Volkswagen Motorsport is charging to the finish line of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with its first-ever, fully-electric race car — the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak.
With a goal of setting a new time record for electric cars, Volkswagen Motorsport is tapping into ANSYS’ Pervasive Engineering Simulation solutions to create a digital prototype of the battery system and optimize the electric propulsion system of the I.D. R Pikes Peak race car.
Behind the wheel of the 680-horsepower sports car prototype, Volkswagen Driver Romain Dumas (F) will attempt a new time record for electric cars at the 96th edition of the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb Race.
The aerodynamics of the I.D. R Pikes Peak car was developed for extreme conditions and to meet the specific challenges of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The unique track is 19.99-kilometers long and features 156 turns — climbing from 2,862 meters above sea level at the starting line to 4,302 meters at the finish line.
High altitude results in about 35 percent lower air density, which creates different aerodynamic conditions than a racetrack on flat land. In addition to real-time data and instantaneous results, solutions were used to simulate driving conditions that cannot be recreated in a traditional wind tunnel. Volkswagen engineers calculated the ideal balance of cooling airflow and aerodynamic loss and determined the best battery cooling strategy for optimal performance of the vehicle.
“Perfect energy management is a critical factor for beating the record in the electric car category at Pikes Peak,” said François-Xavier Demaison, technical director at Volkswagen Motorsport and I.D. R Pikes Peak project manager. “The first test drive at Pikes Peak was successful and demonstrated the accuracy of our simulations. Our team is confident in the vehicle’s performance and eager to set a new record in the category.”