Pikes Peak International Hill Climb: impressions from then and now
Almost 20 kilometres uphill, 156 exhilarating corners, more than 1,400 metres of altitude difference and over 100 years of tradition: Pikes Peak is the world's most famous hill climb. Next year, Volkswagen will tackle the event with an entirely electrically powered racing vehicle as it returns to the ‘Race to the Clouds' after an absence of more than 30 years.
The Volkswagen electric race car: on 24 June 2018 it will get to the start line in Colorado, USA.
The first Pikes Peak International Hill Climb took place in 1916. A great deal has happened over the years. Join us on a brief journey back through time as we explore the history of this wild chase up to the 4,300-metre-high summit.
1926: the Yellow Devil in action
One of the most popular pre-war Pikes Peak racing vehicles was the Yellow Devil belonging to Spencer Penrose, the founder of the Pikes Peak race.
Spencer Penrose, the man behind the Pikes Peak Hill Climb
The first Pikes Peak race in 1916 was organised by the entrepreneur Spencer Penrose (1865–1939). This wealthy philanthropist also financed construction of the racetrack, the Pikes Peak Highway.
1928: Glen Shultz, the hero of the 1920s
The American Glen Shultz won the Pikes Peak event an impressive eight times. He absolutely dominated hill climbs in the 1920s, the pioneer era of this legendary discipline.
1934: the rise of the Unser family
No family name is quite so intrinsically linked with the Pikes Peak Hill Climb as the Unser family. It all started with Louis Unser (1896–1979).
1965: up the mountain in an Indy car
Al Unser, the younger brother of the racing drivers Jerry and Bob Unser, won the event in 1965 in an Indy car, the Harrison Special.
1972: overall win with Volkswagen power in the rear
In 1972, Roger Mears tackled the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb in a buggy powered by Volkswagen and won it right off the bat.
1985: Michèle Mouton, the full-power female
This fast Frenchwoman participated in the World Rally Championship from 1974 to 1986. In 1985, she tackled Pikes Peak in an Audi Sport quattro and clinched the overall win – très bien, Michèle!
1986: Bobby Unser and the Audi quattro
It wasn't just in the World Rally Championship that Audi was a powerhouse in the 1980s. In 1986, a year after Mouton's record-breaking drive, Bobby Unser scored another victory on the mountain for the brand – setting a new track record in his Sport quattro SL in the process.
The ‘Race to the Clouds' today
The ‘Race to the Clouds' is still a test of one's mettle to this day. Since the entire track was tarmacked in 2011, the times have got faster while the risks have been reduced.
Colorado Springs – a hub of activity once a year
The city of Colorado Springs nestled at the foot of the 4,300-metre-high Pikes Peak is where it all happens for the drivers, spectators and service staff during the race.
Plenty to see and do at the Fan Fest
A three-day Fan Fest is held in Colorado Springs during race week, featuring free entertainment and all sorts of events.
Motorsport up close
At close quarters: the visitors can come into contact with the stars of the racing scene at the Fan Fest. And if you ask nicely, you might even get to sit behind the wheel of your future dream car – even if the steering wheel is actually bigger than you.
The specified fuel consumption and emission data have been determined according to the measurement procedures prescribed by law. Since 1st September 2017, certain new vehicles are already being type-approved according to the Worldwide Harmonized Light Vehicles Test Procedure (WLTP), a more realistic test procedure for measuring fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Starting on September 1st 2018, the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) will be replaced by the WLTP in stages. Owing to the more realistic test conditions, the fuel consumption and CO2 emissions measured according to the WLTP will, in many cases, be higher than those measured according to the NEDC. For further information on the differences between the WLTP and NEDC, please visit www.volkswagen.de/wltp.
We are currently still required by law to state the NEDC figures. In the case of new vehicles which have been type-approved according to the WLTP, the NEDC figures are derived from the WLTP data. It is possible to specify the WLTP figures voluntarily in addition until such time as this is required by law. In cases where the NEDC figures are specified as value ranges, these do not refer to a particular individual vehicle and do not constitute part of the sales offering. They are intended exclusively as a means of comparison between different vehicle types. Additional equipment and accessories (e.g. add-on parts, different tyre formats, etc.) may change the relevant vehicle parameters, such as weight, rolling resistance and aerodynamics, and, in conjunction with weather and traffic conditions and individual driving style, may affect fuel consumption, electrical power consumption, CO2 emissions and the performance figures for the vehicle.
Further information on official fuel consumption figures and the official specific CO2 emissions of new passenger cars can be found in the “Guide on the fuel economy, CO2 emissions and power consumption of new passenger car models”, which is available free of charge at all sales dealerships and from DAT Deutsche Automobil Treuhand GmbH, Hellmuth-Hirth-Str. 1, D-73760 Ostfildern, Germany and at www.dat.de.