Believe it or not, it’s electricity and race-grade technology that defeated the otherwise vicious Macca

The McLaren 720S has been instilling fear into every out-and-out supercar, muscle car, and sports car you can think of. It has more drag race wins under its belt than we can count and it’s arguably one of the most quick-accelerating cars on sale today. But it is no match for the audacious Volkswagen ID.R.

The VW ID.R vs McLaren 720S is the collision of two worlds

It Took an Electric Car to Silence The McLaren 720S
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The McLaren 720S’ most recent victim is none other than the 760-horsepower, supercharged Mustang Shelby GT500. The 5.2-liter V-8 inside the muscle car is itself a work of art, but not enough to keep the 720S at bay. Or beat it in a quarter-mile drag race.

The McLaren 720S is such a volatile mix of low weight - it tips the scales at just 3,128 pounds (1,418 kilos) - and performance - its 4.0-liter twin-turbo V-8 cranks out 710 horsepower at 7,500 rpm and 568 pound-feet of twist (770 Newton-meters) at 5,500 rpm - that it has no match in today’s supercar/muscle car world.

It Took an Electric Car to Silence The McLaren 720S
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Thing is, though, the Volkswagen ID.R is not of that world. Call it an alien. Call it a rebel without a cause, because Volkswagen isn’t racing the ID.R and doesn’t plan on doing it. But it’s still a rebel imbued with all sorts of motorsport-grade goodies. Just look at it - it looks like a freaking Le Mans race car.

Born from the murkiness of Dieselgate and most likely, out of VW’s need to flaunt its newly found appetite for electricity, the ID.R set the fastest lap record on the Nürburgring Nordschleife: 6.05.336. In the process, it generated acceleration forces of 3.49 g. FYI, some people pass out at 3 g.

The VW ID.R by the numbers

It Took an Electric Car to Silence The McLaren 720S
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The electric powertrain inside the VW ID.R makes 500 kilowatts (680 PS, 670 horsepower) through two electric motors (one on the front axle and one in the rear) that spin all four wheels.

The e-motors are fed by two Li-ion battery blocks positioned next to the driver and behind the monocoque. All in all, the blocks use eight modules with 56 cells each.

It Took an Electric Car to Silence The McLaren 720S
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Torque is rated at 650 Newton-meters (479 pound-feet) of twist and the whole car weighs just 2,425 pounds (1,100 kilos). Oh, and Volkswagen claims it can absolutely slingshot from 0 to 60 mph (96 km/h) in 2.25 seconds - quicker than any Formula 1 car and a Formula E racer.

That said, check out Top Gear’s video below and witness the sheer off-the-line launch prowess displayed by the ID.R under the steady hands of Chris Harris. Sorry, McLaren fans, the alien wins this one.

Tudor Rus
Assistant Content Manager - Automotive Expert - tudor@topspeed.com
Tudor’s first encounter with cars took place when he was only a child. Back then, his father brought home a Trabant 601 Kombi and a few years later, a Wartburg 353. At that time, he was too young to know how they worked and way too young to drive them, but he could see one thing – each of them had a different ethos and their own unique personality. As time went on, he started seeing that in other cars as well, and his love for the automobile was born.  Read More
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