As Rhys Millen and Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima proved last year, electric cars are tough to beat up the twists and turns of Pikes Peak. Honda will certainly be hoping e-power is a winning formula when it takes on this year's Race to the Clouds in three versions of the new NSX, one of which will be exclusively powered by batteries.
Honda is no stranger to taking on Pikes Peak in electric cars, having run a CR-Z with a 450-odd horsepower all-electric version of its SH-AWD powertrain last year. That car actually ended up winning its class with a time of 10:23.829, so the idea of a supercar version with three times the total system output is exciting to say the least.
Obviously, there are more benefits to electric power than just instant torque. With an individual motor on each wheel, you're afforded a huge amount of control about where power is sent in the corners. Honda plans on taking advantage of this with a torque vectoring system described as a "world first technology that enables four-wheel independent torque allocation."
How it differs from the torque vectoring systems on the Mercedes SLS Electric Drive, or even a car like the Ford Focus RS, which can send power to the outside rear wheel for Drift Mode, is yet to be revealed.
Meanwhile, the two hybrid NSX competitors have been treated to some carbon fiber parts and a high-flow exhaust system for a bit of extra power. They will be driven by brothers James and Nick Robinson, while the electric SH-AWD NSX will be piloted by Tetsuya Yamano. Honda is yet to release images of the all-electric contender.
The results of Honda's decision to take a regular, hybrid NSX and the experimental EV Concept along to the famous Colorado hillclimb will make for a fascinating comparison - can all-electric power, with its torque-vectoring tech, match the regular hybrid car?
The all-time record up Pikes Peak is held by Sebastien Loeb in the unhinged Peugeot 208 T16 Pikes Peak, but first and second place were taken out by EVs last year.
Source: Honda USA
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