Should F1 take a leaf out of the more leftfield motorsport categories out there? Honda today showcased its new Pikes Peak challenger – a madcap all-electric prototype racer designed to tear up the fabled hillclimb in Broadmoor, US in uncanny silence.
Called simply the EV Concept, the prototype uses much of the hardware – and bodywork, albeit on steroids – from the Honda NSX hybrid supercar.
This EV NSX will maintain thrust all the way to the top of the mountain — an internal combustion engine would lose power at higher altitudes due to lower air density. The overall first-place time last year was set by an electric racer, so the technology is proven. One thing electric motors still can’t compensate for is weight. Batteries are stupid heavy, and lugging them up a mountain doesn’t make it any easier.
“We’ve been tuning the car for several weeks at Pikes and have advanced its performance significantly,” said Tetsuya Yamano, who will be driving the EV Concept. “We’re honored to be running at Pikes in this historical, anniversary year – an event respected by racing fans all over the world.”
In production for only a couple of months as of June 2016, the NSX has already spawned a couple of race cars specifically modified for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. With the 2016 “Race to the Clouds” just around the corner, Acura has announced that it has used the NSX as a basis for an all-electric race car as well. Dubbed EV Concept, it will be campaigned in the Electric Modified Class of the 2016 Pikes Peak. Unlike the other NSX-based racers, the EV Concept uses a different drivetrain and a further evolution of the experimental four-motor Super Handling All-Wheel Drive system.