Winning by a hair would have been an improvement for Rhys Millen, who came away from Pikes Peak as the King of the Mountain by a scant 0.017 second. That’s right, after cutting 156 apexes and climbing to 14,100 feet, the difference was 17 hundredths of a second. Millen and his Time Attack–class Hyundai Genesis coupe completed the hillclimb in 9:46.164. The unlucky runner-up, Romain Dumas, winner of the ’10 24 Hours of Le Mans, and his Open class Porsche GR3R put up a 9:46.181. Millen’s run broke Nobuhiro Tajima’s previous Pikes Peak International Hill Climb course record by more than five seconds. “With the newly paved section of the course and the hot weather conditions, a lot of people failed or crashed. Our car’s balance remained the same from practice to race day using these Hankook F200 tires this entire run. Even on a slick tire and torrential downpour in the last mile and a half, with the heat we were able to achieve in the tires, the grip was still adequate, and we were able to produce a new world record,” said a jubilant Millen.
Time Attack: Rhys Millen / Huntington Beach CA / 9:46.164 (Course Record)
Pikes Peak Open: Romain Dumas / Basel, Switzerland / 9:46.181 (New Record)
Open Wheel: Spencer Steele / Denver, CO / 4:13.240 *
Super Stock Car (Modified): Layne Schranz / Birmingham, AL / 4:21.290 *
Super Stock Car: Clint Vahsholtz / Woodland Park, CO / 4:36.870 *
Vintage Auto RMVR: Jess Neal / Colorado Springs, CO / 12:03.858 (New RMVR Record)
Unlimited: David Donner / Colorado Springs, CO / 10:04.652
Electric Auto: Fumio Nutahara / Hokkaido, Japan / 10:15.380 (New Record)
Exhibition:Rick Knoopq / Laguna Beach, CA / 10:56.240
* Shortened course/weather -
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Fiat has spent a lot of time and money getting Americans to embrace the Abarth name and associate it with serious performance. So, we are left wondering if the news of a turbo variant of the 500 will impact the Abarth’s reputation . . . and its sales. A standard-issue Fiat 500 makes 101 hp, the Abarth is rated at 160, and the new 500 Turbo pumps out 135 and comes in under $20,000 at $19,500 compared with the Abarth price tag of $22,000. The Turbo gets Abarth better brakes and suspension and a number of other body and interior upgrades.
The land of Foster’s beer, Crocodile Dundee, and shrimp on the barbie will be getting a limited-edition Subaru WRX. The Club Spec will encompass 300 copies and offer style-conscious Aussies a leather interior, black color-matched, 17-inch alloys, an STI spoiler, exclusive grille work, and sport mirrors. Available only in Tangerine Orange or black, the Club Specs will be four-door sedans with five-speed manual transmissions. What does the U.S. market have to do to deserve a special-edition WRX? Other markets get Spec C, A-Line Type S, or STI 340R. We don’t care what it’s called—just show us the love.
What does the U.S. market have to do to deserve a special-edition WRX?
Earth Dreams is Honda’s equivalent of Mazda’s SkyActiv technology that combines design and manufacturing techniques to maximize drivetrain efficiency. Automotive News reports that the automaker will be focusing on getting a number of new engine/gearbox combinations under the hoods of Hondas.
The ’14 Civic will benefit from Earth Dreams, getting a 1.8L 148-horse four that is 8 ponies and 3 lb-ft of torque better than the current base engine. A CVT gearbox may also be in the cards. The B-segment Fit will get a 10-horse shot in the arm thanks to an Earth Dreams 1.5L that produces 127 hp. The new 1.5L will most likely be teamed with a CVT.
The all-new Accord will sport an Earth Dreams 2.4L four and a CVT. Rest assured that Accord coupe pilots will still be able to get a six-speed manual with the gutsy V6. With all these economy engines in line, we can’t help but wonder where the performance versions are.
Not only are they supremely tunable, but the wicked-hot ’13 Subaru BRZ and Scion FR-S are also award-winning safe. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has recognized the dynamic duo as a ’12 Top Safety Pick. They have earned a “good” rating—the IIHS’ top rank—in the moderate overlap frontal, side, rollover, and rear impact evaluations.
The Top Safety Pick recognizes vehicles that, in IIHS testing, do the best job of protecting people in front, side, rear, and now rollover crashes based on “good” ratings in each category. The IIHS ranks in terms of Good, Acceptable, Marginal, and Poor, with good being the top rank possible in Institute tests. Winners also must have electronic stability control. Subaru is the only automaker to earn Top Safety Picks for its entire lineup.
“With BRZ, Subaru has brought back the affordable sports car, and FHI engineering in the product has led not only to great driving fun but also top safety marks,” said Thomas J. Doll, executive vice president and COO, Subaru of America Inc. “We are passionate and uncompromising in our commitment to safety. Subaru is thrilled to continue as an industry leader in this area.”
Subaru is the only automaker to earn Top Safety Picks for its entire lineup.
Jonathan Start of Caledonia, Michigan, won the inaugural Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car B title behind the wheel of his No. 00 Kawartha Chrysler/Fiat/SpeedlogiX Fiat 500. In the Touring Car B Manufacturers’ Championship, Honda took top honors with 67 points, Fiat was second with 44, followed by Ford with 36, Kia with 33, Mazda with 28, and Mini with 5 points.
The series was contested by B-segment cars like the Kia Rio, Honda Fit, Mazda2, Mini Cooper, and Ford Fiesta, and Chevy may join the fray next season as the series looks to expand its horizons.