GM VORTEC (Red) Car Debuts at SEMA

GENERAL MOTORS' VORTEC (RED) ASA 5700 RACE CAR MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT SEMA LAS VEGAS - At the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show here, General Motors pulled the wraps off its all-new VORTEC (red) race car, powered for the first...

GENERAL MOTORS' VORTEC (RED) ASA 5700 RACE CAR MAKES WORLD DEBUT AT SEMA

LAS VEGAS - At the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) show here, General Motors pulled the wraps off its all-new VORTEC (red) race car, powered for the first time by GM's VORTEC (red) ASA 5700 (a derivative of the LS1 V-8 engine). As previously announced by GM and the American Speed Association, the VORTEC (red) ASA 5700 will be the powerplant for the ASA ACDelco Challenge Series beginning in 2000 and will make its competition debut as the ASA series powerplant in March.

The engine is rated at 450 horsepower and 450 lb.-ft of torque and, except for a few modifications, is similar to the production version found in the Chevrolet Corvette and Camaro, Pontiac Firebird, Opel Omega and Holden Commodore and Statesman.

"It's a win-win situation," said John Juriga, total integration engineer for GM Gen-III passenger car engines. "We get to learn about the engine's performance and durability under extreme race track conditions. And ASA gets an engine that's high-performa nce and a great value, and built to very tight specifications. Having the engine on the racetrack is sort of like having it in a rolling laboratory at speed. This will bring the stock back into stock-car racing."

Compared to the production version, the ASA race version of VORTEC (red) 5700 has a unique camshaft, with higher lift and more overlap, for a racing application, along with a modified valve spring. It also has a dry-sump oil lube system, with a different oil pan to compensate for constant left-turn driving during race conditions.

The engine also includes new rod bolts, with 25 percent greater fatigue strength, which will ultimately find their way into the production engine - just one example of improvements GM makes or will make to the production LS1 as a result of racing developme nt.

The VORTEC (red) engine is built right on the line in Romulus, Mich., alongside the production version and other engines, including the VORTEC 5300 truck engine. The assembly process is identical , except for just a few different parts.

"We wanted to keep it as much of a stock engine as possible, so it would have the most value both to ASA and to GM Powertrain," said Juriga. "It's better than a hand-built, hand-torqued engine because it's built to exact specifications under very tight co ntrols, which makes each engine identical to the next. This also provides excellent reliability."

The engine controller-the powertrain control module-is also the same as in the production engines. It's calibrated with different values, for fuel and spark, for example, to optimize race performance. The powertrain control module also has engine diagnos tic capability. Key engine parameters and functions such as fuel rates, spark levels and critical fluid temperatures and pressures can be monitored.

The VORTEC (red) engines will allow ASA teams to run more competitively, with a reliable, durable, high-performance engine at about one-third the cost of the series' previous powerplant, privately-built V-6 units. Ant it will allow GM to evaluate one of i ts most prized engines in a demanding, high-load environment.

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