Every year SEMA challenges attendees and fans with the same conundrum. At a world-famous trade show marked by hundreds of memorable moments, how much can one actually recall?
Consider Chevrolet Performance’s latest contributions to annual sensory overload during this past November’s exposition. It sponsored a Ride and Drive event, rolled out hot concepts like the Camaro SS Slammer, Silverado HD Carhartt and Colorado Z71 and introduced a multitude of new parts in its 2017 Chevrolet Performance Catalog, which now features more than 50 crate engines.
Can’t remember all the details? That’s actually a terrific reason to perform some post-SEMA research. Here’s a look at four industry-shaking new entries from GM that could be making memories for your customers.
Blow away the budget blues
Rebuilding a classic powerhouse vehicle can be one of the most satisfying journeys a performance aficionado or any car lover can take. Rebuilds can be expensive and well outside the budget for some of the most hardcore power fans.
For them, Chevrolet Performance offers the next-best thing—maybe even something better, the SP350/357 crate engine. Melding old-school brawn with modern tech, the SP350/357—dubbed the “Affordable Performer”—pairs the muscle of the popular 350 H.O. crate engine with an all-new hydraulic roller camshaft, the latest small-block intake manifold design and high-flow Vortec cylinder heads. Horsepower is bumped up to 357 and torque jumps to 407 lb.-ft. The result is a smooth, high RPM powerplant that recalls classic cool with an injection of 21st-century ingenuity fit for even the most frugal gearhead.
The Chevelle SS Slammer, like its Camaro brother, for now, is just a SEMA concept. Customers have the opportunity to bring the heart and soul of the Chevelle into their own garages. Its powerplant is now available as the LT376/535 crate engine. Similar to the LT1 and LS family of small-blocks, the LT376/535 arrives with a unique block casting, CNC-ported cylinder heads, new oiling system and a specially-engineered high-performance camshaft. With direct injection, the engine builds an 11.5.1 compression ratio to punch out a naturally aspirated 535 hp that revs near 6,800 rpm. The engine includes a manifold, throttle body assembly, ignition coils, water pump and balancer.
The 455-hp LT1 6.2L crate engine just became more accessible to a wider range of drivers and applications thanks to new Connect & Cruise and E-ROD packages. The Connect & Cruise package, matches the LT1 (wet sump) to the new 8L90-E eight-speed automatic transmission, putting top-line performance in the hands of drivers wishing to stay away from a manual transmission.
The Connect & Cruise E-ROD system takes the same concept and adds catalytic converters, along with other emissions-related equipment. Just like that, the LTI becomes CARB-compliant for millions of 1996 and earlier vehicles in California, while retaining its horsepower and 465 lb-ft of torque.
Speaking of the 8L90-E eight-speed automatic transmission, it’s also been adapted for the LT4 crate engine. With four gearsets and five clutches, creative packaging enables it to fit the same space as GM’s family of six-speed automatics.
Category: Industry News