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Monster's Suzuki SX4 Sport - Click above for a high-res image gallery

They came. They saw. They were conquered. That pretty much sums up a thrilling Pikes Peak International Hillclimb for 2009 as Suzuki's legendary Nobuhiro "Monster" Tajima took overall victory yet again, fending off a formidable paddock of rivals, while difficult weather conditions dictated that the mythical ten-minute mark – as well as Monster's own 10:15 personal best – remained untouched.

This year the Suzuki team replaced its existing XL7-bodied challenger in with a purpose-built SX4 packing a 2.7-liter V6 with a massive 873 horsepower on tap. But among those eager to strip the Japanese champions of their domination were two-time World Rally Champion Marcus Gronholm driving a specially prepared Ford Fiesta and an 1150hp Ford RS200. Along with all the other pretenders to the crown, they were fed a heaping dose of humble pie by the Monster. Meanwhile drift champ Rhys Millen took the 2WD class victory in his Hyundai Genesis, pledging to return to the peak in the top-spec Unlimited class in an effort to reclaim the title which Monster took from his father Rod Millen, whose record stood from 1994 through 2007 when Suzuki bested the time. The books were just closed on this year's run up the mountain, but the competition's already heating up for next year.



Race-prepped Suzuki SX4 Sport Shoots to Break Ten Minute Barrier

PIKES PEAK, CO (July 17, 2009) – Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima and his supporting Monster Sport cast return to the Pikes Peak Hill Climb this weekend with but one obvious opponent: the 2007 version of Nobuhiro 'Monster' Tajima and his record-breaking performance on the mountain they call Pikes Peak.

As the Peak's undisputed King of the Hill, Mr. Tajima – and his Suzuki – has been without peer in their most recent, record-breaking performances. With his record time of 10 minutes, 1.408 seconds posted in 2007, Tajima and his team broke a Pikes Peak mark in the record books since 1994. A Pikes Peak competitor since 1988, Monster recorded his first class in 1993, and took his first overall title in 1995 aboard a twin-engined Escudo (Vitara in the States).

With the course under construction during last year's competition, the 2008 run – and any record breaking – was rendered all but impossible. This year, behind the wheel of the Monster Sport SX4 Hillclimb Special, Tajima hopes to add his high-speed take to a vehicle already well regarded in the mountain and snowbelt states. With the production model's all-wheel drive and Euro-inspired skin, the SX4 constitutes an international assault on the highways – and Colorado-sourced byways – of North America.

Monster's Hillclimb Special – featuring a steel space frame, along with carbon and Kevlar composite bodywork – offers little traditional mass to hold the Special's 885 horsepower back. The Unlimited Division, however, is not without competition; in 2009 three others intend to compete, including Andreas Eriksson, Marcus Gronholm and Mark Rennison.

Win – which is typical – or lose, 'Monster' on the Mountain speaks to both Suzuki's long history of competition success, as well as Suzuki's early history, where the company's first victory was posted on a hillclimb near its corporate home – Mt. Fuji, Japan.

Base model: SUZUKI SX4

Frame Steel: space frame

Cowl & wing: Carbon and Kevlar composite

Engine model and Capacity: H27A, 2736cc, 2turbo

Maximum horsepower (Net): 885ps/8750r.p.m

Maximum torque (Net): 90.5kg-m/6250r.p.m

Gearbox: Sequential 6-speed

Differential: Front/Rear: Hydraulic Controlled ,Center: Mechanical multi plate

Race weight (without driver, fuel): 1120kg

Dimensions (without front and rear wing): L5300xW1960xH1500mm

Wheelbase: 2818mm

Tire size: 285/60R18

Wheel size: 18 x 11J

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 6 Years Ago
      That front lip is so massive, you could probably park a Smart ForTwo on there.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Ha. I have a dustbuster that looks like that...

      Very cool though.
      • 6 Years Ago
      What parts does THAT have in common with an SX4? The speedometer needle? The windshield? Same question goes for NASCAR... joking aside, the Pikes Peak race is exciting to watch no matter how many times you've seen it. The hill climb cars are stupid fast (it really takes skill to use the amazing power with restraint and not fly over the 800ft cliffs).
      • 6 Years Ago
      Don't get these "racing" craze... this car is a purpose built race machine.. driving up some course to get a time that means nothing to anyone.. Why even label it as a Suzuki SX4? This is basically something with SX4 headlights painted on it..
        • 6 Years Ago
        Of course these cars are not going to be exactly the same ones your dealer has. If it were, half of them would never even make it through the whole course without breaking, never mind the danger it would pose without the necessary extra safety modifications.

        Like any sport, you live vicariously through your team. You wear your teams colors/logos on your face but it doesn't affect your life in the least. Same with auto racing. That said, this is a big win for all Suzuki fans!
      • 6 Years Ago
      That's a racecar? I thought it was a snowplow...
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wow that car is absolutely sick. I wish TLC or Discovery would do a special on the Pikes Peak every year in HD, I'd be salivating.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nobuhiro Tajima's personal best time would be the record 10:01, not 10:15.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Escudo pops into my head. Maybe it supposed to but i know nothing about these cars.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Perhaps it was the Suzuki Escudo Pikes Peak Edition in the Gran Turismo series you were picturing.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I'd get a good stateside attorney if I were Nobuhiro Tajima — Monster Cable's army of trademark lawyers has him in their sights.
      • 6 Years Ago
      how the heck do they get 800+HP from a 2.7 liter V6?
        • 6 Years Ago
        Lots of turbo boost. Also necessary due to the high altitude as well. If it were N/A, it would make like half the horsepower by the time it got to the top, boost helps cram whatever air there is into the engine.

        Making the power is not so much the problem, cram enough boost into any engine and you can make a lot of power. Problem is, getting it to last any significant length of time before blowing the motor. That's why we don't see any production engines making that much power, they'd be lucky to last 20K miles if even that.
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