What's former Formula 1 driver (and champion) Nico Rosberg up to these days? If you frequent Youtube, then you probably stumbled upon his channel by now. There, he analyzes races and the tracks, interviews some of the biggest names in motoring, occasionally bug his dad, and, of course, drive fast cars.
In his latest video, he takes a very fast electric car out for a spin. It's the Volkswagen ID.R, and he even called it an electric missile.
The Volkswagen ID.R is the German automaker's first, and so far, only electric race car, and it's been beating several electric vehicle records worldwide. It won the Pikes Peak Hillclimb in 2018 with a time of 7:57.148, and it lapped the Nurburgring Nordschliefe in just 6: 05.336. It even completed the Goodwood hill climb, a track that typically takes one minute to finish, in less than 40 seconds.
Helping it make those records are a pair of two powerful electric motors powering the front and rear axle. With the two motors working together, the ID.R makes a total of 689 PS and 649 Nm of torque. Sure, there are electric cars with more wattage, but this special Volkswagen benefits from a lot of downforce. The lightweight construction of the cars helps too, as it tips the scales under 1,100 kilograms. That's an impressive feat, given that batteries and electric motors aren't exactly light.
First off, to see Nico Rosberg not holding back on the ID.R is an amazing sight. The ex-Formula 1 driver was giving it his all in a wet Nurburgring GP circuit in a car he saw just hours prior. You'll see that Rosberg hasn't lost any pace since he retired a couple of years ago with his sharp reflexes going into overdrive while wrestling with the car.
His other thoughts? He said that the car felt like a Formula 1 car in terms of downforce. He even said the acceleration was “really, really insane”, which is a big deal coming from someone who won the Formula 1 driver's title in 2016. He admitted that he had doubts about driving the ID.R at first, but his huge smile at the end of his stint is probably a good sign that he enjoyed it.
We reckon it must have been an amazing experience for Rosberg to drive the ID.R in anger. It kind of makes us wish the 2016 F1 champ was back in action in a race car. Perhaps a few car manufacturers have a seat open for a retired Formula 1 driver. Rosberg in Le Mans 2021? Now that would be cool.