10 Pikes Peak Race Cars That Need to Be Built
12.42 miles, 156 corners, top speeds in excess of 140 mph, and an ascent of 5,000 feet into the sky. No, the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is not an event for the weak of heart. The Colorado race pushes drivers to the limit, and often pushes their high-horsepower machines beyond. And what an array of machines there are—everything from vintage muscle cars to bespoke, million dollar race cars. Something like these 10 hillclimb machines. Thus far, these particular creations exist only in the digital world, rendered by British car-shopping site Carwow, but hopefully that's just a temporary issue. Abarth 124
Interestingly, amateur rally racers can now go out and buy a genuine 2017 Abarth 124 rally car. The company tells us they cost €140.000 (about $154,000). Throw in a few more bucks and perhaps they'll spec-it-up like this. Needless to say, if they don't... someone will.
It's hard to believe the racy Ariel Nomad off-roader (an offshoot of the Ariel Atom track car) could get anymore knife-edged. Well, we were wrong. Hey Ariel... this really needs to happen.
The new Q2 is Audi's biggest step into the market's smallest SUV segment, a potential big-time player if compact crossover demand continues. Turn it into one of Audi's most famous rally cars—the big-winged Quattro S1—and you've got either blasphemy or a new rally icon. Perhaps a bit of both.
Ford Transit Supervan
Take a Ford Transit van, rip everything out that isn't essential, stick a twin-turbocharged V6 in the back (à la the new Ford GT), give it a rally suspension, plus enough aero to launch a small airliner, and this is what you get. Ford, we're waiting.
Hyundai Elantra GT
When in doubt—add a bigger wing. Hyundai's Elantra GT (or i30 in the UK) earns the unofficial award for the biggest wing-to-body ratio. That thing is an absolute picnic table.
Mini JCW Challenge
Ground clearance may be an issue as this John Cooper Works Mini shimmies and shakes its way up the Pikes Peak hillclimb, but that said it certainly looks the business. Add in the bevy of scoops, aero elements, plus Mini's successful rally heritage, and we might have a hillclimb winning recipe here!
Nissan Leaf Nismo RC
A few years ago, Nissan unveiled its Leaf Nismo RC electric race car, quite possibly one of the quietest racers you'll ever encounter. It was decidedly a track-only creation, but now its been given the full Pikes Peak treatment. Looks good!
If you haven't seen Sebastien Loeb's 2013 record-setting Pikes Peak run... we'll wait here, patiently. Watched it? Good. Loeb's 208 T16 still holds onto the fastest recorded climb to the top, but here's what that car's little cousin would look like—the 108 T16. Cute, isn't it?
Suzuki Vitara S
A capable, family friendly SUV doesn't seem like the recipe for a Pikes Peak winner, but it just goes to show that stereotypes are smashed at Pikes Peak. In 1996, a Suzuki hillclimb car loosely based on the Escudo SUV dominated the event—a reason this Vitara's red livery may look a bit familiar. We approve.
In the US, we've got the Toyota Tacoma. Elsewhere in the world, Toyota markets its Hilux pickup. This is one such globe-trotting truck... except the engine is stuffed in the bed, the fenders can be seen from space, and there's a massive rear wing. A special Pikes Peak Tacoma dominated the event in 1998 and '99... it's only fair the Hilux gets its spot in the sun too.
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