The engine makes an estimated 1100 hp and 980 lb ft of torque at only 11 pounds of boost. The estimated part is that it gets violent wheel spin on the dyno so no one is sure exactly how much it makes. The boost is controlled via a 5 position map selector switch and a button on the shifter that gives higher boost for 30 seconds. The twin turbos spool up almost instantly and part of the challenge during the car’s development has been trying to tame the boost curve so the violent power delivery will not upset the chassis. Something interesting is that our Super Small Block Chevy is much more compact and about 40 pounds lighter than the all alloy modern design LS engine!
The engine’s debut at Road Atlanta was problematic. The fuel system that worked flawlessly during dyno testing and seemed adequate on paper did not deliver on track which resulted in the engine running lean and not producing power. The engine did show its potential with Darren managing to qualify despite severe drivabilty issues. The team regrouped and built a super high volume fuel system for the Miami round and again the engine had issues, this time with the now properly fueled engine having an immediate and violent throttle response that instantly blew away the tires, making the car very hard to drive and impossible to find traction with. Intense underhood heat was also damaging parts of the ignition system causing misfires. Again, Darren somehow managed to qualify but did not advance.
Coming into the New Jersey round the team spent a great deal of time on the dyno improving part throttle drivability and tuning the boost curve to make the car easier to control as well as managing underhood heat. The car finally came to life qualifying 15th and easily making it to the great 8 in the event. Darren ended up getting eliminated by the eventual event winner Fredrick Aasbo due to a lesser follow run despite a very strong lead run. During the event Darren and the car were for the first time this season, in a position to win.
Power to burn. The challenge in the coming rounds is going to be getting the newly available power to the ground. The team is going to focus on suspension changes for the future rounds to take advantage of the newfound power.
The future of the sport of pro drifting is probably going to be with the turbo V8. After the initial expenditure the turbo system, a turbo V8 is going to be lower stressed and more consistent than the V8’s with big nitrous systems or highly tuned, high revving natural aspirated motors. The turbo V8 can get away with lower, less stressful revs with a wider powerband. The power level and delivery characteristics are easily adjustable electronically for the conditions and future improvements in tire and suspension technology. Team Falken’s turbo Small Block is proving to be both powerful and reliable with future development focusing on taming its wild no lag power. Power wars? Not likely, more like a glimpse into the future.