Car news

17 July 2012

Electric cars don’t have to be boring

Need proof? Look at this man’s reaction to an EV Pikes Peak racer

Matthew Jones
Car image

Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Unsurprisingly, it involves a sprint up to the top of a hill. Specifically, a 19.98-kilometer 156-turn, 4,720-foot race to the clouds on grades averaging seven per cent to a Coloradan mountain's 14,110-foot-high summit.

Not somewhere you'd imaging having a lot of fun in an EV, then. But wait - what's this little rascal rolling through the tyre smoke? It's an E36 BMW built for the legendary hill climb. And the bloke that's driving it seems to be having rather a lot of fun.

It's a 1995 M3 racer with all the oily, internal combustiony bits ripped out and replaced with a two-speed gearbox and pair of 11-inch motors that produce 700hp.

What's that? EVs shouldn't have gearboxes, you say? Well, tech fans, this externally pumped Powerglide two-speed transmission allows its builders - EV West - to get rid of the car's torque converter and run the power directly to a Turbo 400 gearbox's female input shaft. Which basically means it's an automatic ‘box that thinks its a manual.

The net result is a car that makes a man called Bill - a self-taught racing driver, mechanic, and fabricator - very happy, as you can see below...

Anyone else keen to see this take on the 19.98-kilometer hill climb next month?

Tags: bmw, m3



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