Kenworth Truck Co.

has readied its Kenworth T2000 for the Big Rig Division at the 82nd Pikes Peak International Hill Climb at Pikes Peak, CO. A team of 16 engineers has souped up engine performance and vehicle handling in preparation for the event.

The special T2000 features a Caterpillar C15 engine with series-plumbed turbos for more low-end engine performance. It produces an estimated 1,350 hp at 2,600 rpm and 4,000 lb-ft of torque at the starting line elevation.

The engine was moved 12 in. back in the chassis to center the truck’s weight. A new rear suspension was designed to improve handling. “We went to a three-link design, similar to what you see in stadium off-road racing trucks,” said Jim Bechtold, Kenwoth’s chief engineer. “We also added anti-roll bars on both the front and rear. By doing this, as well as lowering the roll center of the truck, we have improved lateral and forward traction.”

Veteran race driver Bruce Canepa of Santa Cruz, Calif. will pilot the Kenworth entry for the fifth consecutive year. Kenworth is again using a ZF 5HP500 5-speed Ecomat transmission modified by ZF to racing specifications. Bridgestone's M711 low-profile 255/70R22.5 drive tires with hand-cut tread pattern are used for maximum traction, secured to Alcoa aluminum wheels with 20 beadlock screws per tire.

The 12.42 mile course has 152 corners and starts at an elevation of 9,400 ft. and rises to the summit at 14,110 ft.