Drifting through the snow, in a 777 horsepower Chevrolet, over the fields he goes, in an LS-powered sleigh. OK, that got weird for second but we couldn’t help ourselves after we watched this video of Pikes Peak International Hill Climb racer Cody Loveland sliding his custom LoveFab machine all over the place in the snow, seemingly without a care in the world.
You may remember Cody’s Pike’s Peak machine from a couple of previous articles that we’ve run on the vehicle. It has come a long way over the years after starting life basically as a heavily modified NSX. A fiery crash back in 2013 at the world-renowned event, however, saw the car’s originally NSX-sourced subframes were dropped completely in favor of a tubular chassis.
Regardless of what is underpinning the build, most of the car is wrapped in custom carbon fiber aero bits that provide the car with a substantial increase in downforce. Sebastien Lamour, who currently works with Sauber F1, helped put the final touches on the cars aero and Cody is hoping to bring a production version of this beast to the public soon.
Now, for what we’re sure you’ve been waiting for: the car is powered by a junkyard-sourced LQ9. Yep, you read that right. This expensive piece of machinery is rocking a stock bottom end LQ9 paired with a set of Garrett GTX3576R turbos. A boost-specific cam grind from Comp tickles the valves while a set of their beehive springs keeps everything in check. The top ring on the pistons has been opened up to prevent the stock pistons from breaking a ring land and ARP head studs have been installed to handle the increase in boost.
And while the engine might be second hand, nothing about the power production is. Even with the stock rotating assembly, the LQ9 belts out 777.4 horsepower and 771.8 lb-ft of torque to the wheels—all on just 12 pounds of boost, pump gas 92, and while spinning the tires pretty hard on the dyno. An ARE dry sump system keeps the LQ flush with life-giving lubrication.
The car’s svelt 1,800 pound curb weight might not help it plant the power on the dyno, but it sure makes things easier when the LQ is pushing the chassis at 10,000+ feet. And though Cody is hard at work preparing the LoveFab machine to compete at this year’s Pikes Peak International Hill Climb, everyone needs to blow off some steam right?
We’ve all been there as cabin fever takes hold and forces you to begrudgingly stare at your project while it sits in the garage waiting for Spring’s arrival. Well, instead of doing that, Cody decided that he would give the car a workout in the middle of winter, in the snow. And we’re sure glad he did, or we wouldn’t have this amazing footage of him hooning it through the forest and doing his best not to wrap it around a tree.
Cody tells us that he was on a pair of Continental Rain tires that were in his words “worthless.” He conceded that the car would have done much better with a set of studded tires, which just might have to be the next thing he tries out. We’d love to see this thing go even faster in the snow and we’ll be anxiously awaiting its return to Pikes.