This is what it was all about with Kimera and the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, the new K39. There’s much to learn about what’s gone into this beauty, but we know the internals will demonstrate quite the fortitude. Kimera went full carbon moncoque with this chassis instead of borrowing the shell from a Lancia Beta Montecarlo as employed for the EVO37 and EVO38. Those other cars used a turbocharged and supercharged 2.2-liter four-cylinder. The all-wheel-drive EVO38 version made about 600 horsepower, 100 more than the rear-wheel-drive EVO37. Kimera didn’t make any runs up the mountain this year, but says it will take the K39 to Colorado next year aiming to beat the all-time record.

Let’s make sure we’re clear on what that means: Kimera’s not trying to beat the best time for an internal-combustion-engined car, a time of 8:13.878 set by Sebastien Loeb in the Peugeot 208 T16 in 2013. Kimera wants the K39 to surpass the all-time record set by Romain Dumas in the battery-electric Volkswagen ID.R racer that climbed the hill in 7:57.148 in 2018.

Since the Kimera hides some sort of ICE powertrain, the Italian boutique maker has given itself an exceptionally tough hill to climb. The ID.R is still the only car to break the eight-minute barrier. Few gas-powered cars have gotten up the hill in under nine minutes, with Loeb’s Peugeot and the purpose-built Norma M20 SF PKP in 2018 being two exceptions.

Kimera understands the challenge, as he writes that an electric race car “is not penalized by the thin air that becomes increasingly oxygen-poor as you climb to the summit” of Pikes Peak.

We’re betting that the K39 is going to get a lot more than the 600 horsepower in the EVO38 as well as an all-wheel-drive system to make the most of whatever the final number is. This is because Loeb’s twin-turbo V6 Pug made about 875 horses, the Norma M20 SF PKP made about 800 hp from another twin-turbo V6. We have noticed that where the EVO37 showed off a set of quad exhaust pipes, the K39 rearranges the three exhaust pipes poking out of the EVO38’s backside.  

If Kimera succeeds in all its goals on Zebulon Pike’s mountain, the K39 would obliterate the ICE-powered record and represent an upstart Italian David felling a German Goliath. The feat would certainly help burnish an already glowing reputation and sell the limited number of K39 road cars Kimera now says it plans to build.

Bentley Continental GT Speed Information