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 optimise 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 centre 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 fibre 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 optimising 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.