A Tesla Model S has set a new record for a production electric vehicle at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, completing the run in 11min 48sec.
Breaking the previous record for an electric vehicle by more than a minute, the lightly modified Tesla Model S P90D was stripped of airbags and some of its interior and equipped with a bolt-in roll cage.
Driver Blake Fuller, who is boss of Go Puck, a battery technology firm, made the modifications, which include cutting around 360kg from the overall weight.
To cool the battery, the Go Puck team used an unconventional method: giving the Model S an ice bath with ice stuffed beneath its underbody.
Fuller drove the 12.42-mile hillclimb with its 156 turns in 11min 48.264sec, beating the Zero electric motorcycle 13-minute record set two years ago. Overall, the Model S was placed 65th in the rankings.
It is the first time that a Tesla Model S has competed in the Pikes Peak run; a Tesla Roadster participated two years ago.
The overall winner of the race was Romain Dumas – one week after winning the LMP1 category at Le Mans with Porsche. Driving his Honda-powered Norma M20 RD Limited, he completed the course in 8min 51.445sec. Sébastien Loeb, who drove a Peugeot 208 T16 up the hill in 8min 13.878sec in 2013, holds the all-time record.
Tesla has recently introduced new entry-level versions of the Model S, the 60 and all-wheel-drive 60D, which use a 60kWh battery pack.