Ford Performance is literally and figuratively gearing up for the 101st Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and is using the 4,725 foot climb to showcase the power of all-electric design. This year, the American automaker is sending a souped up E-Transit donned the “Ford SuperVan 4.2.” Spoiler alert! By that, I mean… it has a huge spoiler. Take a look.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) is an annual event held in Colorado in which vehicle from around the world try to snag the fastest time winding through 156 turns during the 12.42 mi route that climbs 4,725 feet. The finish line sits at over 14,000 feet above sea level, eliciting the climb as “the race to the clouds.”
As long as the Pikes Peak Climb has existed, Ford vehicles have competed, including a Model T during the inaugural event back in 1916. In recent years, we’ve seen current generation vehicles like the Ford Mustang Shelby GT500SE compete at Pikes Peak.
However, this year, Ford Performance is bringing all-electric speed to Pikes Peak with what it calls “one of the world’s most powerful electric powertrains ever developed.” This past February, Ford Performance announced its SuperVan 4 would be competing at this summer’s event in Colorado.
Today, however, we learned that Ford Performance and longtime collaborator Stohl Advanced Research and Development (STARD) have been refining the modified E-Transit, cutting weight and optimizing aerodynamics to achieve the best possible time on the mountain. Behold! The Ford SuperVan 4.2.
Ford significantly upgrades its SuperVan for Pikes Peak
For the 101st Hill Climb at Pikes Peak next weekend, Ford Performance is unleashing a beast of an electric van that is a redesign if its SuperVan 4 predecessor, further optimized for competition. Ford Performance and the experts at STARD explained that they increased the aerodynamics of the SuperVan 4.2, while also increasing its downforce (over 4,400 lbs. at 150 mph).
The custom-built Ford E-Transit underwent a weight reduction to improve its balance and agility around the abundant number of turns up Pikes Peak. The motorsport specialists also leaned down the SuperVan’s powertrain system, eliminating one of the four STARD UHP 6-phase motors, while optimizing the EV’s power-to-weight ratio using STARD’s Li-Polymer NMC pouch battery cells with new 600 kW regeneration performance – all while maintaining AWD. Despite dropping a motor, Ford’s SuperVan 4.2 will take off up Pikes Peak with over 1,400 horsepower (1,050 kW). Here are some additional upgrades:
- Revised regenerative braking system with carbon ceramic brake discs
- Magnesium forged wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero race tires
- Upgraded driveshafts
- Perspex windscreen
- Minimalist race interior to remove any additional, unnecessary weight (see images above)
Ford Performance and its team of experts believe they’ll not only be able to remain competitive at Pikes Peak this year, but demonstrate the unmatched capability of the automaker’s EV technologies. Ford Performance Motorsports global director Mark Rushbrook elaborated:
Together with our STARD partners, we have built the E-Transit SuperVan 4.2 to be a truly competitive machine focused on getting to the top of the mountain quickly. The Pikes Peak Hill Climb presents the perfect opportunity to showcase Ford’s electric vehicle technology and bring light to EV Performance.
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb will take place this coming Sunday, June 25 and will be broadcast live on YouTube.
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