V8 KILLER

IN­SIDE THE NEW-GEN­ER­A­TION HOLDEN SU­PER­CAR POWER PLANT

NZ Performance Car - - Mode -

8 Su­per­cars will fi­nally en­ter the 21st cen­tury next year with the in­tro­duc­tion of the Gen2 rules, which al­low non-V8 en­gines to en­ter the fray from 2018 on­wards in the form of tur­bocharged four- and six­cylin­der mo­tors.

The first team to have em­braced the switch is the most dom­i­nant in the cat­e­gory, Triple Eight Rac­ing, which is Holden’s num­ber-one team.

The switch from V8 to V6 won’t see Triple Eight start devel­op­ment from scratch, as you might have thought, as Holden called on par­ent com­pany Gen­eral Mo­tors (GM) for help. The an­swer came from the most un­likely race car you’ll find in the GM line-up — the Cadil­lac ATS-V.R GT3. Its power plant is a V6 twin-turbo race ver­sion of the 3.6-litre LF4 found in the likes of the Cadil­lac ATS-V, and can trace its Holden roots — in a nat­u­rally as­pi­rated form — right back to the VE. The race vari­ant of the LF4, known as the ‘LF4.R’, has been built at the GM Per­for­mance and Driv­e­train Cen­tre in the US. It uses an all-al­loy con­struc­tion with 103mm bore, 60-de­gree block, and al­loy heads, and we sus­pect that it still re­tains the ti­ta­nium rods, al­loy pis­tons, and forged crank that the street vari­ant runs. With the GT3 en­gine said to pro­duce 447kW and 705Nm of torque in un­re­stricted form, it was never too far off what it would re­quire to be com­pet­i­tive in the Su­per­cars field. Like the GT3 car, the Holden vari­ants will run larger BorgWarner EFR tur­bos than the street ver­sion, al­though their lo­ca­tion has been shifted for pack­ag­ing rea­sons in the Car of the Fu­ture (COTF) chas­sis. While the public is yet to see un­der-the-bon­net shots, the in­clu­sion of non-reg­u­lated bon­net vents in each cor­ner lead one to as­sume the drool­wor­thy bil­let/ car­bon in­take with in­te­grated wa­ter-to-air in­ter­cool­ers found on the GT3 ma­chines will also be changed to suit the COTF chas­sis, with the Triple Eight team cit­ing pack­ag­ing and cen­tre of grav­ity as the rea­sons for the shift to air-to-air cool­ers. Ex­ten­sive dyno work in the US has re­sulted in an ad­ver­tised 485kW in an en­gine that revs to 7500rpm. Un­der­stand­ably, Triple Eight and Holden re­main tight-lipped on all the de­tails, but one can as­sume that the cars will run a Bosch MS5.1 ECU as with the GT3 cars. Early test­ing in Triple Eight’s test-mule chas­sis has sug­gested big prom­ise de­spite the usual grum­bles based around noise not match­ing the V8s, but we sus­pect that, once the en­gine pack­age is di­alled, it will be more than ca­pa­ble of hold­ing its own against its eight-cylin­der ri­vals. But if you’re al­ready plan­ning to shoe­horn one into your Ce­firo, don’t hold your breath, as they will be built in the US and leased to Holden teams — in­clud­ing Triple Eight — for the fore­see­able fu­ture. The new combo will have a grad­ual roll­out in 2018, with a fourth Triple Eight car run­ning at se­lected rounds ahead of a com­plete roll-out in 2019.

SPECS GM LF4.R 3.6-litre V6 TT Twin BorgWarner EFR tur­bos Pneu­matic waste­gate con­trol Bosch MS5.1 ECU 485kW at 7500rpm Dual air-to-air in­ter­cool­ers

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