It's in the caring hands of race driver Randy Pobst
Randy Pobst is headed back to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb. He'll be shoeing for Unplugged Performance and its latest Tesla Model S Plaid race car. Last year Pobst scarily went off the course, but thankfully not off the mountain in 2020's prepped Model 3 racer. Today, we get to watch him practice, sirens blaring to let spectators know a car is coming.
The climb is full of danger. There's weather, of course. At times the sun blows out the road and your eyes, and the next second you're in a shady spot. As the road heats and cools, the grip changes. There's also mechanical failure, which is scary, and human error. You could also be tripped up by the wild animals, strutting across the 12.42-mile, 156-turn, 5,000-foot climb. But Pobst doesn't seem worried.
The Unplugged Performance Plaid uses the stock powertrain from the Model S, which means 1,020 hp and a 0-60 mph time of somewhere around two seconds, though that's with a prepped surface and a rollout. All of the luxury stuff is jettisoned for weight including the airbags, door panels, center console, etc. It has a racing seat with a six-point harness for safety.
The body gets a bigger splitter and adjustable rear wing. It does keep its factory air springs, but Unplugged adds custom dampers and a three-way adjustable antiroll bar. It rolls on Yokohama Advan slicks and custom aluminum wheels. The stock brake calipers stay, but the rotors are replaced. All in all, it sounds formidable.
As Pobst rips off the line, we can see him crest 100 mph easily before the first turn, and stay over 100 mph through some turns. You can see how the sun cuts in and out, and that Pobst's visor is halfway down to try to block some of it. He wears glasses, but not sunglasses, as those darker parts would get even more dangerous.
The sound is even more terrifying. As we've learned, race cars don't sound like normal cars. They always sound ready to explode. In this Pikes Peak Plaid, we can hear squeaks, bangs, rocks hitting the underside, and a ton of tire noise, though it's a little weird without the engine. Towards the end of the clip, it looks like Pobst comes in a little hot, and you can hear him audibly try to calm himself and the car down.
The 99th running of The Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb takes place on June 27. You can stream it live on the Mobil 1 YouTube channel starting at 7 a.m.