New Zealand's meanest Ford Focus wants to dominate the next Pikes Peak race

Ford Focus Pace Innovations
Pikes Peak is one of the most challenging hill climbs on the planet, and finishing at the head of the pack requires skill and creativity in equal amounts. This year, a racer named Tony Quinn traveled all the way from New Zealand and showed up on the starting line with what is unquestionably the meanest-looking Ford Focus we’ve ever seen.

It’s immediately obvious that this is no standard, economy-focused Focus hatchback. It’s not even a hot-rodded RS; it’s a purpose-built race car that makes the RS look tame and good-natured. Most of the car was built from scratch by Pace Innovations, which documented the process on its official Facebook page. The fenders are significantly wider to cover up the kind of extra-large tires required to transfer loads of power to the pavement. There’s also a sizable splitter that keeps the car glued to the ground, a spoiler out back, and a hole in the hood that suggests the engine isn’t between the front wheels anymore.

It’s not the stock engine, either. Under the one-off body panels is a 3.8-liter, twin-turbocharged V6 engine borrowed from the Nissan GT-R and tuned to provide a whopping 850 horsepower. It sends its grunt to all four wheels, which explains the need for massive fender flares and the rest of the body kit.

From the video, it looks and sounds like Quinn is ready to dominate Pikes Peak. While he was off to a good start, luck wasn’t on his side this year. The Focus began having issues about two weeks before the race. He thought the problems were all fixed, but the car’s brakes completely failed about two miles before the end of the race. “The brake warning light kept coming on and kept coming on, but we never really took any notice of it,” Quinn told New Zealand’s Stuff.

He wisely decided to retire instead of risking his life by finishing the race without the ability to stop, which is of utmost importance even in an event where racers spend more time going uphill than down. Quinn is disappointed because he felt like he was on track to get a good time, but he’s determined to come back next year and try again.

Product Review

The 2019 Porsche Macan S is a luxurious and quick SUV, but it's no road tripper

The roster of models challenging the Porsche Macan grows annually. The German firm updated its smallest, most affordable SUV with a new engine, more tech features, and subtle design tweaks to keep it looking fresh.
News

World’s fastest electric race car to display at Petersen Museum

The Volkswagen I.D. R Pikes Peak race car smashed the all-time record at the hill climb for which it was named. The all-electric VW record-holder will be on display at the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles until February 1, 2019.
Product Review

Audi built an electric SUV for buyers who want gasoline-free to mean stress-free

We finally got to spend time behind the wheel of the electric 2019 Audi E-Tron bustling cities and arid desert of the United Arab Emirates to see how it compares with Jaguar and Tesla's competitors.
Cars

Volkswagen may be planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car may head to the Nürburgring in 2019 for a lap-record attempt, according to a new report. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car.
Cars

Bloodhound’s plan to build a 1,000-mph car has run out of gas

The Bloodhound supersonic car (SSC) project has officially shut down. The upside is you can now buy a 135,000-horsepower car powered by a jet engine and a cluster of rockets for $319,000.
Cars

2019 Ford Ranger saves fuel without sacrificing towing capacity

The 2019 Ford Ranger marks Ford's long-awaited return to the midsize truck segment, which has seen a resurgence lately. But will being late to the party make Ford's job more difficult?
Cars

Pininfarina Battista is a 1,900-horsepower, 250-mph electric supercar

The Pininfarina Battista will be the first production car from famed Italian design firm Pininfarina. Named after company founder Battista Pininfarina, it has a claimed 1,900 horsepower and a $2.5 million price tag.
Cars

Tesla could show the electric pickup Elon Musk is dying to build in 2019

Tesla has started designing its long-promised pickup truck. The yet-unnamed model will come with dual-motor all-wheel drive and lots of torque, plus it will be able to park itself.
Cars

Allegro.ai is helping Hyundai mine the artificial intelligence gold rush

In November 2018, Hyundai invested in a startup named Allegro.ai. We talked to the company's founder to learn more about what that means for consumers in the not-too-distant futures.
Emerging Tech

With this robotic garage, retrieving your car is like using a vending machine

Remembering where we parked our cars can be a real pain. But what if our cars came to find us, rather than the other way around? A new automated robot parking valet system aims to help.
Cars

Thinking of opting for a car with a diesel engine? Here's what you need to know

Modern diesel-powered models prove that it is possible to build a clean, efficient diesel engine without sacrificing performance. Here's what you need to know about diesel cars, and how they differ from gasoline-powered models.
Cars

Best Products of 2018

Our reception desk has so many brown boxes stacked up, it looks like a loading dock. We’re on a first-name basis with the UPS guy. We get new dishwashers more frequently than most people get new shoes. What we’re trying to say is: We…
Cars

These winter-warrior cars will never leave you out in the cold

Snow can be an absolute pain if your vehicle isn't optimized to handle that sort of terrain. If brutal snowstorms are an annual part of your life, we recommend you pick up one of these winter-ready vehicles.
Cars

2020 Toyota Supra caught hiding in a trailer without a shred of camouflage

Toyota's plan to once again lure enthusiasts into showrooms involves bringing back the Supra, one of its most emblematic nameplates. Here's what we know so far about the upcoming coupe, which Toyota is developing jointly with BMW.