Yokohama's HER-02 EV is Gearing Up for Pikes Peak 2013 [w/Videos]

After finishing fifth in its class at Pikes Peak in 2012, Japanese tire manufacturer Yokohama is trying again this year, with the same all-electric vehicle, dubbed the HER-02. Having been in development since 2009, and entered in the famed hill-climb starting in 2010, the vehicle has reached some level of technical stability most likely, if you will, and hopes are high – every year has seen the car perform better, so 2013 should be no exception. It is powered by a 255hp electric motor, which drives the rear wheels, while drawing juice from a 37 kWh battery pack. Still, despite carrying its heavy electricity storage unit around, it weighs only 1,150 kg, or 2535 lbs, and with downforce provided by the two spoilers, a surprising amount of wheel travel for a vehicle of this type (at least that’s what it looks like in the videos), a better finish this year is in the books. Why would the team behind the project bother, if they did not try to beat their previous best? In 2012, the HER-02 crossed the line at Pikes Peak in exactly 11 minutes and 58.974 seconds after it set off, marking a 20+ seconds improvement over its previous performance. There are other, faster EVs out there preparing for the event, but this tubular framed RC car for the road probably seems to be the coolest of them all, thanks to its unconventional and funky design. By Andrei Nedelea