Wolfsburg — A very special guest took his place at the wheel of the fully-electric Volkswagen ID.R race car at the Nürburgring: Nico Rosberg, 2016 Formula 1 world champion, took the 500-kW (680-PS) electric race car for a spin at the Grand Prix circuit in the Eifel region of Germany. Rosberg, who is passionate about electromobility, has invested heavily in future technologies since retiring from Formula 1. Among other things, he founded the Greentech Festival – an event focused on sustainability topics. The 35-year-old is particularly fascinated by companies with innovative solutions and more sustainable concepts in the field of mobility. At the Nürburgring, he took his place for the first time in the Volkswagen ID.R in his other role as car tester and influencer. Rosberg stated later on his social media channels that the car had the kind of performance he had only ever experienced before in Formula 1.

The weather gods were not smiling on the former Formula 1 champion at the Nürburgring. However, despite rain, wind and temperatures below ten degrees Celsius, Rosberg still had a smile on his face as he climbed into the ID.R, which currently holds five records on three continents. “It’s been a while since I have driven a real race car in the rain, but I immediately felt like a fish in water in the ID.R. It feels fantastic to drive,” said Rosberg after his test drive. “The traction, the acceleration, the downforce—it was all very familiar,” said the man who won 23 Grands Prix over the course of his Formula 1 career. “Compliments to the engineers at Volkswagen, who have done important pioneering work in the field of electromobility with the ID.R. Motorsport’s job is to change mobility as a whole. It should be the test and development platform, in order to transport technology into production.”

“We are delighted that Nico wanted to test our ID.R. The fact that our electric racer put a smile on the face of a Formula 1 world champion is great feedback and underlines the fact that electromobility can create a lot of fascination and emotion,” said Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets.

Meanwhile, Volkswagen Motorsport continues to add to the success story with the ID.R. The electric race car currently holds five records: as well as all-time records at Pikes Peak in Colorado (USA), on Goodwood Hill (GB), Tianmen Mountain in Zhangjiajie (China), it also possesses the lap record for fully-electric cars at the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (GER) and Bilster Berg (GER). The findings of test and record drives are incorporated in the production development of future electric models, like the ID.4 electric SUV. The goal is for the Volkswagen brand to launch more than 20 all-electric vehicles by 2025.