I know this is in exactly a technical question but the outcome of automotive companies actually doing this would bring technical benefits that I don't think we're currently doing towards right now so I am inclined to ask here.

When it comes to automotive performance, just about anyone who pays attention to the topic knows the Nürnberg ring is used to benchmark cars and how well they perform. Why don't companies use pikes Peak in the same fashion?

I lived in the Rocky Mountains for years and knowing which cars and trucks were bound to overheat from hauling things through the mountains was way more valuable information to have opposed to how fast it would go around a signature track. Pikes Peak is the closest thing to a famous mountain track that I know of so why isn't it used as one of the standard benchmarks?

It just seems like a more real world test for cars that could show a considerable difference for some people.

Thanks everyone in advance.

2 Answers 2


Pikes Peak represents a fairly arduous trial and if you hope to race a standard roadcar in the hillclimb you'll find you won't meet the safety requirements. To race a prepared competition car tells you nothing about the road going version, other than it can be made to perform by a race car prep company.

If you intend to do timed testing at other times of the year, you are likely to encounter tourist traffic, hikers, cyclists, etc... as the road is open to sightseers. Also, because of the altitudes involved and because cars struggle to pull enough oxygen from the air at the top you'd have massive variations in time based purely on ambient weather conditions from one day to the next.

The Nurburgring is technically a toll road but it's only open the public traffic at specified times. Outside of these times it's possible for a manufacturer to book the venue specifically for testing.

  • Would you say it would be better placed as a torture test then? Commented Jul 19, 2016 at 13:57
  • @codykochmann It's more that it wouldn't exactly be a valid test at all. To prep a vehicle for a race on that course introduces such heavy modifications that at that point you're basically testing a different vehicle altogether. If you're just driving around it in a stock vehicle, with all the inherent limitations, then it's probably going to end up being not much more than a road test you can do anywhere else, and probably won't give you any more info than you can get with tests on specialized tracks and in the garage - esp. not enough to justify the logistics of carrying out that test.
    – Jason C
    Commented Jul 20, 2016 at 16:17

Pikes Peak is like the Isle of Man TT, it's too dangerous

Pikes Peak is essentially devoid of safety barriers and other modern attributes of an FIM certified track. Guardrails aren't rated and in many cases there aren't even guard rails. Paint lines do not have the FIM certified level of friction co-efficient, there are typically no run off areas and there are solid objects to impact with all along the entirety of the course from trees to giant boulders.

As a result, most professional drivers want nothing to do with this. Today, it is less about glory and more about survival. Money comes next. Using Pikes Peak as a standard bearer for time and performance doesn't makes sense from a marketing perspective if the driver you hire to risk his life on this arduous course get's killed. paid to who was killed today on the deadly Pikes Peak Hill Climb. It's just not good for a corporate image. Having a car drive the Nurburgring is certainly fraut with risk but nothing like the risk associated with Pikes Peak.

Here is a professional drivers account and assessment of Pikes Peak in which he states, "Pikes Peak is the most dangerous circuit I have ever raced on." Apparently he hasn't been to the Isle of Man.

Not Sensible to Push to the Limit at Pikes Peak

Pikes Peak is not known as a circuit where you can go flat out on and get a comparable time against another driver. It's about courage and perhaps stupidity. Using a circuit such as the Nurburgring as the benchmark is more sensible as drivers will be pushing vehicles to the limit rather than holding back to due poor circuit design and safety issues that are associated with a street circuit.

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