Honda Sets New Electric-Vehicle Record at Pikes Peak Hill Climb

9/27/1999 6:22:00 AM

After a five-year hiatus, Honda returned to the 77th annual Pikes Peak International Hill Climb and set a new record for electric vehicles. This year, Teruo Sugita drove a race-prepared version of Honda's EV PLUS to a finishing time of 15:19.91 on the treacherous mountain road.

Sugita, a Saitama, Japan native, first came to Pikes Peak five years ago when his company, Rodeo, a high-performance off-road parts manufacturer for Honda vehicles, prepared the winning EV Type R driven by Katy Endicott. Sugita was determined to return to Pikes Peak and run the race himself, said Greg Thomas, senior engineer for Honda R&D Americas, Inc.

So this year as the only entry in the electric car division, Sugita drove a 1997 Honda EV PLUS Type R, breaking the previous record set in 1997 by almost 13 seconds in his rookie year.

The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is run on a 12.42-mile course on a groomed gravel highway, with 156 left and right-hand turns. The race begins at an elevation of 9,390 feet and finishes at an altitude of 14,110 feet. The race attracts an international field of auto, truck and motorcycle competitors.

Teruo Sugita and his Pikes Peak Hill Climb race car based on the Honda EV PLUS.