This specially prepared GMC S-15 pickup, powered by an experimental 5-liter V-6, recently set a pair of new FIA world land-speed records on the salt flats at Bonneville. With veteran LSR pilot Don Stringfellow at the wheel, the joltin’ Jimmy ran 194.770 mph in the flying mile and 194.843 mph in the flying kilometer. The previous records, 171.110 mph and 171.976 mph, respectively, were established three years ago by the late Al Holbert in a Porsche 928. The S-15 also devastated the Class E pickup record of 141.381 mph to become the world’s fastest truck.
Designed and built by the Advanced Vehicle Engineering team of GM’s Truck & Bus Group under the direction of Don Gothard, the S-15 is maintained by Gale Banks Engineering and has a one-off engine underhood prepared by Katech, Inc. Derived from GM’s 4.3-liter Vortec V-6, the fuel-injected powerplant uses a special – charge-cooling system to reduce the temperature of the intake air and increase its density. The result: 523 hp at 6800 rpm and 414 lb-ft of torque at 6400 rpm. The GMC Motorsports group also plans to go after several other speed marks in the months ahead, using both this engine and a 4.26-liter variant.