GM Starts Work on New Performance and Racing Center

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From General Motors:

PONTIAC, Mich. – General Motors today began construction of a state-of-the-art facility for race engine design and development, as well as an electric motor laboratory and gear center.

GM’s continued investment in motorsports comes from the time-tested belief that racing is the ultimate proving ground for much of the technology that applies to the vehicles GM sells.

“The GM Performance and Racing Center, or GMPRC, will continue to develop some of the world’s winningest race engines for Chevrolet and Cadillac,” said Steve Kiefer, vice president of GM Global Powertrain. “Connecting our race engineers with our global powertrain engineering teams will improve our customers’ powertrains in terms of efficiency, reliability and durability. The center will also provide exciting career opportunities for our engineering organization.”

Engineers and technicians from GM’s race engineering center in Wixom, Mich. will move to the new facility in mid-2015. The relocation will centralize North American powertrain engineering expertise for production engines as well as advanced and racing propulsion programs. Condensing the engineering to one large space is an excellent way to develop race-bred engineers whether they work on production or performance vehicles.

This centralization of talent will provide more collaboration opportunities between racing and production engineers already at GM Powertrain Engineering headquarters and development lab, one of the most advanced facilities of its kind in the world.
The move will include about 100 employees who work on powertrain racing development, electric motors and in the gear center. The new building is expected to be opened and in use by mid-2015 and completed by early 2016.

“The GM Performance and Racing Center will serve as a resource to help our race teams and drivers continue to win races and championships,” said Jim Campbell, U.S. vice president, Performance Vehicles and Motorsports. “It will also help advance technical sharing between racing and production engine programs.”

The GMPRC is part of a $200 million investment GM announced last January to build a new 138,000 sq.-ft. test wing. At that time, the company announced work at four remote locations would consolidate on the Pontiac campus, helping to reduce development timing for GM’s next-generation advanced propulsion technologies. When the moves are complete, about 400 jobs will be added to the Pontiac campus.
Engineers at the GMPRC will work on powertrain-related projects for GM’s involvement in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR Nationwide Series, NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, Verizon IndyCar Series, TUDOR United SportsCar Championship, Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, Pirelli World Challenge, NHRA (COPO Camaro Program) and Global Rally Cross.

The Chevrolet and Cadillac racing teams have seen much track success. Since its inception in 1999, Corvette Racing has won 10 manufacturer titles in GT competition and 92 global wins, including seven prestigious class wins in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Team Cadillac, since 2004, has amassed 24 wins, 82 podium finishes and 20 pole positions. The team won the World Challenge Manufacturer Championship in 2005, 2006, 2012 and 2013.

In NASCAR Sprint Cup Series competition, Chevrolet has captured the Manufacturers’ Cup title an unprecedented 37 times, including the past 11 consecutive years. Chevrolet also leads all Manufacturers in the series with 722 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series victories. 

Chevrolet returned to the Verizon IndyCar Series in 2012 as an engine manufacturer, and won 23 of the 37 races held since. Chevrolet also won the IndyCar Manufacturer Championship in 2012 and 2013. Chevrolet IndyCar V6 drivers on the pole for the Indianapolis 500 in both 2012 and 2013, and Tony Kanaan won the 2013 Indianapolis 500.

In addition to the performance and racing engineering, the new facility will house an electric motor lab and a gear center.

The electric motor lab produces prototype electric motors and validates manufacturing processes used in the production of electric and hybrid vehicle motors. Electric motor engineering, design and validation are core competencies for GM in the development, sourcing and manufacturing of electric vehicles and their major components.

The gear center supports design, manufacturing processes, inspection techniques and testing of gears used primarily in the next generation of GM transmissions.

GM rumored to build full-sized pickup truck

Reuters reports that General Motors will be working towards an aluminum-bodied pickup truck by late 2018.

This comes after pressure from the federal government to improve fuel efficiency standards.

According to their story, GM recently locked-in contracts with two suppliers to increase their aluminum sheet production to supply the next-generation GM pickup.

Right now, aluminum is in such high demand that the companies need to order it years in advance, Reuters said.

What do you think about GM producing an all-aluminum bodied full-size pickup truck? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

Also, make sure you check out this week’s PowerNation TV schedule so you don’t miss out on any of the shows! Click here: www.powernationtv.com/schedule

GM: Track-capable Camaro Z/28 Validated at Nürburgring

From General Motors:

Chevrolet today revealed a video of the all-new, 2014 Camaro Z/28 lapping Germany’s challenging Nürburgring road course in 7:37.40, a time comparable with some of the world’s most prestigious sports cars.
The Z/28’s lap is four seconds faster than the Camaro ZL1, and beats published times for the Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640. The Z/28’s lap was completed on less-than-ideal conditions, with damp pavement and pouring rain near the end of the run.
“One of the challenges of testing at the ‘Ring is that the track is so long that conditions can change radically in a single lap,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “Adam Dean, the development driver for Z/28, did a heroic job driving in deteriorating conditions. Based on telemetry data from our test sessions, we know the Z/28 can be as much as six seconds faster on a dry track.”
In terms of lap times, the Z/28’s improved speed came from three areas:

• Increased grip: The Z/28 is capable of 1.08 g in cornering acceleration, due to comprehensive chassis revisions
• Increased stopping power: The Z/28 features Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes capable of 1.5 g in deceleration, and consistent brake feel lap after lap
• Reduced curb weight: The naturally aspirated Z/28 weighs 300 pounds less than the supercharged Camaro ZL1, with changes ranging from lightweight wheels to thinner rear-window glass.

The heart of the Z/28 is the 7.0L LS7 engine. The LS7 uses lightweight, racing-proven, high-performance components, such as titanium intake valves and connecting rods, CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads and a forged-steel crankshaft to help produce an SAE-certified 505 horsepower (376 kW) and 481 lb-ft of torque (652 Nm). Air-conditioning is available, but only as an option.

A close-ratio six-speed manual transmission is the only transmission offered and power is distributed to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential featuring a helical gear set, rather than traditional clutch packs. The new design enables the driver to apply more power and get through corners faster, by making the most of the capability of individual-wheel antilock brake function during corner entry braking, mid-corner speed and corner-exit traction.

The team spent a week at the Nürburgring as part of the Z/28’s performance-validation regimen, accumulating a total of 10 hours and nearly 1,000 miles on the track. Each lap took less than eight minutes to complete, despite having to overtake slower traffic at times. These hours are part of the grueling 24-Hour Test, which simulates a full year’s worth of track use of track days or amateur-level competition at the hands of an owner. 

“Passing the 24-Hour Test is a requirement for all cars we call ‘track capable,’” said Wayne McConnell, director of global vehicle performance. “The test pushes the car at 10/10ths on the track for a total of 24 hours. During the test the only mechanical changes allowed are replacing the brakes and tires.”

The 24-Hour Test is broken into a number of segments over the course of several days – and even at different tracks – to evaluate performance in precisely measured and carefully monitored increments. Crucially, each valid test lap must be run within 2 percent of a target lap speed to count toward the 24-hour total.

The 24-Hour Test was first used in the early 1990s for the fourth-generation Corvette. Back then, the 300-horsepower Corvette was Chevrolet’s most powerful vehicle, and the 24-Hour Test measured 15 channels of data. Today, the 2014 Camaro LS offers a 323-horsepower V-6, while the Camaro Z/28’s racing-proven LS7 7.0L small-block V-8 delivers 505 horsepower, and the 24-Hour Test measures 130 channels of data.

“Our cars’ performance and capability have advanced tremendously in the past 20 years, which required us to continually improve the parameters of the 24-Hour Test,” said McConnell.

“Today’s test pushes the car harder than the vast majority of customers ever will. As a result, when we call a car ‘track capable’ we are confident that it will perform reliably and consistently for our customers.”

Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

C5, C6 Corvette crash during amateur drag race at traffic light

UPDATE:

A C5 and a C6 Corvette take off at a traffic light, make is less than 100 yards, and wreck.

According to CorvetteBlogger.com, Roy W. Bowden, 45, of The Woodlands, and Brian A. Hebert, 24, of Spring, Texas, were indicted last Thursday by a Montgomery County, Texas, grand jury. The story says they were both facing charges of third-degree felony racing on highway causing bodily injury.

In Texas, those charges can carry a sentence of 2-10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

Herbert told an officer at the scene that he felt pain in his leg, and he was taken to the hospital, which is why bodily injury was part of the charge, the story said. If Hebert had not been hurt, the drivers would have only faced Class B misdemeanors.

We’ll keep you posted about the drivers’ final sentences. Check out the video below if you haven’t seen it yet.

Last year on Thanksgiving, while many families were watching football and eating turkey, 2 guys driving a C5 and C6 Corvettes decide to turn their turkey day into a drag race.

According to the Youtube description for this video, a guy caught this on camera while he was on his way to pick up his family’s Thanksgiving Turkey. He said he had a feeling something bad was going to happen because of the “conditions and testosterone flowing between these two.”
And the only thing that was hurt was the drivers’ egos.

Check it out below. And remember, don’t make public roads your drag strip:

General Motors: Silverado High Country Defines Rugged Luxury

Silverado High Country Defines Rugged Luxury

DALLAS – Like a finely crafted saddle or pair of custom-fitted boots, the 2014 Silverado High Country embodies rugged luxury – craftsmanship, authenticity and functionality rolled into a truck that’s stronger, smarter and more capable than ever.

It is Chevrolet’s first premium truck and one of the industry’s most capable, backing up an exclusive package of distinctive design elements, comfort and convenience features with segment-topping capability – including the segment’s most powerful V-8 and a 9,800-pound trailering rating.

It goes on sale this fall, priced at $45,100 (including destination charge) for 2WD models equipped with the standard 5.3L engine. The crew cab body is exclusive to the High Country, and it is available with a 5’8″ or 6’6″ cargo box.

Unique content includes a chrome grille with horizontal chrome bars, body-color front and rear bumpers – including Chevrolet’s CornerStep rear bumper – and specific 20-inch chrome wheels with P275/55R20 all-season tires. Additional standard equipment includes halogen projector headlamps, along with chrome body side moldings, door handles and mirrors.

Inside, Silverado High Country features an exclusive saddle brown interior. Heated and cooled perforated premium leather front bucket seats with High Country logos on the headrests are standard, along with Chevrolet MyLink connectivity with an 8-inch touch screen, Bose premium audio and front and rear park assist.

“There’s a Western flair to the High Country’s cabin that reflects the truck’s polished yet rugged stature,” said Maria Rohrer, Silverado marketing director. “It’s a passenger environment that’s equally adept when working a ranch during the day and stepping out for the evening.”

Optional features include a sunroof, navigation system and a rear-seat entertainment system with a BluRay/DVD player, as well as a High Country Premium Package that includes heated steering wheel, driver alert package, adjustable pedals and integrated trailer brake controller.

“Silverado High Country adds a higher degree of capability to the premium truck market and broadens the all-new Silverado’s lineup with a unique combination of exclusive features and purposeful technologies,” said Rohrer. “Its class-leading power is matched with the strong chassis and new suspension and drivetrain elements that make the 2014 Silverado 1500 the strongest, most capable and most refined truck in Chevrolet’s history.”

Launched earlier this year, the 2014 models contributed to a 13.9-percent jump in Silverado sales in August, while sales were up more than 25 percent for the first eight months of 2013.

Complementing capability
The Silverado High Country gives customers the capability they want with confident power to back it up, delivering a maximum payload of 1,957 pounds – more than Toyota Tundra and RAM 1500 – and a 9,800-pound towing capacity.

The EcoTec3 5.3L is the High Country’s standard engine, with SAE-certified at 355 horsepower (250 kW) and 383 lb.-ft. of torque (519 Nm), and class-leading V-8 fuel economy of up to 23 mpg highway (2WD models). The available, all-new EcoTec3 6.2L delivers is the segment’s most powerful V-8 engines, with an SAE-certified 420 horsepower and 460 lb.-ft. of torque.

Both engines feature direct fuel injection, Active Fuel Management and continuously variable valve timing, producing refined power and torque truck customers demand – and both seamlessly switch to four-cylinder mode to save fuel during light-load driving.

Each engine is matched with a six-speed automatic transmission featuring auto grade braking, which downshifts the transmission on downgrades to reduce brake wear. The brake system includes GM’s new Duralife rotors, which feature a hardened and strengthened surface to reduce corrosion, helping them last up to twice as long as conventional rotors and providing quieter braking with less vibration.

Additional chassis and powertrain details include:

– Electric power steering, which helps save fuel and enables a more consistent, crisp steering feel and plenty of assist for parking maneuvers
– New, larger rear axles with the strength to accommodate the engines’ higher outputs
– Standard locking rear differential with 3.42 ratio
– Standard trailering package, with frame-mounted trailer hitch, seven-pin and four-pin connectors
– Trailer sway control is standard and works with StabiliTrak to provide an added measure of confidence when towing a trailer.
– A fully boxed frame with the main rails and major cross members formed from high-strength steel provides a rigid base for maximum hauling capability, as well as greater noise and vibration isolation – contributing to the Silverado – High Country’s balance of segment-best capability and industry-leading refinement.

The stiff chassis enables more precise tuning of the front and rear suspensions, giving the Silverado a more responsive feel with smoother performance and less vibration and shake, particularly on harsh terrain.

Colorado, Canyon to receive four-cylinder Duramax diesel options

Colorado, Canyon to receive four-cylinder Duramax diesel options

General Motors has stepped up to the plate to offer a diesel options of its mid-sized pickups.

Automotive News reports that the redesigned Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon are slated to get a version of GM’s 2.5-liter or 2.8-liter, four-cylinder Duramax turbodiesels, which currently power the Colorado in overseas markets.

The site says that the diesel option will be added to the U.S. lineup abut a year after the fall 2014 launch of the redesigned trucks.

“You’ve got to keep a closer eye than ever before on what the competition is doing and what they’re offering,” Jeff Luke, executive chief engineer for GM’s full-sized and mid-sized trucks, told Auto News. “At the same time, you’ve got to make sure that you’re not confusing the customer with too many choices.

Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

Chief Corvette engineer dispels rumors of Corvette-based Cadillac

Chief Corvette engineer dispels rumors Cadillac-based Corvette

A rumor that spawned across some auto forums claimed Cadillac could develop an XLR successor based on the 2014 Corvette Stingray.

But Corvette chief engineer Tadge Jeuchter told Fox News that there was no intent to offer any other nameplate, aside from the Corvette.

“This is a Corvette. It’s optimized for the Corvette market,” he said in his interview with Fox.

Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.

General Motors Sneak Peek: New Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon Pickups

New Chevrolet Colorado, GMC Canyon Pickups

From General Motors:

ACME, Mich. – At the Center for Automotive Research Management Briefing Seminars today, General Motors Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer Dan Ammann provided the first look at the next-generation Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon, designed to be capable, versatile and fuel-efficient alternatives to full-size pickups. 

Colorado and Canyon will join the all-new 2014 Silverado and Sierra 1500s, and the upcoming Silverado and Sierra HDs, to give Chevrolet and GMC the industry’s most comprehensive lineups of pickups, helping customers choose the right truck for their needs. 

Production is scheduled to start in 2014 at GM’s Wentzville, Mo., assembly center.

Thoughts? Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet to @PowerBlockTV.