Hyundai Ioniq 5 N and Ford F-150 Lightning set new Pikes Peak records

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Running up that hill: Hyundai and Ford smash records in famous Pikes Peak hillclimb event

Pikes Peak records set by Hyundai Ioniq 5 N and Ford F-150 Lightning SuperTruck. | Photos: Supplied, composite: Mike Stevens

Hyundai’s N performance division has announced new Pikes Peak records for its Ioniq 5 N in the Electric Modified and Production SUV/Crossover categories this past week, while Ford’s hero F-150 Lightning SuperTruck bested all-comers with the fastest run of the event.

Competing in the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC), both carmakers entered modified versions of their popular EVs. In Ford’s case, the Ford Performance F-150 Lightning SuperTruck made the fastest pass of all 61 competitors in the 102nd running of the PPIHC.

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Driven by Romain Dumas, the electric truck clocked a time of 8:53.553 – an achievement that follows Ford’s 2023 success with the wild SuperVan 4.2.

Dumas even overcame a technical issue during the climb, stopping the truck and resetting it before completing the run.

“The progression of Ford electric vehicles taking on and completing the toughest challenges is a major testament to the hard work and dedication our teams have put into the program,” said Mark Rushbrook, global director of Ford Performance Motorsports.

“We learned a great deal from SuperVan 4.2 in last year’s Pikes Peak International Hill climb and were able to apply that knowledge to this year’s run. It’s onward and upward from here.”

The Ford Performance F-150 Lightning SuperTruck was developed in collaboration with STARD (Stohl Advanced Research and Development) and was equipped with Sparco racing harnesses, safety equipment, and bespoke Pirelli P-Zero tyres.

Racing in a different class, Hyundai competed with two Ioniq 5 N TA (Time Attack) cars and one production Ioniq 5 N. All three cars completed the 20-kilometre course, ascending over 4700 feet (1438 metres) to the Pikes Peak summit – facing 156 turns, unpredictable weather, and high-altitude conditions.

The Ioniq 5 N TA Spec, driven by Hyundai World Rally driver Dani Sordo, finished the race in 09:30.852, winning the exhibition class. The second TA Spec, driven by Randy Pobst, finished in 09:55.551.

Interestingly, Youtuber Kyle Conner (host of the channel Out of Spec, above), said Pobst had told him the Ioniq 5 N TA delivered far better thermal management than the likewise modified Tesla Model S Plaid he’d previously competed in.

“The car was overheating and he was having to drive around those limits. The Plaid would de-rate after 3 minutes, Randy said,” Conner claims.

The production Ioniq 5 N, driven by PPIHC rookie Ron Zaras, finished with a time of 10:49.267 – just edging out a Rivian R1T, driven by Gardner Nichols to a 10:53.883 finish.

“We are thrilled to set a new record at Pikes Peak and our performance overall,” said Till Wartenberg, Vice President and Head of N Brand and Motorsport at Hyundai Motor Company. “We plan to continue leveraging motorsports activities such as Pikes Peak to showcase the performance of our mass-produced vehicles and develop technology that meets customer needs.”

To Hyundai’s credit, the Ioniq 5 N is available in Australia – while the F-150 Lightning, despite rumours and reports, is still nowhere closer to a local launch.

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