Volkswagen’s record-breaking ID.R electric racecar has posted another milestone.

This time the setting was China’s extraordinary Tianmen road, with its 99 hairpin turns.

Tianmen Mountain lies about 1300km as the crow flies from the capital Beijing and is host to one of the most spectacular roads in the world — the Tianmen Shan Big Gate Road.

Frenchman Romain Dumas piloted the ID.R to a time to the top of the mountain in a blistering 7:38.585 minutes.

It was the first time anyone had attempted the feat.

The ID.R currently holds the records for Pikes Peak (USA) and at the Goodwood Festival of Speed (GB), the electric lap record on the Nürburgring-Nordschleife (D), and now the fastest time for an ascent of Tianmen Mountain in China.

The ID.R is driven by two electric motors with a total system performance of 500kW, riding on tailor-made Bridgestone Potenza tyres.

The car is an ambassador for the new, fully-electric range of vehicles from Volkswagen, the ID. family, the first of which – the ID.3 – will have its world premiere on September 10 at the Frankfurt motor show.

The 10.906km road rises 1100 metres to Heaven’s Gate, a 131.5-metre natural arch, and includes 99 hairpin turns, some with a radius of just six metres.

Followed by short sprints, fast winding sections with speeds of up to 230 km/h, and hard braking manoeuvres in extremely narrow tunnels, Dumas peformed brilliantly.

“I will certainly remember this record run on Tianmen Mountain for ever as my most spectacular outing,” Dumas said.

“I am proud to have set a record with the electric Volkswagen ID.R in China. The little information and testing we had beforehand made it a huge challenge.

“The road is incredibly narrow and winding, but the drive was unbelievable fun with the electric power of the ID.R.

“The huge torque was a big advantage on the short straights, while the aerodynamics provided additional traction in the fast sections.”

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Riley

Chris Riley has been a journalist for almost 40 years. He has spent half of his career as a writer, editor and production editor in newspapers, the rest of the time driving and writing about cars both in print and online. His love affair with cars began as a teenager with the purchase of an old VW Beetle, followed by another Beetle and a string of other cars on which he has wasted too much time and money. A self-confessed geek, he’s not afraid to ask the hard questions - at the risk of sounding silly.