The Race to the Clouds will be led by a record-holding car.
Acura is setting up its new 2021 TLX Type S as the pace car for the 99th running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, "brought to you by Gran Turismo." It will be piloted by former host of Wheeler Dealers and co-founder of Radford Motors Ant Anstead. Acura will also be taking a pair of its own TLXs up the hill, along with two NSXs. It will be joined by Bentley, among others, and its new Pikes Peak-conquering Continental GT3.
For the uninitiated, the self-sanctioned Pikes Peak International Hill Climb started way back in 1916. The 12.42-mile, 156-turn, 5,000-foot climb was originally done on both paved and gravel surfaces, but as of 2002 the City of Colorado Springs paved a few miles at a time. The 2011 event was the last version with dirt sections, hence all of the top times now were logged after the faster pavement was completely installed.
The all-wheel-drive Acura TLX Type S features a 355-hp V6 and a ten-speed automatic transmission. It's patented SH-AWD system can send torque to individual wheels whenever needed, like when at the edge of a mountain. A double wishbone suspension and Brembo brakes keep everything right side up.
We drove the new TLX Type S at the Laguna Seca racetrack and nearby areas a few weeks ago and found it perfectly suited to those surrounding roads, feeling even more compliant than the exceptional Audi S4. On the track the Acura's SH-AWD helped nudge around corners, giving it a rear-wheel drive feel. The most aggressive Sport+ mode only felt suited to the track.
The Race to the Clouds goes down on the last Sunday in June, which for 2021 is the 27th. As of right now the 99th running will feature 65 competitors in six divisions including Unlimited, Time Attack 1, Porsche Pikes Peak Trophy by Yokohama (a one-make class), Open Wheel, Pikes Peak Open and Exhibition. The record of the Pikes Peak Open class is currently held by hotshoe Peter Cunningham, coincidentally in a 2019 Acura TLX GT at 9 minutes, 24.433 seconds. The overall record time in the Unlimited Class is held by Romain Dumas who was driving the Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak and clocked in at 7 minutes, 57.148 seconds.
You can watch the race at the official Pikes Peak International Hill Climb YouTube channel.