2013 Honda Fit EV drive event, Pasadena, CA, June 2012Enlarge Photo
Given the recent cold snap, spending a day deliberately driving around on ice might not seem that appealing.
Others, such as those from the Adirondack Motor Enthusiast Club, like nothing more than to take to a frozen lake in their cars. But this past weekend they got to compete against a sort of car they'd never raced before: An electric vehicle.
Posted by Mike Kamm on the Albany Capital District EV Drivers Facebook page, his Honda Fit EV became the first electric-powered entry at the Algonquin Lake event in the club's 60-year history.
Its drivetrain looks even more unique when juxtaposed with the club's oldest car: A 1971 two-stroke Saab 96.
Saab made a name for itself in the 1960s and 1970s, its little 96 winning several rallies in two-stroke and four-stroke V-4 formats. Narrow tires and an engine perched right above the front wheels gave it excellent traction, particularly on snowy Scandinavian events.
With 60s and 70s technology though, it isn't what you might call environmentally-friendly. Two-stroke engines in particular pump out clouds of oily smoke as they buzz along, as premixed fuel is required for lubrication as well as combustion.
You could say that the Fit's own unique attributes make it an adept choice for ice racing. While its studded tires don't come as standard, their narrow profile, a low center of gravity, and ultra-smooth power delivery are all useful on the ice.
According to Kamm, it proved "surprisingly competitive", outrunning many regular gasoline-powered cars in the street-legal classes.
Electric vehicles have already proven themselves in arenas such as the Pikes Peak hill climb in Colorado, and later this year sees the start of the Formula E championship. What other motor sports would you like to see electric vehicles in? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below, and head over to the Facebook page to catch photos from the event.
[Hat tip: Mike Kamm]