Mitsubishi Motors has today announced that it is to enter two electric cars into this year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, taking place this July. In addition to the electric production i-MiEV
taking part, Mitsubishi is entering its i-MiEV Evolution, a prototype developed from i-MiEV technology, purpose built for the Pikes Peak event. And compared to the production model it's a wee beastie.
He might look like a friendly old Japanese grandpa with a crazy giggle, but Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima is the undisputed king of the mountain that matters: Pike's Peak in Colorado. For the last six years, Monster has dominated one of the world's most spectacular and death-defying hill climb races in a series of ever-crazier souped-up Suzuki race cars. This year, it seems he's found one more mountain to climb: the 62 year-old has announced he'll be taking a fully electric race car to Pike's Peak in 2012. Could this be the year that a battery car beats the petrol brigade?
Sixty-one year old motorsport legend Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima, almost certainly the oldest world class athlete competing in any sport today, won his sixth consecutive Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday, at the same time as breaking the long standing 10 minute barrier for the course which rises 1.5 kilometers from start to oxygen-starved finish. Nissan's electric LEAF
established a new electric car record for the course and Ducati's "four bikes in 1" Multistrada
defended its 2010 win with a new record too.
Every year the steep countryside in the Rocky Mountains 10 miles west of Colorado Springs echoes with the roar of engines as entrants negotiate the treacherous switchbacks of the annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
. This year, however, a number of vehicles will be making the climb in near silence, including Nissan's all-electric LEAF
. The LEAF's entry in the 89th Pikes Peak International Hill Climb marks the motorsport debut of the vehicle that, aside from the removal of a few interior parts to make way for safety equipment, will be very similar to the LEAFs that roll off the production line.
Two remarkable things happened at Pike’s Peak International Hill Climb on Sunday. The first was that a 60 year old man won an internationally recognized motorsport event – Japan’s Monster Tajima continued to do just that to all-comers, taking his 1100kg 910hp Monster Sport Suzuki SX4 to a fifth straight victory. The second was that a newcomer won the motorcycle class. Ducati’s Multistrada
1200 S has had a spectacular market introduction around the world, and furthered the legend by taking an international hillclimb title in very close to standard roadbike trim.
It's the kind of spectacular driving stunt we expect of James Bond or Frank Martin - slam the Aston Martin/Audi into reverse, plant the gas pedal, wait for momentum to pick up, then flick the wheel to perform a faultless 180 degree pirouette into an impossibly tight parking space. Only celluloid superheroes can drive like this and get it right every time ... oh, and autonomous vehicles. Faultless driving stunts are not normally associated with autonomous vehicles but check out this video because it'll help get everyone accustomed to the concept! Computers will eventually out-drive, out-think and out-perform humans on every level and this clip of autonomous supervehicle Stanley shows that computers out-driving us will be sooner rather than later.
The team at the Center for Automotive Research at Stanford (CARS) are aiming to send a specially-equipped robotic Audi at break-neck speed up the tight bends that lead to Pikes Peak without a driver … something that hasn’t been done before.
The age-old battle of man versus machine will move to a new arena in 2010 when Audi will begin pitting an autonomous TTS Coupe quattro against record times of some of the great driving challenges, including a likely attempt at the infamous 12.42-mile Pikes Peak Hill Climb in Colorado, USA. The driverless Audi is from the same team that built the VW Touareg which won the first race for autonomous vehicles, the 2005 DARPA Grand Challenge
. The inevitable incorporation of advanced robotic technologies into our automobiles will ultimately yield a safer vehicle and it’s the thin end of the wedge – one day soon your car will not only be smarter than you are, it will also be faster and maybe even better looking.
January 4, 2009 The order books have opened for the 196mph Audi R8 making it the first car in the world with all-LED (light emitting diode) headlamps, daytime running lights and turn indicators. LEDs are the headlight of the future due to their power, homogenous light distribution and the agreeable, daylight-esque colour and Audi can rightfully boast a technological edge with headlights four times more energy efficient than halogen headlights in addition to having a practically indefinite service life. LEDs can be made more or less bright electronically and hence able to be precisely adapted to conditions. In the future, headlights will react to variables such as weather conditions, speed and the distance between vehicles. Audi already has a pre-production headlight which offers exceptional visibility at night without irritating oncoming drivers, by measuring the distance of the approaching vehicle and adapting the shape of the beam continuously.
July 26, 2007 The 10 minute barrier was almost broken at the famous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
in the United States on July 21 with Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima breaking the previous record of 10 minutes and 4 seconds which has stood for 12 seasons. We have written before about the Pikes Peak Hill Climb
and also written about Nobuhiro ‘Monster’ Tajima here
. The theme of this years 85th running to the top of Pikes Peak was ‘Beat the Record’ which is exactly what Tajima did with a run of 10:01.04 seconds which eclipsed the previous best time by more than three seconds.
Monster’s Suzuki XL7 features a twin-turbocharged 3.6-litre V6 that produces a stunning 750 kW (1007 horsepower) at 8500 rpm and 1000 Nm of torque at 6250 rpm.