- Ford Performance is heading to the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb with the electric SuperVan 4.2, an all-electric demonstrator vehicle redesigned from SuperVan 4 for optimal hill climb competitiveness
- Ford vehicles have been competing at Pikes Peak since the first event in 1916, which saw a Model T racing up the mountain
- For 2023’s effort, motorsports icon Romain Dumas will pilot SuperVan 4.2
- Pikes Peak International Hill Climb winds up 156 turns and 4,725 feet to a finish line sitting 14,115 feet above sea level
PIKES PEAK, Colo., June 21, 2023 – Ford Performance is gearing up for the 101st running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb brought to you by Gran Turismo with an electrifying entry – the all-new, improved Ford SuperVan 4.2. This highly anticipated event will showcase the refined all-electric demonstrator’s groundbreaking design, advanced technologies and unique features that optimize its performance for the challenging hill climb.
With a history dating back to a Ford Model T in the inaugural race in 1916, Ford vehicles have consistently left their mark on the iconic Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. This year, motorsports legend Romain Dumas will take the wheel of SuperVan 4.2 in his eighth appearance at the event, with his vast experience and exceptional skill set making him the perfect choice to continue Ford’s rich tradition at America’s most renowned mountain race.
Ford Performance and the experts at STARD Advanced Research and Development joined forces once again to create SuperVan 4.2 specifically designed to conquer America’s mountain and showcase the extreme limits of electric power. As the automotive industry charges forward into an electrified future, SuperVan 4.2 takes center stage, demonstrating the immense potential of electric vehicles in motorsports. With its revised aerodynamics and specific hill climb powertrain, the SuperVan 4.2 is set to electrify the legendary Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
“Together with our STARD partners, we have built the E-Transit SuperVan 4.2 to be a truly competitive machine focused on getting to the top of the mountain quickly,” said Mark Rushbrook, Global Director, Ford Performance Motorsports. “The Pikes Peak Hill Climb presents the perfect opportunity to showcase Ford’s electric vehicle technology and bring light to EV Performance.”
The SuperVan 4.2, refined from the SuperVan 4, has undergone a complete redesign of aerodynamics specifically engineered to cut through the high-altitude air of the Pikes Peak atmosphere while increasing downforce – over 4,400 pounds at 150 miles per hour. Key features to aero include a lightweight carbon fiber rear spoiler and front splitter, both assisting SuperVan 4.2 to stay planted to the winding roads of the mountain. The chassis of SuperVan 4.2 also underwent a weight reduction to improve overall balance and provide agility through the twist of the mountain roads.
Refinements have also been made to the powertrain. By reducing the number of STARD UHP 6-phase motors from four to three, and utilizing STARD’s Ultra High Performance Li-Polymer NMC pouch cells, the van achieves an optimal power-to-weight ratio while retaining its all-wheel-drive system with one motor powering the front and two in the rear. With over 1,050 kW (1,400 horsepower) combined discharge power at its disposal, the SuperVan 4.2 can unleash its full potential while also leveraging the battery's new 600 kW regeneration performance for optimal energy utilization.
“The Ford Performance and STARD teams have been hard at work optimizing SuperVan 4.2 for the Pikes Peak Hill Climb,” said Mike Norton, WRC Program Supervisor & Motorsports Regulations and Homologation, Ford Performance. “From the aero to the revised electric powertrain, I believe our run times on the mountain will be worth tuning in for.”
Diving into the chassis, Ford Performance and STARD equipped SuperVan 4.2 with a revised regenerative braking system with carbon ceramic brake discs, magnesium forged wheels wrapped in Pirelli P Zero™ race tires, upgraded driveshafts, a perspex windscreen, and a minimalist race interior to remove any weight that is not mandatory to SuperVan 4.2 completing its best possible time on the mountain.
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About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) is a global company based in Dearborn, Michigan, committed to helping build a better world, where every person is free to move and pursue their dreams. The company’s Ford+ plan for growth and value creation combines existing strengths, new capabilities and always-on relationships with customers to enrich experiences for customers and deepen their loyalty. Ford develops and delivers innovative, must-have Ford trucks, sport utility vehicles, commercial vans and cars and Lincoln luxury vehicles, along with connected services. The company does that through three customer-centered business segments: Ford Blue, engineering iconic gas-powered and hybrid vehicles; Ford Model e, inventing breakthrough EVs along with embedded software that defines always-on digital experiences for all customers; and Ford Pro, helping commercial customers transform and expand their businesses with vehicles and services tailored to their needs. Additionally, Ford is pursuing mobility solutions through Ford Next, and provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. Ford employs about 173,000 people worldwide. More information about the company and its products and services is available at corporate.ford.com.
About Ford Performance
Ford's racing program is part of the Ford Performance organization based in Dearborn,Mich. It is responsible for major racing operations globally, including NASCAR (Cup Series, Xfinity Series, Craftsman Truck Series), IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge, FIA World Rally Championship, Virgin Australia Supercars, Formula Drift, NHRA Funny Car, off-road desert racing, and sportsman drag racing. In addition, the organization also oversees the development of Ford's racing engines, as well as the outreach programs with all Ford Clubs and Ford enthusiasts. For more information regarding Ford racing's activities, please visit www.fordperformance.com, www.facebook/FordPerformance, Ford Performance on Instagram and @FordPerformance on Twitter.
STARD (Stohl Advanced Research and Development and part of Stohl Group GmbH), founded by CEO Michael Sakowicz, is a research and development specialist company developing high performance automotive, motorsport and advanced technologies, part of Stohl Group GmbH, founded in 2002 by owner and former rally world champion Manfred Stohl. For over a decade, STARD has focused its research and development activities on comprehensive EV powertrain system and component development for motorsport, high performance applications and entire vehicle development. Today, STARD is among the leading pioneers for high quality all electric motorsport solutions including FIA certified battery systems, turnkey powertrains and vehicles. More information is available at www.stard.at.
About About Pikes Peak International Hill Climb
First staged in 1916, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is the second oldest race in America. The invitation-only event, often referred to as The Race to the Clouds is held annually on the last Sunday of June on Pikes Peak – America’s Mountain, near Colorado Springs, Colorado, USA. The famous 12.42-mile (20 km) course consists of 156 turns, boasts an elevation gain of 4,725 feet (1,440 m), and reaches a finish line at 14,115 feet (4,302 m) above sea level. The PPIHC’s six race divisions feature a wide variety of vehicles - from production-based Time Attack challengers to purpose-built Open Wheel racers and state-of-the-art Unlimited vehicles.