Hyundai Outshines Tesla at Pikes Peak Hill Climb

Hyundai beats Tesla At Pikes Peak

Dani Sordo, a three-time World Rally Championship stage winner, downplayed the challenge of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, saying it’s “not really a question of balls.”

But the reality is far more daunting. The 12.42-mile course winds up a mountain, with elevation changes reaching 14,115 feet, and no guard rails to protect drivers from steep drops. The event is so dangerous that motorcycles were banned a few years ago due to the high risk of fatalities.

Hyundai Ioniq 5 N TA Spec outruns Tesla Model S (Hyundai/Tesla)

Despite these challenges, Hyundai entered the race with a modified Ioniq 5 N, built in just six months. This was a remarkable feat, considering most automakers spend years and millions of dollars preparing for Pikes Peak.

The team, led by Bryan Herta Autosport, had to work quickly to prepare the car and its drivers, including Sordo, Randy Pobst, and Ron Zaras.

The stakes were high, with only one chance to set an official record on race day. Hyundai’s approach was different from other manufacturers, who build custom silhouette racers with powerful powertrains and advanced aerodynamics.

Instead, the Ioniq 5 N was relatively simple, yet still brutally fast and track-capable. The team’s aggressive strategy paid off, with the Ioniq 5 N setting a new modified EV record.

It was a remarkable achievement, given the short preparation time and the challenges of the course. Hyundai’s success at Pikes Peak is a testament to the company’s determination and the capabilities of its electric vehicles.