2009 SEMA: ‘55 Chevy introduces E-ROD crate engine package

Article by Christian A., on August 29, 2009

After we saw the Corvette Grand Sport with Heritage Package, GM introduced today at this year's SEMA Show a 1955 Chevy powered by the innovative, new E-ROD crate engine package.

"We developed this system because it's the right thing to do, but our engineers did not sacrifice the performance that stirs hot rodders in the first place. It is a compromise-free package that delivers great power and efficiency, with the emissions of a modern vehicle."

According to the manufacturer, the core of the E-ROD package is the LS3 6.2L V8 engine capable to deliver an impressive 430 hp. This package will be available on the opening day of the 2009 SEMA Show through GM dealers, authorized GMPP retailers and via the GMPP Web site, at a price of $9,375.

Standard elements of the kit include: 6.2-liter LS3 crate engine, rated at 430 horsepower and 424 lb.-ft. of torque, GMPP LS3 engine wiring harness, GMPP engine control module, exhaust manifolds, catalytic converters. oxygen sensors and sensor bosses, fuel tank evaporative emissions canister, mass airflow sensor and sensor boss, accelerator pedal (for use with the LS3's electronic throttle), air filter and an instruction manual.

The E-ROD from GM Performance Parts shows impressive efficiency, performance, and emission standards that are complemented with an antique style. This ’55 Chevy is equipped with the state-of-the-art E-ROD crate engine package which has the LS3 engine and emissions equipment with supporting components that allow this classic car to pass even the strictest of California’s smog tests. The E-ROD concept vehicle was announced by GMPP during the 2009 SEMA Show held in Las Vegas.

On the show’s opening day, the engine package will be available through the different authorized GMPP retailers and GM dealers. It will also be accessible through GMPP’s website -- www.gmperformanceparts.com. The LS3 E-ROD package has a list price of $9,375. GMPP product marketing manager Dr. Jamie Meyer shared that the E-ROD signifies the transformation of hot rodding and it does this by providing an engine and emission system that is not only exceptional but also has the approval of the California Air Resources Board.

While this particular system was developed by the company because it was the right thing to do, its engineers made sure that the performance hot rods that it’s known for was not lost, he added. This package offers no compromises and manages to provide efficiency and power plus the emission level of many modern vehicles, continued Meyer. At the heart of this E-ROD package is its LS3 6.2-liter V-8 engine that could deliver 430 horsepower.

The emissions equipment that is part of this offering includes, among others, a fuel tank with evaporative emissions canister and catalytic converters. To ensure that vehicles with the E-ROD package get the necessary approval, GMPP made sure to work with CARB and even SEMA officials when it developed the kit. As a result, these vehicles are already legal in California while other states are expected to follow as soon as CARB gives out its recommendations and the emissions standard.

This CARB-approved system from GMPP is unlike any other offered by other aftermarket manufacturers or Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM). The E-ROD system gives the engine a horsepower that is 160% better compared to the V-8 that was in the 1955 version, Meyer said. The efficiency and emission performance though, he continued, is something that was not even possible 50 years ago. According to Meyer, this will be how the hot rods of today will be made.

These cars will offer the efficiency found in new high-performance GM vehicles but they will meet emissions standards and be environment-friendly, which means owners will have smaller carbon footprints, Meyer added. Though the E-ROD package is a concept vehicle, GMPP created the E-ROD ’55 as its proof of concept. The package shows the level of construction that is possible while being able to combine modifications with standard restoration.

According to designer Dave Ross, in order to create the ’55 Chevy, the company followed a clean, direct, and simple approach. Most custom features do not need labor-intensive fabrication and thus the company wanted to show that the E-ROD system could be integrated to any classic car, be it a ’55 Chevy or even the’69 Camaro, he continued. Under the E-ROD package, the exterior of the E-ROD ’55 has the Bel Air chrome trim and is highlighted with the customized PPG colors that are applied by GM.

The interior meanwhile continues with its original appearance with the upholstery and other items being provided by CARS Inc. The only difference is the Grand steering wheel and IDIDIT adjustable steering. In order to keep up with the basic visuals, the wheels for the car were not the expensive billet-cut rims. Rather it uses the 18-inch steel wheels with the Camaro as the base. The wheels however have center caps, lug nuts and bright trim rings, giving it a unique but inexpensive look.

Ross explained that this is what a practical hot rod is. While the attention to detail is sure to make any hot rod owner proud, this does not mean that this car cannot be used for a cross-country drive. The E-ROD ’55 is comfortable, efficient, and powerful, concludes Meyer.

Press Release

Uncompromising Classic: GM's E-Rod ’55 Introduces New, Emissions-Compliant Crate Engine Package

Vintage style complements modern performance, efficiency and emissions standards in GM Performance Parts’ ground breaking E-ROD – a ’55 Chevy powered by the innovative, new E-ROD crate engine package. It includes a complete LS3 engine, emissions equipment and supporting components that enable classic cars to pass California’s stringent smog tests.

GM Performance Parts (GMPP) introduced the E-ROD concept vehicle at the 2009 SEMA Show, in Las Vegas. The E-ROD crate engine package will be available on the opening day of the 2009 SEMA Show through GM dealers, authorized GMPP retailers and via the GMPP Web site, www.gmperformanceparts.com. List price for the LS3 E-ROD package is $9,375.

“E-ROD represents a revolution in hot rodding by offering an unprecedented, emissions-legal engine and emissions system that carries approval from the influential California Air Resources Board (CARB),” said Dr. Jamie Meyer, product marketing manager for GM Performance Parts. “We developed this system because it’s the right thing to do, but our engineers did not sacrifice the performance that stirs hot rodders in the first place. It is a compromise-free package that delivers great power and efficiency, with the emissions of a modern vehicle.”

The core of the E-ROD package is the LS3 6.2L V-8 engine that is rated at 430 horsepower. Emissions equipment included with the package includes catalytic converters, a fuel tank evaporative emissions canister and more. GMPP worked closely with CARB and SEMA officials to develop the kit and secured approval that makes E-ROD-equipped vehicles legal in California and other areas that follow CARB’s recommendations and emissions standards. No other O.E.M. or aftermarket manufacturer offers a comparable, CARB-approved system.

“With the E-ROD system, you’re getting 160 percent more horsepower than the original small-block V-8 offered in 1955, but with emissions performance and efficiency that wasn’t even dreamt of half a century ago,” said Meyer. “This is how modern hot rods will be built. They’ll have the efficiency of a modern GM high-performance vehicle, be environmentally conscious and emissions-compliant – all while providing the owner with a smaller carbon footprint.”

The E-ROD system components

The E-ROD kit carries part number 19244805 and includes the same, basic LS3 engine that’s found in the Camaro SS and Corvette (additional engine choices, including the LS7 and LSA, are planned for future packages). Standard elements of the kit include:

6.2-liter LS3 crate engine, rated at 430 horsepower and 424 lb.-ft. of torque
GMPP LS3 engine wiring harness
GMPP engine control module
Exhaust manifolds
Catalytic converters
Oxygen sensors and sensor bosses
Fuel tank evaporative emissions canister
Mass airflow sensor and sensor boss
Accelerator pedal (for use with the LS3’s electronic throttle)
Air filter
Instruction manual
In addition to the E-ROD system, the builder will need to source additional components to complete the assembly and get the vehicle running. They include:

Fuel tank
Fuel lines (re-circulating or returnless)
Fuel pump
Fuel tank vent line from the tank to the evaporative emissions canister
Pure line from the canister to the engine purge solenoid
Air induction system that incorporates the mass airflow sensor
Exhaust system behind the catalytic converters
Additionally, the LS3 engine requires a front-end accessory drive system that is suitable to the vehicle. The instruction manual includes recommendations for the accessory drive kit, as well as the transmission, gear ratios and more.

The E-ROD kit does not include a transmission. GMPP recommends the GM Hydra-Matic electronically controlled 4L60-E four-speed automatic, part number 19156260, and transmission controller, part number 12497316.

The E-ROD ’55

GMPP’s proof of concept for the E-ROD package is the E-ROD ’55, which was built to illustrate a typical installation project. Importantly, it represents an attainable level of construction, blending basic restoration and modification details.

“It is a simple, clean and straightforward approach to building a ’55 Chevy,” said designer Dave Ross. “There are not many custom features that required labor-intensive fabrication; our goal was to depict how the E-ROD system could be incorporated in any classic vehicle, whether it’s a ’55 Chevy, street rod or ’69 Camaro.”

The exterior wears factory-style chrome Bel Air trim, which accents the custom PPG colors applied by GM. On the inside, the E-ROD ’55 has an original-style appearance, with upholstery and other restoration items supplied by CARS Inc. The only noticeable variances include an IDIDIT adjustable steering column and Grand steering wheel.

Also keeping with the elemental aesthetic of the car, the wheels selected weren’t expensive, billet-cut rims, but the simple, 18-inch steel wheels from the base Camaro. They’re trimmed with bright trim rings, lug nuts and center caps. They’re distinctive yet inexpensive.

“In many respects, this is a practical hot rod,” said Ross. “The attention to detail would make any rodder proud, but there’s nothing about this car that would prevent you from jumping in for a cross-country drive. It’s comfortable, powerful and efficient.”

GM Performance Parts – tested to the limits, backed by GM

GM Performance Parts crate engines undergo a 50-hour, full-throttle engine dynamometer validation that requires the engines perform from peak horsepower to peak torque. GMPP also installs crate engines in its own engineering vehicles for testing and continuous improvement. That commitment to quality and durability enables General Motors to back GM Performance Parts crate engines with a 24-month/50,000-mile warranty (whichever occurs first). All GM Performance Parts components carry a 12-month/12,000-mile warranty.


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Topics: gm, sema show, engine



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