Lightweight Tesla Model S to Compete in Pikes Peak Hill Climb This Year
Electric car will be outfitted with special super-light batteries.
Pikes Peak, beware: After years of sitting on the sidelines, the Tesla Model S is finally coming for you and your world-famous hill climb. And this isn't just any old Model S, mind you. This is a Tesla that's shedding pounds with the specific intention of kicking your 14,115-foot-tall ass.
The Pikes Peak-bound Tesla in question belongs to Blake Fuller, founder of motorsports battery supplier Braille Battery and CEO of mobile battery pack company Go Puck. Fuller is no stranger to the famous hill climb; he clawed his way to the "Rookie of the Year" title back in 1999 at the tender age of 18. He's also no stranger to lightening the battery packs of his Pikes Peak racers; according to his company's website, he was inspired after that first race to hew some poundage from his car's 45 pound battery, eventually developing a replacement that weighed only 11 pounds.
According to the initial report, Fuller's new battery pack is a shocking 80 percent lighter than the production model's electron-holder. Considering the Tesla Model S's standard battery pack weighs about 1,300 pounds, according to Teslarati, shaving off 80 percent of that mass would knock more than half a ton from the Model S's weight. Which, in turn, might be enough to make Fuller's Model S the first production electric car to crack the 13 minute barrier in the hill climb's history.
Details about Fuller's new battery are still few and far between, but Carscoops—who broke the story—claims the new pack will have reduced range compared with the stock version. That said, the competition battery doesn't need to match the lofty kWh outputs of the stock packs—it just needs enough juice to scramble up the 12.42 mile course. Ideally, at an average speed of about 60 miles per hour.
The Drive has reached out to Fuller in an attempt to learn more about his plans; we'll let you know if we hear back.