The Enviate: A Result of a Threesome Between an NSX, Falcon F7 and F1 Racecar

Sharing the same spark as many brilliant ideas, the “Enviate” was originally dreamt up by two friends in a hot tub. Over the next four years it would morph into the super-aero Batmobile-hopped-up-on-steriods that you see here. Northern Michigan resident Cody Loveland is the owner, founder and lead fabricator of Lovefab. It’s his shop that is the birthplace of this savagely sexy, 1,200-bhp hill-climbing monster.

Enviate Cody Loveland's PPIHC Racecar

The car had quite the journey to get to where it is today. Thanks to Loveland’s skills, his team’s dedication and the sponsors who make it all possible, this racecar has turned from concept to reality and is designed specifically for climbing 14,115-feet into the highest summit of the southern Rocky Mountains during the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb.

Enviate Cody Loveland's PPIHC Racecar

But wait. Before getting into the nitty-gritty of this beast’s present insanity, a proper overview of its intense, fiery history is in order.

The Enviate Began with the Unexpected

It all started with Loveland’s daily driver and shop car, a 1991 Acura NSX that was the prime nominee to take on high-elevations and treacherous corners. By the time the 2012 Pikes Peak Hill Climb rolled around, the car, then known as the PPHC NSX, was still street-legal and (mostly) stock - chassis, engine and all. The only noticeably non-OEM additions were the massive wings that Loveland bolted to it for an aero effect. You know, to keep the tires firmly on the pavement.

Enviate Cody Loveland's PPIHC Racer

Before Loveland knew it, the time came to test his craftsmanship. “After six months of planning, fabricating, testing, breaking and thrashing-to-repair, I still wasn’t certain that it would run at a 13,000-ft elevation,” he said. But up the hill he went full throttle, his knuckles white for good reason.

On the second practice day, Loveland’s fans were horrified to see the NSX (quite literally) fly off of the hill at 60-mph. Despite the damages and a few bruises, Loveland never lost hope. He and team underwent a 24-hour thrash session to rebuild, then braved the angry mountain once again. This time, Loveland made it to the finish, but his need for speed is real, and it wasn’t nearly fast enough.

Simply reaching the summit of Pikes Peak was an achievement all on its own, especially considering several of the fastest qualifiers never crossed the finish line, the entire Unlimited Class had either crashed or succumbed to mechanical failures. The determined rookies stood on the podium to claim their 2nd place trophy, but once Loveland got home, he went right back to work.

The Enviate is Born

Everyone knows cars need names, and Loveland’s NSX with a V-8 engine earned its title in 2013. Loveland said with a quizzical smile, “If you combine ‘NSX’ and ‘V-8’ you get ‘NV8’. All spelled out, it is the Enviate. Get it?”

Thanks to Lovefab’s sponsors, it was also the year that Loveland’s team upped the ante….

The first-generation Enviate was built from the previous NSX’s remains. When everything was said and done, the subframes and suspension were the only remaining OEM components. The main goal? Drop as much weight as possible from the original 2,500-lbs. To do this, Loveland built a jig from a production vehicle’s tub with lightweight 1-3/8” chromoly tube, which shed 200-lbs while retaining the car’s geometry.

After the subframe’s bolt locations were constructed, the car earned its wheels. Next, the LS1 V-8 engine and transmission was fitted to the chassis, then the team moved on to the body. Aside from the Pike’s Peak mandated 1/8" aluminum skid plate beneath the driver, the remaining body panels were carbon fiber. The wiring, tuning and testing was wrapped up in time to compete in the 2013 Pikes Peak International Hill Climb. The Enviate’s final weight? 2300-lbs. Mission accomplished. At least for the time being.

Up in Flames

The Enviate’s engine roared to life at the bottom of the hill. Loveland shifted into gear and took off like a rocket around the first corner, but just as he thought all of his hard work was about to pay off, the car veered into a wall of boulders and trees at 80-plus-mph. Spectators panicked until Loveland was seen running out and away from the vehicle, mostly unscathed. The Enviate was engulfed in flames just as he had gotten clear of it. It burned for three minutes while he helplessly watched the heartbreaking scene.

After further inspection, the crash ironically was the result of the OEM rear-upper control arm failing. Now two crashes into his PPIHC aspirations, Loveland persevered, holding onto the hope that maybe, just maybe, the Enviate could be repaired again.

The Enviate’s Resurrection

It was no quick fix. The damage from the crash was irreversible. Body, frame and chassis were chopped off and completely re-built. Instead of feeling defeated, Loveland saw this as another chance to make the Enviate even more insane.

Enviate Cody Loveland's PPIHC Racecar

“Life got in the way and it took two years to build the reincarnation,” explained Loveland. “But now it has more power, is expertly aerodynamic, and the overall weight has dropped to 2,050-lbs.”

Enviate Cody Loveland's PPIHC Racecar

Blend the featherweight second-generation Enviate’s body with a 1,200-hp twin-turbo V-8, 1000ft-lbs of torque, and four-tons of downforce at 150-mph, and you have yourself a mountain-eating mutant-on-wheels with the power of a Hennessey Venom GT.

Enviate Cody Loveland's PPIHC Racecar

Loveland wasn’t about to re-live the Enviate’s darkest day. The suspension was completely overhauled. Pushrod-actuated QA1 coilovers provide independent damping and roll control, and a third center shock supports the downforces punishing weight. Formula One engineer Sebastien Lamour developed the stunning aerodynamics, while Loveland and crew made it all happen in the shop with their bare hands. “We have about 500 hours into the carbon fiber work alone,” Loveland said.

Enviate Cody Loveland's PPIHC Racecar

The Enviate has been reborn and it‘s as if an NSX, Formula One car and a Falcon F7 went all-in during a daring midnight Jack Daniels overindulgence, and nine-months later… Oh, baby! This drunken byproduct’s swift, compact platform makes it the perfect machine for dominating the winding, unforgiving and ever-changing Pikes Peak Mountain.

Enviate Cody Loveland's PPIHC Racecar

As of this date, NSX wheel bearings are the only stock NSX part remaining, knock on wood.

Cody Loveland's Enviate PPIHC Racecar

It’s Alive! Enviate Test Run

While testing, tuning and other random adjustments are a continuous task, everything is running smoothly as the Enviate prepares for Pikes Peak International Hill Climb 2017. The latest test run took place during the Empire Hill Climb Revival, which is comparable to a mini-Pikes Peak, minus the high elevation, varying weather conditions and intimidating drop-offs.

Enviate Cody Loveland's PPIHC Racecar

Loveland’s only goals were to gain seat time and keep it on the road. He didn’t expect a 1st place class win and 3rd overall. “I fought to keep grip over the entire course, with data logs showing over 50% of the run banging off the traction control,” Loveland exclaimed.

Enviate Cody Loveland's PPIHC Racecar

Loveland and team are consistently racing towards record-setting madness. Their estimate for a Pikes Peak eight-minute run isn’t unreasonable, but the mountain is unforgiving - the unpredictable weather varies from rain to sleet to snow, the surface is mostly unmaintained and the drops are miles deep. “Paul Gerrard will take the wheel of the Enviate while I attempt to flog the Torquezillion, another Lovefab build,” he stated.

Enviate Cody Loveland's PPIHC Racecar

The next venture up the slope is planned for 2017, pending invitation from the PPIHC, which just may be the answer to Loveland’s hard-earned dream, in honor of his late friend Matthew Noble Parker, the friend who Loveland shared this vision with in that hot tub five years ago.

Enviate 2016 Lovefab

(Click for moving gif)

Will the third time be a charm? Subscribe to Driving Line's twice monthly newsletter so you don't miss the follow-up article when Loveland takes on PPIHC 2017 in June.

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