Why You Should Care About A Tesla Model 3 Going To Pikes Peak

Photography: Renz Dimaandal

  • Evasive Motorsports unveils Tesla Model 3 racecar built to break the production EV record at the 99th running of Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.
  • With a long resume of focusing on JDM builds and time attack performance, Evasive Motorsports believes in the future of EV and plans to make track-proven parts for Tesla owners in the future.
  • Pikes Peak International Hill Climb remains one of the most dangerous races in the world, scaling 14,115 ft and stretching 12.42 miles. There are no guard rails or barriers to save cars from tumbling down mammoth cliffs, which have recorded 7 casualties in its history.
  • Pit+Paddock collaborated with Evasive Motorsports to throw a launch event and open house to help show off the Tesla to hundreds of industry partners, influencers, and media.

When I ask most enthusiasts about their thoughts on electric cars today, the majority could care less and hate the idea of losing the sound, shifting, and soul of what makes a car fun to drive, own, and modify. I, too, am guilty as charged, as I’ve always hated the way every new electric car looks, not to mention my few brief stints in a Tesla, Chevy Bolt, and Nissan Leaf were quite underwhelming. And let’s not get into the occasional pain in the ass it is to find a charging station and how long it takes to reach full power. I’m in and out of my local Mobil station in under two minutes. Beat that.

But ladies and gentlemen… Times are changing, the pressure for car manufacturers to go green and become more efficient is ever-so apparent. Fuel prices will undoubtedly continue to climb, and lawmakers are more than likely to make it harder for petrol-addicted enthusiasts to enjoy our cars, all in the name of going hybrid and electric.

I was very anti-EV despite knowing all of this very well. It wasn’t until I spent an entire day test driving a Porsche Taycan that I began to change my views. It was a life-changing experience piloting a super sophisticated luxury sedan that still felt, drove, and carried itself like a Porsche, however, powered by lithium-ion batteries. The Taycan hauls ass, handles like a 911, and looks the part of a sexy German touring car, which ultimately opened up my eyes to what’s possible and what can be exciting in the world of electric vehicles. Today marks another one of those incredible feats in the EV world as Pit+Paddock unveils the Evasive Motorsports x Turn 14 Distribution Pikes Peak Model 3, which is arguably the coolest Tesla race car anyone has ever witnessed to date.


We associate the name Evasive Motorsports with all things track and time attack. My first taste of Evasive was witnessing what felt like their enormous posse of Mitsubishi Evo and Honda S2000 project cars, many of which set lap records at tracks like Buttonwillow Raceway. They would later accomplish some pretty rad things like developing their own aero and parts line called EVS Tuning; also campaigning a Scion FR-S to Tsukuba Circuit in Japan, and eventually winning their class in a 2JZ-powered Toyota 86 at Pikes Peak International Hill Climb last year. They’ve stayed true to their JDM-influenced and function-focused roots. It’s been a delight watching them grow and expand in the previous 19 years, which includes moving into their new 20,000 square foot facility in Cerritos, California.

With all that said, though, they’re perhaps one of the last shops in the world you’d expect to pick up a Tesla off the showroom floor and transform it into a racecar. Yet, that’s precisely what they did. There’s a future in electric vehicles, not just for the nerds that commute around the city and challenge themselves to obtain the most extended range per charge. There’s an indisputable truth waiting to be accepted, that EVs will become a major player in motorsport and in the modified car world of the near future. You don’t have to look far to see the signs. The Formula E World Championship is on its 7th season, more and more EV conversions are popping up in the scene like Rywire’s Honda S2000, and of course, electric motors are becoming an increasingly popular power unit choice at iconic races like Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, so let’s take a look at what makes the Evasive Model 3 so special.


There are two main points I want to highlight about coming up with a game plan to build a Tesla racecar. First, no one makes high-performance parts for it. Sure, you can purchase a hundred different sets of wheels and lowering springs, but the number of track-proven products available is slim to none. Second, squeezing more power out of those electric motors isn’t as easy as plugging into the ECU and dialing up the juice. The brain of the Tesla is a tough cookie to crack. From what Evasive tells us, the moment you break into the computer and start manipulating things, you’ll lose some of the Tesla’s operating technology, such as its ability to supercharge. This is most important because peak power is only maximized and maintained when the batteries are fully charged and cooled. So understanding that you can’t develop more power means it’s even more crucial to improve the rest of the vehicle’s dynamics at the highest of standards.


After nearly two decades of competing in time attack and frequenting grassroots track events, Evasive Motorsports has developed the Model 3 using the best of the best hardware from the best of the best partners. Notice the KW Competition 3-way coilovers (custom-built), front and rear Brembo brakes (custom-made), CSF radiator and oil cooler (custom retrofit), forged Titan 7 wheels (brand new), and Toyo Tires racing slicks (Pikes Peak-exclusive rubbers). In addition, all the extensive aero is designed and manufactured by Evasive to aid traction and downforce at the highest speeds, including the carbon splitter and diffuser. Finally, 600 pounds have been shed to save as much weight as possible and counter the FIA-spec rollcage.


There are certainly more details and backstory that I could delve into about the Evasive Motorsports x Turn 14 Distribution Pikes Peak Tesla Model 3, but I’ll save that for the weeks leading up to June 27th, when the Evasive team and their driver Dai Yoshihara begin their race to the clouds. I hope you’ll stay tuned for Pit+Paddock’s coverage as Evasive attempts to make history and shoot to break the production EV record of 11 minutes and 2 seconds. Maybe you don’t care much now, but give it a few more years. You might just have an epiphany like me and find yourself not shunning away but embracing the future of electric automobiles and motorsport as we know it.

Watch CBS LA’s video segment on the Tesla Model 3.

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