Pikes Peak has changed. After all, it couldn't be otherwise, for a race that has reached its 102nd edition. Although on a completely asphalted course (previously it was on dirt) and with a few other minor changes, the most famous hillclimb race in the USA and perhaps the world has retained its old-world charm.

For some time now, many electric cars have been successfully competing in the so-called Race to the Clouds. In fact, the summit is 4,302 metres above sea level.

Volkswagen's record

After the Volkswagen ID.R, which set the overall course record in 2018 with Romain Dumas, the last few years have also seen Tesla Model 3 and Model S prepared cars whizzing through Colorado. This year, the field of zero-emission starters was particularly large.

Rivian R1T prepared for Pikes Peak reaches 1,025 hp

For the first time in history (which began in 1916), an electric car was also used as a pace car. It was an Acura ZDX, but mainly capturing the attention of the public and enthusiasts were the Rivian R1T Ascend Quad Max, Ioniq 5N and Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck.

Watch out for those... three

Let's start with Rivian, which set the record for production pick-ups last year, but had not beaten the best time for production electric cars, held by a Model 3 Performance (11'02"802).

The R1T used in this 2024 had 190 PS more, coming in at 1,025 PS, and finished the climb with a time of 10'53"883. The record lasted as long as a round of applause. The car that started next, the Ioniq 5N, was in fact 4 seconds faster (10'49"267), making it the queen among battery-powered cars. By a whisker, the Ioniq 5N also missed out on taking home the best overall time in the SUV category, currently signed by a Bentley Bentayga (11'48"902). Hyundai also raced in the Time Attack category, again with a modified Ioniq 5N. Driven by rally driver Dani Sordo, it set the category record in 9'30"852.

Bad luck Ford

Among the electric cars that took part in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (this is the official name) was - as mentioned - also a Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck, a vehicle heavily modified from the standard one and equipped with no less than 1,400 PS. It was the fastest pick-up ever and the only one to go under the 9-minute wall.

It finished with a time of 8'53"553, an excellent time that was, however, no better than the time set by Ford itself in 2023 with the 'SuperVan', a bulletproof Transit Electric that had done 8'47"682. The fact is that the SuperTruck had a problem in the first sector of the course. It switched off and came to a complete stop, losing about half a minute. A real shame. Not least because there are already rumours about the possible presence of a Tesla Cybertruck next year.