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Watch a 2,000-HP Twin-Turbo V8 Break the Dyno at 8,000 RPM

When the pipes glow red and the sparks fly, you can only hope for the best. In this case, the dyno's driveline snapped.
Nelson Racing Engines via Instagram

Dyno carnage is nothing new, but it’s usually the car that explodes spectacularly. That wasn’t the case at Nelson Racing Engines’ headquarters in California when a twin-turbo V8 pull went wrong, breaking the dyno while making nearly 2,000 horsepower at 8,000 rpm. If anything, that’s a testament to just how stout NRE builds ’em, along with how important it is to have a safety cage in the cell.

Even in the internet age where we’ve become jaded to high-horsepower machinery, 2,000 hp is impressive. That’s not even the most potent package NRE offers, either. I wrote a story in 2022 about the shop’s GMC Sierra sleeper builds that make 2,500 hp thanks to twin turbos and a 10.3-liter V8. Or, if you prefer something more exotic, they’ll build you a 1,500-hp Lamborghini V12 that looks better than most art you’ll find.

NRE owner Tom Nelson posted a clip of the explosion to Instagram. He explained in the caption that the dyno’s driveshaft was what went kaput. Thanks to built-in safety measures, it was shut down almost immediately, though there’s no word on whether the engine suffered any damage as a result.

It’s hard to tell which engine this was for sure but judging by NRE’s site, it might have been a 427-cubic-inch Chevy. There’s a listing for that package detailing similar power specs—2,000 hp at 7,000 rpm—and the intake looks similar, as well as the placement of the turbos. A lump like that will set you back roughly $47,000, which honestly feels fair considering the work that goes into it.

Whatever comes of this, NRE is extremely thorough with testing its products before shipping them off. Just last week, Nelson shared a video of his team cutting into an oil filter to perform extra-close analysis after a dyno pull. They don’t do anything halfway, and apparently that includes breaking driveshafts. That thing is toast.

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