LYFE Motorsport’s Diesel-Powered Nissan GT-R Aims to Shatter Pikes Peak Record

The 2022 Broadmoor Pikes Peak Hill International Climb (PPHIC) kicks off this Sunday, June 24, with more than 70 different participants climbing the 4,720-foot mountain pass. The track is a difficult and treacherous roadway that consists of 156 turns and is 12.42 miles in length. We conquered Pikes Peak on a random weekend in a 2020 Honda Civic Type R a couple of years ago, but for the team at LYFE Motorsport, this weekend isn’t going to be a casual drive.

LYFE Motorsport is aiming to shatter the diesel record on the famed mountain using a 2010 Nissan GT-R. But this isn’t just any R35 GT-R, it’s powered by a Ford 6.0-liter Power Stroke engine.

The race-ready Nissan GT-R started its life under water and become “Frank the Tank”

The Frank 6.0 Nissan GT-R going up hill on Pikes Peak.
The Frank 6.0 Nissan GT-R going up hill on Pikes Peak. | LYFE Motorsport

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Believe it or not, the LYFE Motorsport 2010 Nissan GT-R started its life as a flood recovery after Hurricane Sandy. As the story goes, Cole Powelson – the founder of LYFE Motorsport and driver of the Nissan GT-R – conceptualized the racecar and gave this particular chassis a second shot at life as a Time Attack/Pikes Peak racecar complete with a massive wing and aero modifications. Under the hood was the standard-issued VR38DETT engine that was bored out to 4.0-liters and force-fed by a pair of Garrett GTX3076 turbochargers. It was a stout car that the team aptly named “Frank the Tank.”

“I named it Frank the Tank because it was such a tough car, it put up with a lot of abuse,” Powelson said.

Frank’s engine setup made 1,200 hp on the dyno and it powered the GT-R through many Time Attack races and one fateful 2015 Pikes Peak run that ended with a crash. After that, Frank sat in the corner of the shop for six years, until the LYFE Motorsport Team decided to put it back together. But instead of a twin-turbo setup like last time, Frank is now powered by a diesel engine and is now known as “Frank 6.0.”

“After six years of being essentially forgotten about, Frank the Tank is back in action and it has a sense of purpose once again,” Powelson said. “But there’s a catch, we’re going after the diesel record with a Ford 6.0-liter Powerstroke.”

Powelson testing Frank 6.0 on the upper section of Pikes Peak

Riffraff Diesel and LYFE Motorsports came together to build “Frank 6.0”

The LYFE Motorsport team posing in front of Frank 6.0
The LYFE Motorsport team posing in front of Frank 6.0. | LYFE Motorsport

In order to build and resurrect Frank the Tank, LYFE Motorsport teamed up with Riffraff Diesel, who specializes in Powerstroke parts and components. It may sound like an odd pairing, but that’s the point. LYFE Motorsports has the GT-R’s chassis, aerodynamics, and suspension setup dialed in from years of tried-and-true experience, so it only makes sense that Riffraff Diesel can help them get to the top of the mountain in record time.

The current Pikes Peak diesel record is held by Scott Birdsall and his Cummins-powered 1949 Ford F1 called “Old Smokey.” The official time to beat is 11:24.065.

Judging by Frank 6.0’s engine spec sheet, it looks like victory could be a possibility. Here’s a look:

  • Built by RiffRaff Diesel 
  • Testing Motul’s new line of Tekma Ultima+ 10w-40 diesel oil
  • 2004 Ford 6.0-liter factory block 
  • Mahle stock bore pistons / ceramic coated with valve reliefs
  • 250/100% injectors
  • Terminator T500 HPOP
  • Stage 2 billet camshaft
  • Anderson HS lifters
  • Smith Bros pushrods
  • ARP 625+ head studs
  • KDD dry-sump front cover
  • Custom dry sump oil pan
  • Riffraff Diesel billet valve covers
  • ODawg 6.4L inverted intake manifold
  • John Wood custom 4R100 4-speed automatic transmission w/ billet flex plate
  • Compound turbocharged with a KC Turbo Jetfire Stage 1 as the Primary Turbo and BorgWarner 80mm Atmosphere Turbo

If you’re interested in following Frank 6.0’s build from start to finish, check out the LYFE Motorsport YouTube channel for the 10-part series.

Watch LYFE Motorsport take on the diesel record this weekend

A rear shot of the Frank 6.0 going up Pikes Peak
A rear shot of the Frank 6.0 Nissan GT-R going up Pikes Peak. | LYFE Motorsport

The official power numbers were not released, but you bet that this racecar is easily pushing over 1,000 hp. After all, it needs to be enough to push the car’s 4,000-pound weight up to 14,000 feet in a hurry. But with diesel power, that shouldn’t be an issue.

If you want to watch Powelson and the LYFE Motorsport team take on the diesel record at Pikes Peak, tune in to Mobil 1’s Facebook page, which will be live-streaming the event.

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