Last month Edge Products debuted a “Pro Stock” diesel-powered drag truck at its “Weekend On The Edge” event at Rocky Mountain Raceway near Salt Lake City. With the paint barely dry, the truck wowed the crowd with a few test-and-tune passes.
Battling near-100-degree heat, The Wolverine’s Driver, Keith Lockliear, practiced a couple of impressive launches, then the truck was parked in the pits. (A best 60-foot time of 1.32 seconds hints at this vehicle’s true potential.)
After dark, the Cummins-powered machine returned to the Christmas tree. The truck’s characteristic diesel-rattle-at-idle quickly gave way to the jet-engine sounds of its exotic turbo system spooling up. Producing a classified amount of boost, the engine ejected the intake hose off the turbo housing before mid-track. Even so, the truck coasted to a best e.t. of 11.03 seconds @ 91mph. Further inspections revealed that the massive amounts of power actually caused the turbo housing to rotate on its mounts.
The Wolverine gave Utah diesel fans a taste of the enormous performance potential in modern “light-duty” diesel engines. Thirteen months in the making, this top-secret project was conceptualized in early 2003 by Edge Products, a leading manufacturer of diesel fuel-management computer upgrades/chips.
“Our goal was to produce the fastest, most powerful diesel race vehicle ever seen,” says Edge CEO Paul Lehman. “Most people said that the sheer weight and mass of a diesel engine–about 1,100 pounds–would keep the truck from getting anywhere near Pro Stock-type times. We accepted this challenge.”
The tube-frame chassis was fabricated by famous NHRA car builder Jerry Bickel. While the motor is based on a 5.9L Cummins six-cylinder diesel from a 2004 Dodge truck, only the block is factory-issue. “When something breaks, we can’t run over to Pep Boys and get replacement parts,” Paul Lehman explains.
Although the engine setup is proprietary, driver Keith Lockliear lays out its underlying theory in lay terms: “We stuff a bunch of fuel to the engine, figure out how to feed it even more fuel, then play with the turbo and boost till we get what we call ‘mega mental’ amounts of air and boost to burn all that fuel.” Tongue-in-cheek, Paul Lehman adds, “And it gets 20 mpg in the process.”
Lockliear is The Wolverine’s sole driver. In fact, the seat’s carbon-fiber shell was form-fitted to his body. “If this weren’t a diesel-powered truck, I’d have to say that driving it is a gas,” Lockliear deadpans.
As the exotic drag truck gets dialed in, it’ll appear at selected events through the fall and winter, making occasional exhibition passes. No word yet whether a Wolverine assault on the Bonneville salt is in the cards.
Edge’s Paul Lehman concludes, “After a lot of all-nighters, it was great to finally see the truck on the track. We still have some fine-tuning to do, but we wanted to give people a taste of the enormous performance potential possible by applying modern technology to a farm-bred diesel engine. We won’t stop till we get into the sixes.” For more information on The Wolverine and its schedule, check out www.edgeproducts.com.