Last week we covered the earlier Suzuki monsters that attacked Pikes Peak. This week we are covering the Suzuki’s that dominated the event.
Although the late 1990s Escudo rose to fame through the Gran Turismo series and is by far the best known Suzuki Pikes Peak vehicle, it never won a race. Its predecessor won in 1995 and then a newer version of that pseudo SUV won again in 2006.
But it was in 2007 where Suzuki became dominant. It was this year that a new version of big winged Pikes Peak car was introduced – the XL-7. Not only did it win again for the Japanese brand, it was Suzuki’s the first victory on the full length course as the previous two wins occurred on shortened versions of the historical hill climb. The XL-7 also broke the record this year.
In 2008 the company returned with that car and won again. For 2009 a new vehicle was introduced, now wearing SX4-like body work and stickers. The SX4 would continue the dominance for three more years, winning each time, and in its final year became the first car to break the 10-minute mark.
After that, Suzuki’s main driver ‘Monster Tajima Nobuhiro decided to switch over to the electric class and the dominance ended. Still, for the better part of two decades, Suzuki was a force to be reckoned with on the hill.