Take a Look Back at VW’s Record-Breaking Run Up Pikes Peak: Video
This summer, Volkswagen conquered the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race with their fantastic I.D. R prototype, which was driven by Romain Dumas up the mountain in a record time of 7:57.148, 16 seconds under Sebastien Loeb’s 5-year-old record.
Motorsport is still a relevant marketing tool and battle-scarred Volkswagen decided the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the perfect place to showcase its electric technology. The race, which has been going since 1916, sees competitors climb up the 12.42-mile-long course all the way to 14,000 feet. Nowadays, there’s no more dirt at Pikes Peak, but that doesn’t make the challenge itself any less daunting.
The times are changing. In 2018, first two places at the Goodwood Festival of Speed Hill Climb belonged to electric vehicles. The all-time record on the track, set all way back in 1999 by Nick Heidfeld in the McLaren-Mercedes MP4-13 F1 car, remains untouched, but the runs of the race-only Volkswagen I.D. R and the road legal Nio EP9 demonstrate evolution.
Although the first two places were taken by the latest tech, the third on the Goodwood hill is actually a well known hill-climb monster - the BMW E36 M3 V8 Judd. With a Formula V-8 engine inside, it was possibly the best sounding thing on that hill. This is one hell of a praise as all sorts of amazing cars made an appearance.
Live Streaming the event was a major win for the Goodwood as people from all around the world witnessed the rumble and thunder of the best internal combustion engines ever envisioned. This is exactly what the extremely precise and scarly silent electric cars lack - the sound and the emotion surrounding cars with an ICE. Despite looking really good and mean, electric cars simply lack the drama of the monstrous vehicles preceding them. Nevertheless, they are the fastest, and they are, probably, the future.
Witness five drivers who had the courage to make the five fastest runs at the 2018 FOS Hill Climb by torturing their cars to the absolute limits.
Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak Breaks Electric Record at Goodwood FOS
This weekend saw the 25th running of the Goodwood Festival of Speed, and with it, a host of impressive machinery came out to strut their stuff up the short hillclimb course. While there was certainly no shortage of fast cars on hand, one in particular stood out from the rest, as the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak managed to reset the record books for all-electric racers at the event.
Continue reading for the full story.
While I am writing these words, I am listening to a live stream of enthusiastic commentators commenting on all the amazing cars debuting at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb. Off-road Dakar cars are hitting the track at this point, and they are not that fast on this asphalt. Heck, one rally Peugeot 205 with a V-6 just spun out. Now, the new WRC Fiesta is just showing off by doing donuts in front of the crowds. Amazing. Although the manifestation just started, the Goodwood Festival of Speed has already given us several astonishing cars five of which I am presenting you right now. This is an absolute barrage of cars, sounds, smells, and speed at the Goodwood Estate right now.
These are the first surprises the Goodwood Festival of Speed gave us.
What is the Goodwood Festival Of Speed and Why Does it Matter?
As one of the best organized automotive manifestations in the U.K., the Goodwood Festival of Speed reached international fame really fast after its debut year in 1993. New car exhibitions coincide with the fantastic hill-climb course over which cars of all ages and shapes compete over a period of three days. The event gathers hundreds of thousands of people every year at the Duke of Richmond’s Goodwood Estate with some of the attractions including car testing, helicopter pleasure rides, music entertainment, extraordinary dining experiences, and much more.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed made such an impact on the world of cars that it shifted the car exhibition paradigm from something like an Auto Show to a three-day family event. The Goodwood Festival of Speed is like the Disneyland of cars, but there’s a lot of history behind the event, and this is its story.
Looking Back at the 2017 Goodwood Festival of Speed Hill Climb
The 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed is upon us, and it’s shaping up to be quite the event that will even include the long-awaited debut of the next-gen Toyota Supra. Be that as it may, the Supra’s debut won’t be the most exciting thing happening this weekend. After all, we all know there is all kinds of action that goes down during the Hillclimb. Records could be broken, new cars and entrants could surprise us, and there could be some pretty interesting crashes as each and every driver pushes their car to the limit up that fun and punishing track.
With that in mind, we’ve decided to take a look back at the some of the most exciting videos from last year’s event, including that Ferrari 458 GT2 and Ford RS200 that crashed, the Range Rover Sport SVR that rode on two wheels, and the debut of the Porsche 911 GT2 RS, among others. With that said, there’s a whole bunch of amazing videos below to help keep you on the edge of your seat until the event kicks off later this week. Let’s get to it!
Starting on July 12th, the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed promises to be a pure celebration of automobilia, motorsport, and sports cars. The manifestation, which has held ever since 1993 at Goodwood House, West Sussex, England, gathers the best from the world of cars with the central event being a hill climb over a rather tricky 1.16-mile-long track. With three days of pure automotive fun, the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed is expected to draw crowds of over 125,000 individuals each day. Obviously, with major media coverage and such high attendance numbers, manufacturers from all around the world look forward to presenting their vehicles and tackling the hill climb. This year, Porsche is the main sponsor as the company marks 70 years since the unveiling of the first sports car - the 356, at the event. I would not be surprised if they attempt to set a record on the track. Currently, the record is at 0:41.6 seconds and it was set by Formula 1 driver Nick Heidfeld in a McLaren in 1999. Considering the fact that Porsche has already set one astounding record at the Nurburgring, tackling Goodwood is to be expected.
Apart from the multitude Porsche plans to exhibit, I gathered five other exceptional vehicles to look out for at the 2018 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Bentley Bentayga smashes SUV record at Pikes Peak
Just a few weeks after the Bentley announced that it was working on a Bentayga Speed, the Bentayga is in the news again; this time for smashing the record for a production SUV at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. Bentley has been on fire lately with the Bentayga, and it looks like the Bentayga is starting to show who the real monster is!
Romain Dumas and the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak Racer Shatter the Pikes Peak Time Attack Record
Volkswagen’s all-electric I.D. R hummed its way into Pikes Peak lore after smashing the International Hillclimb’s record with a time of 7:57.148, becoming the first-ever race car to complete the 12.42-mile course in under eight minutes. The record-setting run happened over the weekend, etching the car and its driver, Romain Dumas, into the Pike Peak International Hillclimb record books.
The Goodwood Festival of Speed hill climb is a pretty informal event — more celebration than competition. Most drivers showboat their way up the hill to please spectators. Donuts, drifting and bouncing engines off rev limiters are all acceptable forms of self-expression, but every once in while, someone will really go for it on Lord March’s 1.16-mile driveway.
That’s what Briggs Automotive Company (BAC) test driver Oliver Webb did at the 2015 event in the company’s 2016 BAC Mono track-day car, and in the process set an unofficial road-car record of 47.9 seconds, according to the BAC Mono’s onboard telemetry system. The Mono was running in the ‘First Glance’ class, for which times are not officially recorded, but it was much faster than the winning official time of 51.33 seconds set by Anthony Reid in a 2011 Noble M600. It was also faster than the overall road-car record set by Jann Mardenborough in a 2015 Nissan GT-R Nismo.
Continue reading for the full story.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has been a staple motorsport events for nearly a century now. It’s a challenging, twisting, two-lane test of man and machine that demands nothing less than the absolute best. This annual “Race to Clouds” has seen its fair share of casualties, including the recent passing of motorcyclist Carl Sorensen. All told, even with extensive experience, the best possible preparation and ideal conditions, America’s Mountain is still capable of thwarting any effort at conquering its summit. It’s a lesson that professional racer and Motor Trend test driver Randy Pobst learned firsthand this June, and it’s all documented in this fascinating 20-minute video.
The video begins three months before race day, with Pobst narrating the lead-up to his return to Colorado. Presented with a fleet of high-end sports cars to choose from, Pobst ended up going with Godzilla: the Nissan GT-R. The reason? “Driver confidence!” Pobst declares.
What he’s handed is a 700-horsepower race-prepped beast that simply won’t cooperate. Parts break, the handling is fussy, and Pobst loses some of his confidence. Development is thrown into overdrive, and the pressure is on to make the GT-R ready.
On go the wrenches and the testing is non-stop. Parts are swapped, settings are tweaked, and Pobst grapples with the realities of what it means to put the spurs to his new ride.
Finally, the GT-R feels ready for Pikes Peak. But the real battle begins when Pobst begins his ill-fated ascent.
Honda and Acura weren’t racing in any official capacity at the 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, but watching this video of the 2016 Acura NSX pace car charging up the treacherous mountain road, you’d be forgiven for assuming otherwise.
Honda public relations senior manager Sage Marie piloted the NSX and led the field of 140 entrants up the 156-turn, 12.4-mile course to over 14,000 feet above sea level. PR guys (and most automotive journalists despite what they tell you) usually aren’t known for their skills behind the wheel, but Sage is the exception to the rule. He’s won in Pirelli World Challenge B-Spec racing and previously competed at Pikes Peak in 2012 and 2014. He it knows well, because he certainly doesn’t leave much out on the course for this run.
Aside from its unique Pikes Peak pace car livery, this is a near-production-spec NSX, meaning it’s powered by a mid-mounted twin-turbo V-6 displacing 3.5 liters. The ICE is supplemented by three electric motors, two directly powering each of the front wheels and the third mounted between the engine and the nine-speed dual-clutch transmission.
No official numbers have been released, but we’re expecting the NSX to have well over 500 horsepower. The torque-vectoring front motors should also endow it with physics defying handling. Plus, with an estimated price of around $150,000, it should be a good $1 million cheaper than those fast hybrids from Porsche, Ferrari and McLaren. But, the question remains if it’ll be able to teach the exotics a few new lessons like its predecessor did.
Until we find out, enjoy the Pikes Peak video and checkout our full review of the 2016 NSX.
Jeff Zwart is one of those guys you kind of want to be. As co-founder of Radical Media, he’s shot commercials for just about every car company there is. Remember that epic Porsche commercial from a few years ago that showed seemingly every important Porsche ever built charging through the desert? That was his. He’s also a massive Porsche geek, collector and racer.
A regular at the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, Zwart drove his Porsche 911 GT3 Cup Turbo to a Time Attack 1 class victory with a time of 9:46.243 at the 2015 event, and it’s all been captured in high-definition 4k in this stunning video, shot by his colleague, Will Roegge.
The more eagle-eyed among you may have noticed that Porsche doesn’t sell a GT3 Cup with a turbo. Zwart’s 997 Cup car is powered by a twin-turbo flat six from a 2008 Porsche 911 GT2 997, that produces around 600 horsepower. He drove a bone-stock 2011 Porsche 911 GT2 RS from his home in California to the top of Pikes Peak for the 2011 event, and then decided to drop a turbocharged engine in a Cup chassis after the route was fully paved ahead of the 2012 event.
In addition to the Cup Turbo, Zwart also owns one of only a handful of early Porsche 356s built in Gmünd, Austria — a rally-prepped 914-6, a 906 Carrera 6 hill-climb car and a 911 that competed in the 1971 East African Safari Rally, among others. These aren’t garage queens either. He drives them all regularly. I told you Jeff Zwart is someone you want to be.
Alpine isn’t exactly a brand that too many people have heard of. This is party due to the fact that French cars aren’t exactly common in the U.S., but also because Alpine hasn’t built a road car in 20 years. But there have been some important developments with this Renault offshoot over the past few years. Renault has been racing LMP2 cars at Le Mans under the Alpine name for a few years now, and we’ve also seen road car concepts, most recently the 2015 Renault Alpine Celebration Concept, which is seen at the Goodwood Festival of Speed in this video.
The concept is inspired, not surprisingly, by the 1961-1973 Renault Alpine A110, Alpine’s most famous car and a highly successful rally car. The car enjoyed a long production run, from 1961 to 1977, reaching the height of its motorsports fame in the early ’70s, with 1973 being a particularly good year. The car was based on the Renault R8, a rather pedestrian rear-engine compact sedan. It started with the same engine as well, but by 1970, horsepower had more than doubled, from 66 to 138. It was given a curvaceous new body as well, and the cues of that body can be seen in the concept.
We recently witnessed the 93rd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), and when the final checkered had flown, the all-electric vehicle you see before you made history. With drifter/rally racer/stunt driver Rhys Millen at the wheel, this car managed to reach the windswept Colorado peak in 9:07.222, becoming not just the fastest car in the Electric Modified Class and the new EV record-holder, but the fastest car in any class, making for the first EV to win the race outright in its nearly century-old history.
Here’s the really wild part – it could have gone a lot faster.
According to Millen, the car lost 50 percent of its power about halfway through the run, and if everything was working properly, he thinks a time in the mid-8-minute range would be not just possible, but more than likely.
An 8:30 up Pikes Peak is fast. Really fast – in fact, it’s approaching the all-time standing record set in 2013 when Sebastien Loeb took an ICE-powered 2013 Peugeot 208 T16 to the top in 8:13.878. To get anywhere near that magic run is huge, but to do it in a car powered by batteries is, well, insane.
The EV in question is called the Drive eO PP03, and it was designed by a Latvian-based engineering company to be a technological powerhouse that pushes the envelope of what electric race cars are capable of.
Continue reading to see what makes this thing tick.
If you’ve ever wondered what it’s like driving a gigantic cordless power tool on four wheels to over 14,000 feet above sea level, then this video should give you a pretty good idea. Here we ride along with Rhys Millen on board his one-megawatt Drive eO PP03, which he drove to a new electric vehicle record of 9:07.222 and an overall win at this past weekend’s 2015 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
Perhaps due to unusual circumstance that saw the finish line move 3,000 feet down the mountain due to bad weather for the fastest classes, it also marked the first time an EV took overall victory at Pikes Peak. Despite losing power to the rear wheels before halfway, Millen’s time was good enough to beat hill-climb legend Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima in his Tajima Rimac E-Runner. However it was still far adrift of the overall record of 8:13.878 set by Sebastian Loeb in 750-horsepower 2013 Peugeot 208 T16.
While Millen was happy to snag the Pikes Peak electric vehicle record, he says he could have gone as much as 30 seconds faster if he had full power for the full distance. But, half a megawatt is still a decent amount of power and more than enough to scare the bejesus out of you, even if you’re watching on a computer. If you have a big screen, take some dramamine.
Check out our recap for a full report on the 2015 Pikes Peak Hill Climb.