posted on June 29, 2010 20:29
Skyscraper!: A Technical Look Inside Rhys Millen's Hyundai Genesis PM580 Pikes Peak Open Class Slate Cleaner
By Mike Kojima, Photos and video by Jeff Naeyaert
The Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is an American racing institution. The first running of the Pikes Peak Hill Climb in 1916 was promoted by Colorado Springs Luminary Spencer Penrose. Penrose had just finished widening a narrow carriage road into the much wider and smoother "Pikes Peak Highway" to the summit of Pikes Peak. Penrose started and promoted the "Race to the Clouds" as an attraction to encourage tourists to visit.
From the starting line at mile 7 of the Pikes Peak Highway, the course winds through 156 turns and 12.4 miles of dirt and tarmac gaining 9390 feet on a grade averaging 7%, peaking out at the 14,115 foot summit. The Pikes Peak Hill Climb is one of the toughest to drive and most dangerous motorsports events in North America.
With the nose off you can see the large splitter that is integrated into the flat floor. You can also see the ducting on the splitter for the twin oil coolers and the venturis for downforce in front of the front tires. On either corner of the windscreen, you can see the ducts leading to the side mounted coolant heat exchangers that take air from the nose's main large air inlets.
The event is one of the most challenging for the race car designer as well. The course is made of high speed pavement combined with slippery and rough dirt sections. The air is oxygen poor and ridiculously thin near the summit. An engine will lose at least 30% of its power as it climbs and near the summit, a driver's strength and reflexes seriously decline. Many drivers use on board oxygen systems to help deal with the altitude. The thin air also greatly limits the effectiveness of aerodynamic aids, reducing downforce.
The cars range in design from one off specials which look like a World of Outlaws Sprint Car, a WRC car and an Indy car had a kinky coupling, to WRC Rally car variants with heavily tweaked aero and engines, to things that look like prototype racers with 4WD. The rules for the Open Class are quite open except for safety requirements and the open rules mean that there is quite an interesting technical diversity of car racing, heaven for the car geek.
|The PM580 pulls to the line and gets the green flag.
|Servo auto focus, 5 frames per second and a dork cameraman could not keep up with the uberfast PM580. For good action photos we suggest going to Motormavens.com and Speedhunters.com
|The PM580 has a very compact cabin necessitated by space for the AWD system.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 9:16 AM
You guys are blowing me away with this excellent racing coverage! I'm loving every word of it. This car looks like so much fun to be a part of. I can integrate AEM EMS with a dedicated transmission controller too. Where's my stupid-awesome motorsports job?
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 9:39 AM
I'm so glad you guys covered this car.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 10:16 AM
Astounding car! MotoIQ rocks!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 11:24 AM
Man that sure is a tiny cockpit! Rhys looks a little like one of those clowns riding a tricycle at the circus :) I think both Rhys and Monster will break the 10 minute mark next year, but I hope Rhys will break the mark by more, returning the record to his family.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 11:47 AM
The DIY semi-auto tranny is pretty ingenious, too bad they couldn't dominate this year. Fortunately they now have a year to de-bug all the systems and take that venerable machine to the top in under 10 minutes.
I am also really excited that MotoIQ is getting all this inside access into these wonderfully engineered machines!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 6:13 PM
This is freaking awesome! You guys are the real deal.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 8:27 PM
i would like to take a second to step back and marvel at the progression that Hyundai has made in the last ten years.
a decade ago, if you told me that there was a serious contender in the pikes peak open class and that it was powered by Hyundai, id tell you that you must be mistaken and i would have to see it to believe it.
this car might just be crazier than the guy who drives it.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 8:55 PM
Wasn't there a twin engine Tiburon on the Peak 5 or more years back?
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 9:34 PM
It was a Suzuki.
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 11:00 PM
Awesome article about another amazing car!
Funny, a couple of weeks ago I was thinking about suggesting in the forums about covering this car and the Tajima Monster.
Now it is one down, one to go ;)
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 11:11 PM
The Tajima Monster is coming!
Wednesday, June 30, 2010 11:31 PM
Oy :) Can't wait
I hope you managed to take shots of her naked 'cause I've never found such no matter how much I googled. Search engines were finding race shots or posing, but never without clothes :)
Thursday, July 01, 2010 3:15 PM
That's what you get because I apparently suck at getting action pictures. The other difference is we are friends with Rhys so he was willing for us to show everything with his car, while the Monster team is a little more secretive, plus with the language barrier we could not communicate.
Saturday, July 03, 2010 9:42 PM
Is there any book, that teach how to build space frame,esp abt table jig?
Thursday, December 23, 2010 8:46 AM
There is a RedBull video on Youtube showing the first test run of the car. Not trying to be a smart ass, it seems the car is not all that well balanced, and tends to spin a lot (oversteer).
Ok, I know it's got 750 poneys or more under the hood, but last year's Gronholm's Fiesta had about the same amount of power (currently at the disposal of a certain Ken Block), and the car reacts very differently.
Maybe this has to do with Rhys personal preferences (suspension, dif bias, etc), since is into drift so much, but it just looked a bit to much sideways, even when he was not acelerating too hard. And it was on tarmac.
Now I'm not sure that building a rally supercar out of a circuit racing car is the best option, but I hope Rhys proves me wrong next year.
Anyway, it's a dream of a car, and luckly for the car enthusiast, thank Goodness there are guys out there who can manage so much power while taking so much risk.
P.S. Pike's Peak rule.
Thursday, January 13, 2011 10:20 AM
Marillionado, you are on the right track. Rhys built off of a sports racer platform which are notorious for a lack of steering angle yet all he has been doing for 10 years is drifting. There was bound to be steep learning curve to begin with which was only made worse with the distinct lack of development and testing they had on the car. They took a lot of risks and gambles (as any good team does) that didn't pay off at all. They do, however, have a car that will be relevant for much longer than the rest of us at the peak who will be back at the drawing board in 2012 when the whole thing is paved.
I look forward to seeing what changes they make and how the car comes out fighting in a few months.
Pikes Peak is a bizarre place with a whole lot of concepts of what does/doesn't work. Even the best engineers find themselves throwing shite at the wall to see what sticks.
Sunday, January 16, 2011 2:19 AM
Never new how extreme the new car was going to be when RMR asked me for the bellhousing drawings of the Lambda II engine and briefly described their new project. MotoIQ's in-depth coverage of the icar is awesome. Great write up Mike!
Wednesday, August 29, 2012 3:06 PM
Anyway to get more pictures of how the Awd drivetrain is layed out? I am really curious how they pulled that off. Is the motor mounted like a porsche 911 with the tranny coming foward? Or is it mounted like a FWD set-up laterally? Anymore info would be great!
Thursday, September 27, 2012 10:47 AM
ok. Found out that the center diff had a ford stamp with 83bg on it but that's it. So do they have a typical longitudinal transmission mounted in the car, with a transfer case bolted to that, and then that runs power to that center diff, and then to the front diff?!?!?!
What is that center diff? When I look up the partial part number the best I can see is its a rear diff from a ford sierra. Can you use a rear diff as a center diff there and somehow then control your torque split?
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