If the name “Palatov D2” sounds more to you like a cold-war era superweapon than a car, you’d be forgiven. This purpose-built Pikes Peak racer is nothing short of a weapon, all the way down to the pointy nose cone.
The Palatov isn’t motivated by solid rocket fuel though. This land-missile uses a GM-sourced E-Rod V8 as its source of propulsion. With a weight of 1900lbs., the small-block’s 430 ponies might convince you this minimalist race buggy really is going to head into orbit.
One look at the D2 is all you need to know it means business. This is a textbook example of form follows function, and this car’s function is expressly to peel cheek flesh from the sides of your face. Designer Dennis Palatov’s creations have won their class at Pikes Peak in 2012 and 2015, and finished second in 2016, so apparently, he’s doing something right.
Rounding out the D2’s component spec, you get a Porsche-sourced G50 transaxle, high-performance Wilwood brakes, 17-inch Enkei wheels that measure 18” in front and 17” in the rear, Toyo R888 tires, a Wavetrac limited-slip differential and a full tube chassis.
Inside the Palatov, things are purposeful but straightforward. Driver’s controls consist of the requisite three pedals, a microsuede three-spoke wheel, a shift lever and the car’s HUD displayed on a steering-column-mounted fablet. Should you have a particularly masochistic friend who wants to co-drive, they’ll be treated to luxurious black leather racing buckets and a Schroth racing harness that we suggest synching down tight.
D2 by the Numbers
Because the D2’s LS3 is certified 50-state legal, this car’ s new owner could, if they so desired, drive the D2 to the race venue of their choosing to bring the odometer reading up from its current position at just 6,000 miles.
The current owner has shared lap times from three public tracks. A 1:35 at Laguna Seca, 1:20 at Portland International with the chicane, and a 1:43 at Oregon Raceway Park on street tires. For reference, that’s about one second slower than a 2017 Dodge Viper ACR with a professional driver at the wheel. So yeah, it’s quick.