Rimac built the eRunner for one purpose - to tame the world famous Pikes Peak hillclimb. The car did just that and then evo was invited to sample the extreme electric racer on a Croatian racetrack. Watch the video to see how we got on...
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb presents a very unique challenge in the world of motorsport. The finish line is 14,000ft above sea level and there’s a steep 7 per cent incline to get there. Such an environment, combined with very few restrictions on the cars competing, has created some wild-looking machines dominated by colossal wings and almost dangerously large splitters.
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The Tajima Rimac eRunner, made up of a central seat surrounded by vast downforce generating addenda, looks like a typical Pikes Peak car but underneath its bespoke carbonfibre bodywork the eRunner is no traditional hill climber. It couldn’t be better suited to the Rocky Mountain course.
Its powertrain, developed by Rimac Automobili, consists of four electric motors (one for each wheel) that give the car approximately 1500bhp. Unlike internal combustion engines that need oxygen to produce power (something that’s pretty rare at the high altitude of the Pikes Peak course), electric motors don't have to breathe and will make the same power at any height. It means that the eRunner can sustain its performance right to the finish line.
As the electric racer only needs to last the 12.5 miles of the hill climb, the batteries will only cover a distance of approximately 15 miles when the car is driven at full speed. Its custom-built tyres have a similar lifespan, too.
This dedicated attitude proved successful and, driven by nine-time Pikes Peak winner Nobuhiro Tajima, the eRunner finished second overall in the 2015 Pikes Peak hillclimb.
Having now completed its task, we were invited to drive the eRunner and evo’s Road test editor Dan Prosser went out to Croatia to experience what the all-electric racer was capable of. The location might not have been quite as impressive as the epic Colorado mountain that the car was designed to master, but the Grobnik circuit still provided a stunning backdrop.