2024 Marks the First Year an EV Will Be the Pace Car at PPIHC
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2024 Marks the First Year an EV Will Be the Pace Car at PPIHC

2024 Marks the First Year an EV Will Be the Pace Car at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb - Acura ZDX Type S
  • The 2024 Acura ZDX Type S will be the first electric SUV to pace the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, marking Acura’s 10th time leading the race.
  • Acura’s ZDX Type S features 500 horsepower, 544 lb-ft of torque, and advanced features like all-wheel drive and Brembo brakes.
  • BMX driver and drifter Coco Zurita will pilot the pace car, chosen for his experience in extreme sports and with Acura vehicles.

As the start of the 102nd Running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb gets closer, the Gran Turismo has announced the Official Pace Car and the driver. The honors go to Acura and a veteran BMX driver and amateur drifter.


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Acura Sets the Pace

The official pace car will be the 2024 Acura ZDX Type S. This is the first time an electric SUV will serve as the official pace car, and it’s the 10th time an Acura will set the pace for the iconic hill climb race.


The 2024 Acura ZDX Type S is a high-performance all-electric vehicle that has just begun arriving on dealership lots. This peppy electric SUV is tuned to deliver 500 horsepower and 544 lb-ft of torque. THe ZDX Type S features all-wheel drive, 50:50 weight distribution, and a low center of gravity. Acura outfitted it with 15.6-inch Brembo front brakes and a performance air suspension with adaptive dampers. The EV comes with a 102-kWh battery pack that needs about 42 minutes to charge from 20% to 80% with a DC fast charging station.

2024 Acura ZDX Type S plugged in to EV charger

Acura offers the ZDX in four trim levels. Along with the Type S, the EV is available in the A-Spec RWD with one electric motor, the A-Spec AWD with two motors, and the Type S Performance Wheel & Tire. The starting MSRP on the A-Spec RWD is $64,500.

Melissa Eickhoff, PPIHC CEO, said, “From their supercar NSX to high-performance SUVs, we have seen many impressive Acura vehicles take the first green flag over the last ten years. Acura’s constant pursuit of precision crafted performance sets the perfect example for the 70 competitors to follow.”


Why EVs Succeed at Pikes Peak

The EV should have an advantage over ICE vehicles that require air for the combustion chambers. Many manufacturers put turbochargers into their race cars to compensate for reduced oxygen. Vehicles with natural aspiration suffer from horsepower loss as they climb into the higher altitudes. EVs do not use oxygen as a power booster, so the Acura ZDX should maintain horsepower and torque for the twisting hill climb. The current Pikes Peak record is held by Romain Dumas, who drove a Volkswagen ID.R to the top in 7:57:1.48 in 2018.


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The Acura EV will be joined by two Integras: an A-Spec driven by Paul Hubers and a Type S DE5 driven by Katherine Legge.


Who’s Behind the Wheel

The automaker also announced the Pace Car driver: Coco Zurita, who is known for his prowess as a BMX rider, car turner, and drifter. Humphrey said about Zurita, “As an extreme sports athlete, ranking among the top BMX athletes in the world, he has no fear of high elevations, making him the perfect person to take our ZDX Type S to the summit.”

BMX driver and drifter Coco Zurita will pilot the pace car, a 2024 Acura ZDX Type S at this year's Pikes Peak International Hill Climb

Zurita has tuned many Acura models, working side-by-side with the automaker and his customers. His special designs have been a hit with enthusiasts, especially an Acura TLX that debuted at the 2024 Acura Grand Prix of Long Beach. He also customized an Acura Integra for the 2022 SEMA Show.

Zurita’s BMX experience began in Santiago, Chile, when he started competing when he was 14 years old. He regularly finishes at or near the top at X Games competitions. He’s well known in the drifting community.



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IMAGES: ACURA

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AUTHOR: 

KRISTEN BENTLEY

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