Sport Compact Drag Racing has been growing in size and popularity with young Americans in recent years. This classification for front-wheel-drive cars has been characterized by the strong participation of primarily Asian brands such as Honda, Acura, Mitsubishi and Mazda. General Motors recently began a development program to produce a competitive powertrain package for this growing series. The new Ecotec engine platform combined with the Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac Sunfire has been chosen to lead GM's development effort. To be competitive, more than 560 reliable kilowatts are required. This represents a major engineering challenge for a production-based 2.2L engine.
This paper will discuss the development process used to transform a 105 KW stock 2.2L Ecotec engine into a 744 KW (1000 HP) race winner. It will also include information on the development procedure - namely, dynamometer and track testing. The paper will also discuss the limits of the stock components and the modifications necessary to use these components at elevated power levels. Details will be provided on specific modifications necessary to the cylinder block and cylinder head to increase strength and durability.
Major performance improvements were achieved by modifying and properly selecting the engine airflow components. These components include air intake, turbocharger, intercooler, intake manifold, cylinder head and exhaust manifold. Detailed descriptions of these components will be included in the paper. Engine and vehicle performance will also be discussed.
The Ecotec engine has proven right from the start to be a reliable and competitive engine for use in the highly modified Sport Compact Drag Racing series. The number of stock components utilized in the race engine demonstrates the robust design of the base Ecotec engine.
Proceedings of the 2002 SAE Motorsports Engineering Conference and Exhibition-P-382, Design of Racing and High-Performance Engines 1998-2003-PT-100, SAE 2002 Transactions Journal of Engines-V111-3