electric vehicles can meet extreme challenges. Next year, Americans will get their chance to see Volkswagen’s ID. electric vehicle technology up close when the wraps come off the first U.S. version of an ID. production car.