Zebulon Pike was frustrated that he could not reach the summit. Nevertheless, he got closer than anyone before, so Pike’s Peak was named for him. His name also appears on VW’s latest race car. The electric I.D. R is aiming to smash the EV record for ascending the mountain, which currently stands just under 9 minutes.
The track is 12.42 miles from start to finish. With only 156 turns, it rises 4,720 feet from the base to the summit. Technology has changed a little over 102 years, but those early pioneers had to face some of the same problems as today. From personal experience, the temperature drops significantly once you are above the treeline. So your summer tires will be fun in the arctic air.
Speaking of air, at an altitude of 14,000 feet there, isn’t much of it. Before turbos and superchargers, naturally aspirated cars lost most of their power as the air got thinner. VW’s car is all-electric, but those fancy aerodynamic parts will just be extra weight. Thin air doesn’t care about spoilers unless you are an SR71.