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Earlier this year, Diesel Power Magazine readers chose nine street-legal diesel pickups to compete in a three-day test of strength, power, and durability. We call this test the Diesel Power Challenge, and its become the premier invitational event for diesel vehicle owners to showcase the capabilities of the modern diesel vehicle. Though all the trucks in our competition are based on daily-driven vehiclesthese machines are far from stock. They all make triple the power they did when they rolled off the showroom floor.
To encourage innovation, there are as few restrictions on the trucks as possible. Diesel Power Challenge is a true run-what-you-brung event. While the competitors can modify and repair their trucks throughout the contest, they have to run at the same weight and with the same tires through all three days.
At the end of the three-day ordeal, the truck that does the best in all the events combined will be crowned Diesel Power Challenge champion and have bragging rights for all of 2012.
Our annual event has always featured some of the biggest power numbers around, but this year was one of the nuttiest dyno competitions weve ever seen. We had trucks with single turbos, compound twins, and even triples!
In the dragstrip portion of the test, our 10 competitors screamed down the 1320' as fast as they could.
Eighth-Mile Trailer Tow:
Perhaps one of the most feared competitions in Diesel Power Challenge is the eighth-mile trailer tow drag race. Here, good transmission tuning and broad powerbands are rewarded.
Trailer Obstacle Course:
Theres nothing that tests the streetability of these trucks, or the drivers skills, like our trailer obstacle course. This is an event in which youre rewarded for keeping your towing mirrors and having a brake controller on your Diesel Power Challenge truck!
Ride and Drive:
Diesel Power Challenge is about street-legal vehicles, so we came up with the ultimate test: a 140-mile drive up and over the Continental Divide, which reaches a staggering 11,158 feet. At the top of the crest is the 1.7-mile-long Eisenhower Tunnel, one of the highest vehicular tunnels in the world. We would also be testing fuel economy, which would be a tiebreaker event in case any trucks finished with the same overall point totals.
The Sled Pull:
After three days of pain and suffering for both the vehicles and the drivers, the trucks that are still running will then hook up to a 30,000-pound sled to see who can tug it the farthest.
The competitor that scores the most points from all the events will then be crowned the winner of 2012 Diesel Power Challenge!