So, what exactly was that moment, which made such an impression on the good people at Autoweek? Well, on 24 June 2018, Romain Dumas (F) completed the iconic 19.99-kilometre hill climb on Pikes Peak – the legendary “Race to the Clouds” – in a time of 7:57.148 minutes, at the wheel of a fully-electric sports car from Wolfsburg. That made the ID. R the first electric car to be both faster and better than all the cars with conventional combustion engines that had gone before it. It is also the first car ever to complete the 156 corners and 1,440-metre ascent to 4,302 metres above sea level in under eight minutes.
“The moment when Romain Dumas crossed the finish line at the summit of Pikes Peak, and when the time for his run was confirmed, is one of the biggest in the history of Volkswagen in motorsport,” said Sven Smeets, Volkswagen Motorsport Director. “The fact that Autoweek has now recognised this moment with an award is a great honour for us. It also shows that Romain and the ID. R achieved something outstanding and pioneering, which is attracting attention from all over the world. On Pikes Peak, we wanted to show what is technically possible with a fully-electric drive – and we did just that. This was an emotional experience not only for the entire team, the engineers, mechanics and technicians, but also for a wider public.”