The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is known as the race to the clouds, and for good reason. Though the race technically covers about 12.4 miles, that distance takes place over a 4,720 ft. rise in elevation, with the finish line 14,115 above sea level. The last time Volkswagen competed in the uphill clamber, a technical failure kept driver Jochi Kleint from finishing. Now, a team of engineers has rebuilt the bi-motor Volkswagen Golf from 1986, to commemorate VW mounting a comeback to the PPIHC.
Driver Romain Dumas won’t be navigating the rigorous, 156 turn Coloradan mountain with the ’86 golf. He’ll be driving the 680 hp I.D.R., an all electric, twin motor supercar. But that didn’t keep Jörg Rauchmaul, Volkswagen’s head mechanic, and a team from resuscitating the Golf II, their last representative at the race. By the numbers, the ’86 Golf II astounded. Two 1.8-liter, four cylinder engines join forces to produce 652 horsepower. The car’s uber-light, 2,248 pound frame floated like a cloud up the steep, near-vertical climb. Then, a malfunction halted its steam just a quarter mile from the finish. The climb will happen June 24, and Volkswagen will attempt to restore its good name, and rise to the top of International racing.