The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb has become a proving ground for electric cars. Honda hopes to get its share of the limelight with a very shiny and very fast new prototype that it announced on Monday.
Known as the Acura NSX EV, it’s a special concept designed just for the climb to Pikes Peak’s 14,114-foot summit, just outside Colorado Springs. The lack of oxygen up there gives electrics a big advantage, but Honda also hopes to eke some extra handling performance out of the fact that its racer has a motor for each wheel.
Honda hasn’t produced a pure electric since 2014, but it plans to try again in 2017, according to Car and Driver. In that context, its performance this weekend could be a hint of what’s to come, Motley Fool suggests — although, to be clear, this isn’t the first time Honda has put electrics on the mountain.
“We’re not making a race car,” Honda driver Tetsuya Yamano told Autoblog last year. “This is part of [research and development] and we’re looking to get as much data back to engineers in Japan as possible … what we’re doing is very advanced.”
This year’s prototype, the NSX EV, is a heavily modified version of a car that’s due to hit production next year, Engadget reported. The production version, however, will be a hybrid.
Also due to race: Several electric motorcycles, a Tesla, a couple other electrics that also sound scary fast, and a semiautonomous car driven by a man who lost the use of his arms and legs. Tickets start at $60 a head.