Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak: The History And Specs

The Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak is a dirt track race car manufactured by the Japanese automaker Suzuki Motor Corporation. The same car is known as Sidekick in North America (manufactured until 1999) and Vitara in Australia, Europe, and the Philippines. Produced in the year 1996, it gained recognition in the same year by taking part in the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb mountain race, also known as The Race to the Clouds.

The racing event takes place in the United States every year. It is an automobile and motorcycle hillclimb race where the participating vehicles compete to reach the summit of Pikes Peak in Colorado.

The History Of Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak

The Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak, also known as the Suzuki Vitara, is a high-performance racing car specifically designed for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, an annual motorsport event held in Colorado, United States. The history of the Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak is closely intertwined with the success it achieved in the Pikes Peak Hill Climb.

The car gained popularity in the production year and the credit goes to the man Nobuhiro “Monster” Tajima—a rally driver and tuning shop owner. The popularity skyrocketed after being featured in the racing simulation video game series Gran Turismo.

pikes peak escudo
Featured on the Gran Turismo game series. (Photo: cyberspaceandtime)

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Tajima started participating in the Pikes Peak challenge in 1989. He drove a V6 Suzuki Escudo in 1995 that was the winner that year. From 1998 to 2001, he won the Queenstown Gold Rush International Auto Hill Climb with the Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak.

Gran Turismo was first released in 1997. The Pikes Peak Escudo made to the second, third, and fourth versions of the video game. The fans must have remembered the car for its powerful performance.

Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak Specs

With a front-engine placement design, the four-wheel drive was an advanced racing car at that time. It stood out with a Twin Turbo V6 engine, DOHC 3 Valves/Cyl valvetrain, and a 6-speed sequential transmission. It can rev up at 8100 rpm and produce 734.5 kW/985 bhp. The output is an impressive 492.99 bhp per liter.

Suzuki revamped it in 1998 for the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb race. The new unit features two 2.5L Twin Turbo V6 engines, one for the front and the other for the rear side. The 4WD drivetrain and the engine can make the car rev at 9000 rpm and yield a whopping 981 bhp (974 hp). You can accelerate the car up to 206 mph.

The mega-popular game Gran Turismo featured the car from the second installment (from 1999 onward). The virtual car available in Gran Turismo 3 can speed up to a whopping 460 km/h and you can tune it up to more than 1906 hp. Players can purchase it for 1,000,000 credits from the Suzuki Special Dealership in the game. You can also get it as a reward if you can complete all rally events in Gold status. It was the fastest car that you can buy in this game.

suzuki escudo for sale
The model is available for sale. (Photo: gr8autophoto)

How Fast Is Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak?

The top speed that the Suzuki Escudo can reach is about 250 mph. However, the exact speed will depend on models and years. 

As we know, the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb is a challenging event with a mix of paved and dirt sections, tight turns, and significant elevation changes, which can affect the overall speed achieved.

In 1996, when Ari Vatanen set the overall record in the Escudo Pikes Peak, he completed the course in 10 minutes and 47.220 seconds. This record-breaking run showcased the incredible speed and performance of the vehicle.

Since then, other drivers and teams have continued to compete with modified versions of the Escudo Pikes Peak, aiming to achieve fast times and break records. However, without specific information on the most recent developments or achievements, it is difficult to provide an exact figure for the current speed of the Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak.

Watch more about the features of Suzuki Escudo – one of the most legendary cars in this video:

Suzuki Escudo For Sale

Racing car lovers might be drooling after reading about the specs and performance of Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak. Well, it’s tough to get hold of this model, but you can be the owner of a used Suzuki Escudo. It’s possible to score a fully operational, good-conditioned model at less than $5,000.