This Four-Rotor, Rear-Drive Mazda3 Could Shriek Up Pikes Peak With 1,200 HP

♫ The hills are alive with the sound of BRAAAAAApAAAAAApAAAAAAAp ♫

byJames Gilboy|
Racing photo


This June will mark the historic 100th running of the world's most extreme hill climb race: Pikes Peak. Because of the event's new ban on motorcycles, though, there will likely be a distinct shortage of revvy engines on the mountain this year. A saving grace is coming from the far side of the globe, though, where famed New Zealand drifter "Mad Mike" Whiddett is readying a special Mazda3 with rear-wheel drive and a monumental quad-rotor engine under the hood.

Mad Mike announced his planned entry on Instagram, where he revealed the Mazda's livery, along with its approximate power level: 1,200 horsepower. As the air pressure at Pikes Peak's 9,300-foot starting line is barely 70 percent that of sea level, and under 60 percent at the 14,115-foot summit, this all but guarantees the howling four-rotor Wankel will lean on turbocharging to make power, as his cars have in the past.

The render above shows a quartet of hood-exit exhausts, which will no doubt shoot fire and plenty of it. There's some serious aero going on, too, from the skirts that run along the bottom to the chassis-mounted wing and rear diffuser. It's assuredly the wildest Mazda3 we've seen—heck, we can't even get a Mazdaspeed variant from the factory.

Though the modified Mazda will apparently retain four seats, it will not be occupied by a co-driver or passengers, as the event's rules forbid both. That means there'll be nobody on board to lose their lunch as Mad Mike meanders his way around the mountain's many unguarded drops, most of which he'll maneuver through sideways if his drifting career so far is any indication of his intent. The only question remaining is whether he'll have a camera crew on hand to put together a film like Ken Block's Climbkhana—if not, there'd better at least be a GoPro onboard to capture what'll be a run for the ages.

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