Volkswagen has set firm crosshairs on landing a world-record run for an electric vehicle at the 2018 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. And they've started out on their mission by playing one of the best possible aces out there: they've signed a three-time Pikes Peak winner, three-time 24 Hours of Le Mans winner, and 2016 World Endurance Championship winner, Frenchman Romain Dumas.

It's been 30 years since VW last took a run at Pikes Peak, and when the brand returns for this year's running it will mark the debut of its first-ever all-electric race car. Electric cars have found quick success at the historic hill climb over the past few years, with New Zealander Rhys Millen even taking the eO PP03 to an overall victory in 2015.


Volkswagen is building an entirely new electric prototype for 2018 with which it hopes to take advantage of the generous technical freedom granted by the regulations in the electric modified class and best the current record for an EV, which was a run of 8:57.118 set by Millen in the e0 PP100 in 2016.

"There is one big advantage of having an electric car in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb: the power remains constant over the entire 20-kilometer route," Dumas said in a press release. "By contrast, vehicles fitted with combustion engines lose a significant amount of power in the thin mountain air. I had to live with that in my previous appearances here. I am really looking forward to being able to drive from the start at (9,390 ft) to the finishing line (at 14,110 ft) at full power for the first time.


"The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a big challenge because every driver only has one attempt. But I have real faith in Volkswagen Motorsport. The team is highly motivated and has already shown on many occasions that it is capable of achieving success right away on unfamiliar terrain."

"Romain is one of the fastest drivers to have ever entered the Pikes Peak race," added Volkswagen Motorsport Director Sven Smeets. "What's more, he has thousands of kilometers of experience with racing prototypes under his belt. This makes him the perfect driver for Volkswagen as it makes its debut with a fully electric racing car."

The 2018 running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will take place on Sunday, June 24.