Wednesday, May 26, 2010


Although development with the diesel powerplant has not ceased, we have opted to include the GM E-Rod package. Like the diesel powerplant, the E-Rod allows specially constructed vehicles to be titled and registered in even the strictest of states (including California) when it comes to emissions standards. It's also widely known in the auto industry, loved by enthusiasts and car builders everywhere for it's ease of use in custom applications, ability to be modified be even low budget builders and obtain big leaps in performance, and heralded by many as one of the greatest engine lines ever produced.

With this package, you can lower your carbon footprint and not sacrifice your power and torque since this engine is the same 430 hp/424 ft-lb engine from the Camaro SS and Corvette. In the past, this engine and those like it were available for installation in custom designed vehicles, but the issue was how to handle the electronics to run the engine, how to mount it, and how to pass emissions. The people at GM Performance Parts have taken all of those hurdles into consideration and delivered this great powerplant in a package that comes with the engine controller, exhaust (with catalytic converters), and Oxygen sensors. The mounting albeit, is still up to the customer.

However, having worked with this engine platform in the past, we knew that the Corvette and Camaro mounts were available as options for mounts and we could fabricate the necessary mounts on the chassis side to accept them. Other components that have to be researched for a fully functional engine are the A/C Compressor and brackets, the Alternator, and of course the right transmission for our application.

Normally this would be a major undertaking of time and capital, but with the help of the SEMA Techtransfer, decisions on what components will work for us are made much easier. As members of SEMA, the Techtransfer allows us to make a request for certain components in CAD so that we can use them in our chassis model to determine how (if) they will fit, and what we'll need to fabricate (unless they'll work right off the shelf as-is) to mount them. The level of detail, as you can see in the image below, is pretty astounding. Without these models we would have to research the parts by scouring the internet, calling dealerships, buying the parts, then reverse engineering them to put in our model. With the Techtransfer, we can submit a request for the data and usually have it within a day or two to incorporate into our model. This has been invaluable in the quest for which engine accessories - like the A/C Compressor and Alternator - can be used, and certainly which transmission(s) will fit in the car.

Stay tuned for more updates on the development process of the Local Motors Rally Fighter and the E-Rod.