The folks at HRE Performance Wheels dropped by the Rhys Millen Racing shop to check out the progress on the new PM580 Pikes Peak hill-climb car. Millen and his crew are in the process of building an Unlimited Class racer to crack the all-time record on the Colorado mountain. Millen will attempt to both recapture the record that his father held for 13 years and record the first ever sub-10-minute time.
The PM580 is powered by a Hyundai Genesis V8 engine mounted in the middle of a steel tube-frame chassis. Aside from the engine, the rest of the chassis looks rather conventional, until you see the carbon-fiber bodywork that looks more like something destined to hurtle down the Mulsanne straight at Le Mans rather than up the side of a mountain.
Unlike your mobile data plan, at Pikes Peak Unlimited means exactly that: anything goes, including active aerodynamics. The angle of the upper plane on the rear wing is automatically managed based on a yaw rate sensor and lateral accelerometer. When the car is on the straights it flattens out to a 10-degree angle, but as the car turns in, it tips up to 50 degrees to press the rear end down. It's fascinating stuff and you can check it out in the video after the jump.