Volkswagen’s fully-electric ID.R is looking to add another record-breaking achievement to its resume as it prepares to take on the Tianmen Mountain Big Gate Road in China.
After setting new record times with the ID.R at Pikes Peak, the Nürburgring-Nordschleife, and the Goodwood Festival of Speed, driver Romain Dumas will attempt the notorious Big Gate Road on 2 September.
The road has a legendary status since opening in 2006 thanks to an 11km run that ascends 1,100m via 99 hairpin-tight corners. At the top is ‘Heaven’s Gate’ – a natural, 131.5-metre arch in the cliﬀs on Tianmenshan, ‘Heaven’s Gate Mountain’. Dumas will tackle this extremely tricky road at speeds ranging from 25 to 230 km/h.
“Tianmen Mountain itself and Big Gate Road are simply breath-taking,” says Dumas. “A stunning natural spectacle meets spectacular road building skill here. Scaling the mountain on this road at race tempo is a real challenge for a driver. I will face it with the utmost respect,” said Dumas.
The surface of the road is made of concrete slabs, which provide suﬃcient grip but make for an extremely bumpy ride. Turn 88, with its radius of only six meters and a road width between ﬁve and six meters, is a bottleneck, which can probably only be taken at about 25 km/h. In contrast, the 500-kW (680-PS) Volkswagen ID.R will hit roughly 230 km/h on the longest section.