Ford repeats with crazy pickup

Ford takes victory at Pikes Peak with a 1,400-hp F-150 Lightning. and an unusual wing

Pikes Peak is one of the most spectacular races of the year. We arrived from Le Mans just over a week ago and, with no time to rest, the world’s most famous climb had already begun.

Pikes Peak is known as the “race to the clouds.” The reason is obvious: it starts at an altitude of 1435 meters above sea level and ends at an altitude of 4301 meters. That is, we are talking about elevation difference 2866 meters which are negotiated with an average gradient of 7% on a 20-kilometer route in which the driver encounters 156 turns.

Great specialists meet every year on the turns of Pikes Peak. On the way up, you’ll have to deal with extremely delicate driving to negotiate corners at breakneck speeds, while at the same time having enough stamina to cover nearly three thousand meters of altitude in just the 10 minutes the race usually lasts.

More or less average time this time, because Pikes Peak has many categories, which allows us to show gadgets designed for and devour curves American Mountain. Categories in which absolutely everything is allowed, provided that the car has four wheels and an engine that pushes it. Thus, Romain Dumas set an absolute test record on the electric prototype of the Germans Volkswagen ID R Pikes Peak – 7 minutes and 57 seconds.

And Dumas repeated the victory this year. Again, like when he did it on a Volkswagen prototype, in the Unlimited category, which allows for the greatest insanity to be demonstrated. He did this aboard a Ford F-150 Lighting, a prototype of an American electric pickup truck. And so much of it arrived that it had to be restarted as soon as it left.

Ford F-150 Lightning, which drives you crazy

It’s not as if the starting signal was given at Pikes Peak and Romain Dumas revved the Ford F-150’s engine into a roar. Because Ford’s crazy prototype is electric. This technology seems ideal for setting records in the mountains of the United States. In fact, Dani Sordo took third place in the Hyundai Ioniq 5, which is, of course, also electric.

At Pikes Peak, internal combustion engines faced an insurmountable problem: a lack of oxygen. As the stroke progresses, the propellant loses power as the volume of oxygen entering the combustion chamber also decreases. To try to solve this problem, supercharging is used with one or more turbochargers that compensate for the increasingly lean mixture that would burn in the chamber if this system were not used.

However, electric models have the great advantage that they do not need a complex motor to produce enormous power. In this case, the weight of the battery plays a disadvantage for the electric vehicle, but the instantaneous acceleration of the electric vehicle and the ease of controlling the power of each wheel and their traction allow it to achieve impressive numbers.

Ford proved that this year with the F-150 Lightning SuperTruck. The model replaced the Ford Pro Electric SuperVan 4.2. This time the team introduced a model equipped with three six-phase STARD UDH electric motors and an NMC “Ultra High Performance” battery, which Ford says allowed them to produce up to 1,400 hp. This figure, however, is far from 2000 hp. last year’s van.

The pickup had a striking carbon fiber body and, above all, a giant spoiler capable of generating 2,721 kg of aerodynamic load at a speed of 241 km/h in order to maximize cornering and be able to exit the corner as quickly as possible. as fast as possible. The idea was something like this: a Scalextric car sticks to the track as if it had a huge magnet.

With his weapon, Dumas completed the lap in 8:53.553 minutes, followed by Christian Merli in second place with a time of 9:04.454, who competed in the Unlimited category. Sordo, third, ran a 9:30.852, although he competed in the Exhibition category.

Overall, Dumas’s victory should have been more crushing. During the first part of the circuit, the Ford lost up to 25 seconds in the parking lot after a problematic start, which could only be resolved by completely restarting the car. Behind rebootDumas soaked up the corners until he crossed the finish line first.

Photos | Ford

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