Though Rhys Millen won last year's Pikes Peak Hillclimb, he didn't meet all his goals. Millen made it clear he wanted to complete a run in under nine minutes, a feat only Sebastien Loeb had managed before, but the best his electric eO could manage was 9:07.222. This year he broke that barrier, but was beaten to outright honors by Romain Dumas in a petrol-powered Norma.
Designed specifically to light up Pikes Peak, the eO isn't your average electric car. Power comes from a 50 kWh lithium-ion battery, feeding seven YASA-400 electric motors. Total system output is a staggering 1,190 kW (1,596 hp), with peak torque pegged at 2,520 Nm (1,859 lb.ft).
That's 170 kW (228 hp) and 60 Nm (44 lb.ft) more than last year's car, with a weight penalty of just 50 kg (110 lb). The whole package sits on four-way adjustable shock absorbers, attached to 18-inch wheels shod in 320/710 slick tires.
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All this extra power was enough to help Millen scale the 4,301 m (14,110 ft) peak in 8:57.118, faster than any electric car before it, but not quite fast enough to put him on the top step of the podium. First place was reserved for Romain Dumas, who hustled his gas-powered Norma up the road in just 8:51.445.
Both men join Sebastien Loeb in the sub-nine minute club, although Loeb's 8:13.878 run is unlikely to be beaten any time soon. After all, it's not often a manufacturer throws Formula 1 levels of funding and development at a car for Pikes Peak.
Full results from Pikes Peak are available online.