Nerd’s Eye View: SEMA 2015 Part I

Nerd’s Eye View: SEMA 2015 – Part I

by Khiem Dinh

Khiem Dinh is an engineer for Honeywell Turbo Technologies at the time of this writing.  All statements and opinions expressed by Khiem Dinh are solely those of Khiem Dinh and not reflective of Honeywell Turbo Technologies.

This year, I only had five hours to make it through the show, so I had to make haste like the road runner to try to see as much as possible. That ‘as much as possible’ turned out to only be one hall. Not only that, but SEMA has gotten bigger than ever! Cars and booths are packed outside. What was the media center in previous years held more booths. I didn’t have time to make it to registration as I had no clue where it was this year, so I borrowed my buddy’s wife’s badge and was known as Lucy for the day.


Before transforming into Lucy, I walked around outside and caught site of this Ariel Atom. What drew my eyes? A Borg Warner EFR turbo bolted to a Honda K-Series engine. You know, because you need something like 500hp in a 1300lb car. That’s getting close to liter bike power to weight ratio. Notice the exhaust elbow adapter going from the single exhaust port in the head to the turbo is welded to the turbine housing inlet flange. No gaskets to leak or bolts to loosen here. A heat shield with the gold radiant heat reflective foil is protecting something against the heat coming off the exhaust elbow adapter. The coolant line has a protective sleeve to protect it against heat.
A Turbosmart actuator regulates the wastegate flow of the internal wastegate.
The exhaust routing is very short going through I believe is a Burns Stainless muffler. An air-to-water intercooler keeps the charge piping short from the turbo to the intake manifold for best throttle response.
This FR-S should be familiar to nearly everyone; Evasive built it to attack Pikes Peak and we covered the car in great detail. At Pikes Peak with the thin air at altitude, big boost and aero downforce are required for fast times up the mountain.

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