Pikes Peak said the first electric car to enter the race to the cloud was a Sears-branded hybrid in 1981. The XDH-1 uses a 1977 Fiat 128 hatchback chassis to lash out, all to promote Sears’ stubborn 12-volt battery. Driver Joe Ball took the top spot with a time of 32:07.42, 20 minutes behind winner Gary Lee Kanawyer in a 1976 Porsche interior rear-engined Newman Dreager racing car. Thirty-three years later, an electric car took the podium with Greg Tracy’s Mitsubishi MiEV Evolution III. The following year, 2015, Rhys Millen won in a custom Drive eO PP03. In 2018, Romain Duman broke the eight-minute mark when he set a hill climb record in the Volkswagen ID.R Pikes Peak.

A 2022 Rivian R1T pickup truck and a 2023 BMW XM Red Label (pictured) will continue this year’s EV parade, and they’ve both been announced as exhibit category entries. They aren’t expected to set any benchmarks among the 74 cars on the entry list, but they will compete 62-2 against a variety of vehicles including the 2021 Tesla Model S Plaid, 2023 Radical SR Diesel, 1949 Ford F1 and 2023 Radford Type .

Rivian is not a factory backed program. Gardner Nichols, a senior performance test engineer at the EV maker, came in on his own. His only other pickup competition would be a 1967 Chevrolet C-10. He’s familiar with uphill sprints, though, and his Instagram page shows him as part of the BBI Autosport team driving a Porsche 911 GT2 RS Clubsport in 2020.

The Munich branding is a factory effort, a necessity, as this particular XM trim won’t go on sale until after the race in June. Matt Mullins, chief instructor at BMW Performance Driving School, will test drive the hottest version of the luxury SUV, the plug-in hybrid V8 Red Label, with more than 735 horsepower and 735 pound-feet of torque, making the rumored “735” license plate have to make sense.However, this is clearly a placeholder entry, an automaker spokesperson told car and driver The company has not yet made a final decision on whether to show up.

For anyone who doesn’t know, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a 12.42-mile test with 156 turns and an elevation gain of 4,725 feet. That gain doesn’t sound like much, but since this is happening in Colorado, the base elevation is already nosebleed-worthy, with the summit of Pikes Peak reaching 14,115 feet.

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