VW to chase Nürburgring EV record with ID R electric racer

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2018 Volkswagen ID R Pikes Peak race car

2018 Volkswagen ID R Pikes Peak race car

The Volkswagen ID R electric time attack special has a new mission on its hands: Obliterate the EV lap record at the Nürburgring Nordschleife.

The current record is the 6:45.9 set by Nio and its EP9 track car back in 2017. VW will attempt to break the record this summer and insiders have suggested the lap time could go as low as 5:30.

That’s close to the overall record for the 12.9-mile track claimed last June by Porsche with its 919 Evo time attack special based on the 919 Hybrid LMP1 race car. The car, with race driver Timo Bernhard behind the wheel, set a 5:19.55 lap, or enough to crush the previous record of 6:11.13 set in 1983, also by a Porsche.

Romain Dumas drives the Volkswagen ID R at 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Romain Dumas drives the Volkswagen ID R at 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

The ID R came to life for the sole purpose of competing at the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The car was successful and smashed the old record of 8:13.878 with a 7:57.148 time. Driver Romain Dumas was behind the record-setting run, and he’s on tap to set the Nürburgring record as well. Dumas is a four-time winner at the 24 Hours of Nürburgring and previously raced for Porsche, so he knows the track well.

The ID R will be modified slightly to perform its best at the ‘Ring. The changes will mostly be in the area of aerodynamics, as the car will need to handle much higher speeds than it did at Pikes Peak. There will be tweaks to the powertrain, too, though it will still consist of an electric motor at each axle producing a combined 670 horsepower. Weight of the car will also remain under 2,500 pounds.

VW will be testing the ID R at a number of top tracks starting in the spring as part of its preparations. Of course, any shot at the record largely depends on Mother Nature. VW hopes to have credible performance titles in its hands as it prepares to launch new electric cars falling under the ID banner, the first of which will be the Golf-sized ID Neo hatch due in 2020. The first ID car sold in the United States will be a small crossover. It’s also due for launch in 2020.

2020 Volkswagen ID Neo spy shots

2020 Volkswagen ID Neo spy shots

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Tesla sends out invites for special Model 3 and S Winter Experience in Finland

Tesla is sending out emails inviting owners to sign up for a special winter-themed event this March. Dubbed as the “Tesla Winter Experience 2019,” the event will allow a number of lucky owners to experience the high-performance capabilities of the company’s vehicles in icy conditions firsthand. The event will be held at Kemi, Finland, and will involve the company’s all-wheel-drive variants of the Model S and Model 3.

As noted in Tesla’s message, owners and guests attending the event will be receiving a number of perks. Apart from enjoying an intense drive over an ice track accompanied by a professional driver, participants will be receiving complimentary travel, accommodation, as well as daily breakfast and lunch. A special dinner held at the Kemi SnowCastle — an iconic spot in Finland considered as the world’s largest snow fort — will also be offered to the event’s attendees. Following is the email Tesla recently sent out today.

“This March, we might bring you and a friend to the frozen sea in Finland.

“Sign up for a chance to experience a unique ice driving event with Model 3 and Model S in Europe. Enjoy Model 3 Track Mode and the unparalleled power and best-in-class acceleration of Model S as you race across a wintery ice track with a trained professional. Winners receive complimentary travel, room and board, and a special dinner at the Kemi SnowCastle.

“Share this with friends and family to participate.

In the event’s official webpage for North America, Tesla pointed out that the capabilities of Track Mode — the Model 3 Performance’s exclusive setting that allows the electric sedan to endure extended sessions of high-intensity driving — will be showcased in Winter Experience 2019. Tesla also explained some details behind its cars’ performance in icy conditions, stating that its AWD vehicles offer impressive traction thanks to their dual motors that digitally control torque to the front and rear wheels.

Tesla’s page for the event in Europe is headlined by the Model 3’s arrival in the country. The company also mentions an extra perk that was not included in the event’s North American page — a travel satchel from TUMI, one of the electric car maker’s partners. Below is a comparison between Tesla’s webpages for the Winter Experience 2019 for North America and Europe. 

Tesla’s invitations for the Winter Experience event for North America and Europe. (Credit: Tesla)

Tesla’s upcoming Winter Experience in Finland appears to be yet another program aimed at cultivating and strengthening the company’s engagement with its loyal customer base, while raising interest for the Model 3 in Europe at the same time. Considering that deliveries of the Model 3 to the region will likely be underway by the time the event is held, the Winter Experience would likely generate more buzz about the electric sedan, particularly among residents of the European region.

Tesla is now in the process of shipping the Model 3 to Europe. Reports indicate that Tesla is planning on shipping 3,000 Model 3 per week for the region, which will be comprised of Long Range and Performance versions of the vehicle. In his recent email to employees, Tesla CEO Elon Musk also noted that the company is attempting to start shipping the Mid Range Model 3 RWD to the international market sometime around May. That is, of course, until Tesla could begin producing the Model 3’s ever-elusive $35,000 Standard Range RWD version. 

Watch Tesla’s teasers for the Winter Experience 2019 event in the clips below.


Tesla sends out invites for special Model 3 and S Winter Experience in Finland

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2006 Ford GT with 24 miles seeks its first owner

2006 Ford GT for sale with 24 miles

2006 Ford GT for sale with 24 miles

Finding a never-titled and low-mileage supercar used to be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. In less than four months, two first-generation Ford GTs have surfaced for sale that fit that bill.

Maybe it’s a sign?

The most recent example is seen here: a 2006 GT with only 24 miles on the odometer. The listing on duPont Registry also says the car was never titled. The car’s backstory is unknown, but photos show the claimed 24 miles on the odometer and no license plates. The first never-titled GT that showed up in November of last year was part of a dealership sale, however, this car appears to belong to an individual, judging by the photos posted with the sale listing. That hardly explains why it was never titled, though.

The car is Royal Blue with white stripes and features the factory BBS wheels, premium audio system, painted brake calipers, and the factory car cover. Once again, it appears this is someone’s chance to own a factory fresh Ford GT. 

Like all other GTs, the car packs a 5.4-liter supercharged V-8 engine that makes 550 horsepower and a 6-speed manual transmission. In some ways, the original GTs may become even more desirable than the current second-generation car. Its forced-induction V-8 engine has numerous fans and the car was a centennial birthday present to the company. 

That thinking brings us to the asking price. The seller asks $450,000 for this GT, which is identical to the price of the 2005 GT that showed up last November. For some comparison, the supercar cost $149,995 when new. We’re talking major appreciation if GTs continue to sell at these prices, and we have no doubt someone will scoop the supercar up.

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