In the realm of sports cars, 268 horsepower only sounds like a lot in comparison to a Miata. In the realm of Pikes Peak cars, it sounds like the support truck. But for one electric race car, that's all it needed to knock out a record 13:17.57 run up the mountain last year, and it's back this year to defend the title.
Running in the Exhibition Class, the title is just for honor. Nevertheless, for those with an eye toward the future of motorsports, vehicles like the AC Propulsion Pikes Peak car are making serious progress toward viable sporting vehicles.
The motor that propels the Pikes Peak car, the AC-180, is similar in construction to the AC-150 that powers the MINI E prototype vehicles. Maximum power of 268 pound-feet is available from 6,000-7,000 rpm, with peak torque of 258 pound-feet from 0-5,000 rpm.
The race effort is led by Team Yokohama, which hopes to shave yet more seconds from the record run this year--though it hasn't stated an outright goal beyond getting into the 12-minute range. That would put the electric car within two minutes and change of the all-time record Unlimited Class car, a field populated with 1,300-horsepower turbocharged monsters. Not bad for an electron-slinger.
AC Propulsion Team Yokohama electric Pikes Peak race car. Photo credit: Yokohama.