More Muscle From Detroit!
The annual North American International Auto Show in Detroit (January 13-26) is the largest event of its kind, with journalists from around the world flocking in to see all the latest products from the global automakers. Of course, what made this show so huge were the dozens and dozens of grocery getters and mommy cars on display. So just as you would, we cruised right past all that boring stuff and lasered in on the latest gearhead machinery.
The biggest news on the enthusiast scene in Detroit was the introduction of the '15 Corvette Z06. Breaking tradition, this latest Z06 sports a supercharger, and while the output ratings are not yet formalized, Chevy is promising better than 625 hp when the car hits the showrooms early in 2015. Transmission choices include a seven-speed manual and the brand-new 8L90 eight-speed automatic with paddle shifters. (Visual identifiers on the Z06 include fender flares, larger cooling vents, and a big fat hood bump to clear the blower.) Pricing wasn't announced, but if Chevrolet keeps it in line with the previous model (MSRP on the outgoing '13 Z06 is $75,600) and doesn't jack the price too high, we could see the most bang for the buck ever in a production car.
Sharing the stage with the Z06 was the latest factory Corvette racer, the C7.R, which will run in the new United SportsCar Championship and at Le Mans. The high-tech racer has an all-new aluminum chassis that's 40 percent stiffer, as it steps up against its latest competition in endurance racing, the factory SRT Viper.
Speaking of Vipers: The centerpiece of the Chrysler exhibit was a stunning '14 Viper GTS with hypnotizing satin gunmetal paint. Now in its fifth design generation, the Viper now boasts 640 hp from its venerable LA-based V-10, and the car now sports enough convenience features to be considered almost civilized. Almost.
Fresh from its global media launch a month earlier, the '15 Mustang was on display at Detroit in two versions, GT coupe and convertible. But to be honest, what really tugged at our heartstrings was the original '62 Mustang I prototype. Priceless and irreplaceable, the petite two-place sports car seldom leaves its permanent nest at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, and it constantly drew an adoring crowd at the entrance of the Ford exhibit. —Bill McGuire
2014 SRT Viper: The incredible finish on this Viper is an actual factory deal included wit
The ’15 Corvette C7.R is the latest Corvette from Chevrolet Racing, and is one of the more
The Z06 Corvette’s 6.2L LS V-8 uses an intercooled 1.7L Eaton TVS blower to pump out 625 h
Chevy announced the ’15 Corvette Stingray Z06 in Detroit: 625 hp from a 6.2L V-8, super lo
Ford continues to torture us with the ’15 Mustang GT, which doesn’t go on sale until nearl
Here’s where over 60 years of Mustang history began: The ’62 Mustang I concept was a one-o
More PHR Videos On YouTube!
Over 1,800 subscribers can't be wrong. Those of you who have visited our website know about our video page, but did you know it only has a small fraction of all PHR videos? Our YouTube channel (www.YouTube.com/PopularHotRodding) has over 140 cool videos, with more being added every week. If you want to know more about some of the tech stories you've read about here, or want to sneak a peek at stuff that hasn't hit the magazine yet, check it out! Here are some recently posted shows from our series, Popular Hot Rodding Presents!
454ci Windsor Short-Block Buildup: Assembly of a 454ci Ford small-block using an Eagle rot
454ci Windsor Induction Assembly & Dyno Test: We continue with the top end buildup of
Fabrication Methods For Creating Your Own Parts: How to make cool interior parts from scra
Wilwood Dynalite Disc Brake Installation: We bolt a set of Wilwood Dynalite brakes to the
CPP Hydra Stop Booster: Overview and installation of Classic Performance Products’ afforda
PCS Paddle Shifter Installation: How to convert any column or floor-shift automatic to Pow
I very much appreciate your coverage of the 351 Cleveland and am looking forward to Cleveland Buildup, Part 2. As a big fan of the Cleveland though, I do want to point out: 1) The Cleveland was made for five years, not four (1970-1974, count 'em). 2) The big valve award goes to the '69 Boss 302 with a 2.23 intake. The '70 Boss 302 also had 2.19-inch valves like the 4V Clevelands. 3) The Windsor is not the "modern" design, the Cleveland was. The Windsor and its oiling system goes back to 1962. Granted, it was a superior oiling system. Thanks again for the Cleveland coverage.
Battle Ground, WA
Thanks for the clarification, Neal. Trick Flow Specialties has made a huge investment in the Cleveland engine family with their new line of cylinder heads and intakes. They're betting there's a lot more guys like you out there. For those who missed last month's conclusion of our 408ci hydraulic-roller Cleveland stroker buildup, it made 621 hp (6,400 rpm) and 523 lb-ft (5,400) using Trick Flow's PowerPort 225cc heads and Track Heat intake.
Put It To The Test
In the Bangin' Gears column of the Feb. '14 issue, you stated that a high specific output is not about the engine's efficiency as measured by brake specific fuel consumption or, said another way, fuel economy. I believe that a good brake specific fuel consumption number (low BSFC number) is required to win the AMSOIL Engine Masters competition. I would expect to see numbers well below 0.4 centering near peak torque in order to do well in this competition. Fuel economy, per se, is a part-throttle design objective. Most published BSFC numbers are at wide-open throttle. The kinds of things that impact BSFC include combustion efficiency, mechanical friction of the engine, pumping losses, and compression ratio. Improved combustion efficiency, reduced friction and pumping losses, and increased compression ratio all will improve horsepower. So I believe that engine efficiency over the specified rpm range of the Engine Masters Challenge is an important objective in producing a winning entry. BSFC is not just about fuel economy as we normally think of it in terms of mpg. It is also about the efficiency of using fuel to make power.
You bring up good points, Robert. It certainly would seem intuitive that a low BSFC number would help the score, but, in fact, it has no bearing on the outcome. (And by the way, peak torque rpm is normally where you'll find the lowest BSFC.) At the Challenge, an engine's fuel intake does not have any sway on the competition score, other than the fact that lower BSFCs tend to be a marker for well-designed engines. It can chug as much—or sip as little—VP100 fuel as needed. It's an established fact that each engine is going to demand a unique amount of fuel per unit of power, and BSFC is not something that can be dialed-in like jet size or ignition advance. One final clarification: BSFC does have a profound impact on efficiency (and yes, economy). It is most often measured at full throttle, but it's also important at part throttle, particularly at the OEM level. Don't take our word for it though. If your belief about BSFC is so strong, you ought to enter the AMSOIL Engine Masters Challenge and try out your theory!
With regard to the "Feeling Fuelish" piece on setting up the fuel system for the project Cougar, I offer a word of caution. I've used a competitor's version of the fuel hose you chose (Earl's Pro-Lite 350) when replacing the fuel system on my car. When used with modern fuels (gasoline plus alcohol), the smaller hydrocarbon molecules came right through the fuel line in a gaseous/vapor form. No liquid leaks mind you, but the smell of gasoline fills any enclosed space the car is parked in. If this happens with your lines routed inside the passenger compartment, well, it will be interesting. I ended up having to replace all of it with aluminum hard line to eliminate my garage reeking of gasoline. If the fuel line itself is of rubber-type compounds, it needs to be rated to meet or exceed the SAE30R9 spec (high pressure EFI hose) or have the PTFE liner in order to keep all of the hydrocarbon fuel inside the line. Many of the braided lines don't have the liner, and I haven't found any of the braided rubber lines that have the SAE rating. There are lots of examples out there of people who have encountered the same problem with both stainless and textile braided lines. I thought a well-intended warning might keep other readers from finding out the hard way, as many others and I have.
Editor Johnny Hunkins responds: Michael, very well put. I had this exact conversation with Tech Editor Christopher Campbell in the planning stage for this story, and he says as a race car, the Max Effort Cougar will have its fuel lines replaced at the prescribed intervals. Your experience is identical to two other projects I've had over the years, and I learned my lesson about using "race" fuel line on a garaged street car. You are right—those fumes coming from braided stainless race fuel line will knock you flat out! An EFI-spec rubber hose using push-lock–style fittings is a solution I've had great luck with. It's less expensive, and won't have to be replaced every three to five years when traditional braided stainless steel race line begins to get brittle and fume out. Additionally, Earl's and many other companies offer PTFE-lined hose, such as Earl's Ultra-Flex 650. If in doubt about the fuel additives, many of which can cause premature fuel line deterioration, a PTFE-lined hose is a good option, as is the aluminum tubing you mentioned.