April 25, 2024


Think spectacular technology

Electric cars don’t have to be boring

Pikes Peak Hill Climb. Unsurprisingly, it involves a sprint up to the top of a hill. Specifically, a 12.42-mile 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 12.42-mile hill climb next month?

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