Watch Tesla Model 3 Tackle Pikes Peak
Tesla Model 3 put through its paces in a grueling Pikes Peak hill climb
Well, sorry, naysayers. The Tesla Model 3 handled the climb without any problems.
Pikes Peak is a grueling endeavor for any vehicle, as it features 156 turns and a change of elevation of almost 5,000 feet (1,524 meters). Before it was paved, Pikes Peak was most notoriously famous for gut-wrenching, no guard rail, madmen sliding it all over the place in puny little 800+ horsepower beasts. While modernization and betterment came to Pikes Peak, the hill still presents a rather treacherous and daunting task for any driver.
For the Tesla Model 3, unlike its ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) counterparts, the difference in the height or the thin air up near the summit aren’t a problem. While the Model 3’s battery cooling, suspension or brakes aren’t built for such a high-performance situation, the little Model 3 handled the 12.42-mile climb flawlessly and with no signs of performance degradation – as noted by Peter Lafford, the Model 3’s owner.
Peter isn’t a Pikes Peak newbie, by any means. He took on the hill climb numerous times in the past, with several of those runs featuring a vehicle with an internal combustion engine. His experience in the Model 3 was anything short than impressive and the compact electric car took anything steep climb could throw at it without breaking a sweat. The vehicle started the climb with an 80% charge, reaching the summit with 60% available. By using the regenerative braking feature, Peter was able to recover an impressive 8% of the power while trekking down to the toll booth at the bottom of the hill.
Mind you, this isn’t the upcoming Tesla Model 3 Performance model, making the worry-free climb even more impressive.
To be fair, electric vehicles have an inherent advantage while traversing the Pikes Peak climb. They don’t have an engine that becomes starved for oxygen when the attitude gets higher and can go all out most of the way of the climb – as was proven recently when Volkswagen’s I.D. R vehicle — an electric supercar designed specifically for Pikes Peak hill climb — ran the Pikes Peak Challenge in a mind-numbing speed, reaching the summit in just 7:57.148 and thus shattering the all-time record.
You can watch Peter’s Pikes Peak hill climb drive in his silver Model 3 above.