Needing little introduction, Pikes Peak is one of the most demanding motorsports in history, over 14 miles in length encompassing 156 turns twisting and turning to the finish line at 14,115 feet.
Originally contested on dirt roads with tarmac sections added later until finally in 2012 the entire course consisted of paved roads, greatly improving safety and serving increase grip, reducing race times. Attracting 130 entrants from different classes, both four and two-wheeled with current outright records falling to modern EVs
Race To The Clouds tests drivers and cars to their limits, from concept cars to production cars the competition is always closely contested.
10 VW I.D. R Pike Peak – Outright Record Holder
Taking the outright record in 2018, in a sense-making up for the ongoing VW emissions scandal, Romain Dumas at the wheel of VW’s ID.R concept shaved 15 seconds off the previous record with a time of 7 minutes 57 seconds. Twin electric motors generate 680hp, 480ft-lbs of torque combined with a total weight of 2400lb results in 60mph in 2.25 seconds.
Pure electric vehicles have advantages over internal combustion engines when it comes to acceleration with high torque figures available at lower motor speeds. While these characteristics are beneficial for hill climb events, a vehicles maximum speed is better served by higher horsepower.
9 Bentley Continental GT – Production Car Record Holder
Competition success for Bentley has previously been restricted to Le Mans or GT racing series until 2019 with a factory-prepared Continental GT set the record for a production road car. Setting a time of 10 minutes 18 seconds, a full 8 seconds faster than the previous record-holder, a Porsche 911 turbo is no mean feat.
Standard production cars are gaining ever more powerful engines, and Bentley has never been lacking for power, Continental GTs packing 6-liter W12 engines and 626hp and of course all-wheel drive to help things along.
8 Peugeot 208 T16 – 875 Is The Magic Number
No strangers to Pikes Peak, Peugeot over the years has developed and entered several cars based on production models, their latest a heavily modified 208 model. Rest assured this is no ordinary 208, in place of the standard car’s engine sits a twin-turbocharged 3.2-liter V6 engine with 875hp on tap.
With more power than most supercars and weighing just 875 kg, 0-62mph vanishes in the blink of an eye taking 1.8 seconds – faster than modern F1 cars.
7 Toyota Tacoma – Tacoma in Name Only
TRD produced this 1,000hp Pikes Peak monster, very loosely based on Toyota’s Tacoma truck although little apart from the name links the two. Custom tubular space frame chassis clad in composite panels hiding its 2.1-liter turbocharged engine. Specialized short gear ratios help this monster to hit 60mph in 1.6 seconds at the expense of top speed reduced to 130mph.
A regular contender for Pikes Peak between 1997-200 with Rod Millen at the wheel taking outright wins in 1998-99.
6 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup – Same Shape With Double The Power
Excellent traction is a well-known specialty of all 911 models with their rear-mounted engined layout adding weight over the rear wheels. Heavily modified for the 2019 Time Attack 1 class, BBI Autosport’s 911 GT3 boasts a twin-turbocharged 3.8-liter 900hp motor breaking the existing record with a new time of 9 minutes 23 seconds.
Standard 911 GT3 Cup editions leave the factory equipped with naturally aspirated engines producing 460hp good for around 193mph gives a good idea just how fast this BBI Autosport edition with double the power is.
5 2018 Wolf TSC-Honda – One For The Underdogs.
Motorsport should be open to all-comers, teams, and privateers competing on a level playing field. No more than a group of friends took the outright win in 2019, operating from a homage garage with a used Wolf GB08 chassis fitted with a Honda sourced 2-liter racing engine.
Making the best use of 600hp and a low 1100lbs weight, driver Robin Schute stormed across the finishing line in 9 minutes 12 seconds, a full 11 seconds ahead of second place.
4 Shelby Cobra Replica/Propane – Green In More Ways Than One
Sporting its lurid green paint job, this Cobra replica is not just green on the outside, under the hood an all American V8 motor running on Propane. Converting cars to burn Propane isn’t new technology with kits available for most cars. Still competitive? Sure this 5.7-liter Chevy powered Cobra reached the summit in 11 mins 57 seconds, a record for LPG power.
Any alternative fuel is sure to have plus and minus points, Propane power does produce fewer miles per gallon, but is cheaper to buy. Most importantly from an environmental point of view, Propane produces up to 60% less carbon helping to save the planet in the process.
3 Porsche 935 – Return Of The Legend
No racing event would be complete without Porsche’s 935 model, seen here based on a later 911 GT2 RS model. The traditional flat-six pushes out 700hp courtesy of 3.8-liters and twin turbochargers, while carbon-fiber reduces weight to just 3000lbs enabling Jeff Zwart to cross the line in 9 minutes 43 seconds
Porsche unveiled the first 935 models in 1976 meeting FIA group 5 regulations for road-based cars at Le Mans, taking overall victory in 1979.
2 Tesla Model 3 – EV’s Are Coming
High altitudes have a negative impact on internal combustion engines with thinner air reducing total power output. Market leaders in EV, Tesla entered Pikes Peak with their Model 3 showcasing its performance qualifying third overall against rivals unlimited classes.
All publicity is good publicity, right? Unscheduled off-road moments did damage Tesla’s Model 3 entrant but didn’t prevent the team from completing the course.
1 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat – Coming Soon
Even the name Charger seems fitting for the annual Pikes Peak Hillclimb event, the latest generation boasting 707hp should be quick to the summit. Minor engine modifications to help the 6.2-liter Supercharged V8 breathe at higher altitudes, otherwise, this is a stock SRT Hellcat,
Competing in the Exhibition Class facing tough competition with Tesla previously taking the honors with 1st and 3rd placings
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