Toyota and luxury division Lexus will both enter cars in the upcoming Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, and the race cars couldn't be more different. Toyota's entry is a purpose-built electric car that previously set a lap record on the Nürburgring, while Lexus has extensively modified an IS F sports sedan for race duty.
The Toyota entry is the TMG EV P002, an all-electric race car that is the successor to the TMG EV P001 that last year set a class lap record on the Nürburgring in Germany. Toyota says the new Pikes Peak race car will have a top speed of 149 mph, and that its twin electric motors will produce a combined 469 hp and 664 lb-ft of torque. Power is stored in a 42-kWh lithium-ceramic battery. The car will be piloted by Japanese rally driver Fumio Nutahara.
Lexus, meanwhile, will compete in Pikes Peak with a highly modified version of its sports sedan, called the IS F CCS-R. Under the hood is the same 5.0-liter V-8 as a regular Lexus IS F. Despite the addition of a racing exhaust and coolers for the engine and transmission oil, the V-8 makes the same 416 hp and 371 lb-ft of torque as in the factory car.
By stripping the car's interior, installing lightweight door panels, polycarbonate windows, and a carbon-fiber hood and door handles, Lexus has managed to bring the curb weight of the IS F CCS-R to about 3087 pounds, which is nearly 700 pounds lighter than stock. The interior now sports a roll cage, carbon-fiber dashboard with data logger, bucket seat with six-point harness, and a smaller steering wheel with paddles for shifting the eight-speed automatic transmission. The final upgrades include adjustable race suspension parts, larger brakes with additional cooling ducts, a 31.7-gallon fuel tank, fire extinguisher system, and a special Orange Mica paint job.
Both the Toyota electric car and Lexus sports sedan will compete at Pikes Peak on July 8. Several other teams will bring electric racers to the event: Team APEV will enter a machine driven by six-time Pikes Peak winner Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima, Mitsubishi will enter a modified i-MiEV, and there will even be a BMW M3 converted to electric drive.
Sources: Toyota, Lexus