November 2 - 5, 2004
Las Vegas, NV
LAS VEGAS – General Motors is revving up its commitment to meet customers’ desires for increased personalization, bringing a variety of exciting new production and concept vehicles to the 2004 Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) trade show.
GM highlights at SEMA include a race-prepared Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged fresh from the Bonneville Salt Flats ; a new, more fuel-efficient version of GM’s legendary small block V-8; and the debut of Jay Leno’s latest creation with GM Performance Parts. Also on display will be the newly announced, V-8-powered Pontiac Grand Prix GXP. Additional highlights will include the first showing of the new Pontiac G6 GXP performance concept and two announcements from GM Racing.
“Our goal is to make GM vehicles the preferred canvas for customization,” said Mark Reuss, executive director of GM Performance Division. “Working with our SEMA partners, as well as with our internal Performance Parts Group and GM Racing, we’re creating the parts and components that look cool and go fast.”
GM’s SEMA exhibit includes nearly 40 production, concept and brand-directed vehicles targeted at enthusiasts in every segment, displaying innovative new levels of technology and functionality – from high-performance derivatives of production vehicles to plus-size wheel and tire packages.
GM Performance Division plays the crucial role of integrator among various GM disciplines. “Performance Division is involved from the earliest stages of product development to ensure performance technologies and high-quality accessories are available throughout a vehicle’s lifecycle,” Reuss said. For example, the Pontiac Solstice on display at SEMA showcases GM Accessories developed in parallel with the roadster production program, which will debut as a 2006 model.
In a similar way, GM Performance Division works with GM Racing to integrate racing technologies into future vehicle development program or add them to the GM Performance Parts catalog. GM engineers on race teams such as the Cadillac CTS-V on display at SEMA help test and validate these technologies that push the limits of performance and appearance.
At the same time, GM is continuing to strengthen relationships with vehicle customizers to help them develop aftermarket components for GM vehicles. “We want to make it easy for SEMA members to apply their creativity to GM products,” Reuss said. “That’s why we provide technical data about our vehicles online as part of SEMA’s web site.”
Going from concept to reality
For GM, the SEMA show is an important venue to get reaction from the experts in specialty vehicles. The process helps move great ideas from the concept stage into the dealer’s showroom as fast as possible.
The Pontiac Grand Prix GXP production car showcased at this year’s show can be traced to a concept that was first shown at the 2002 SEMA event. It will join the Bonneville GXP, another former SEMA production announcement, in Pontiac ’s portfolio, while this year’s SEMA show introduces a new G6 GXP concept.
GM Performance Division has developed several other high-performance vehicles that have gone to production, including the Cadillac CTS-V, the Saturn Ion Red Line and Vue Red Line, and the Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged. The development of performance variants is part of a global effort by GM that also encompasses efforts such as Opel OPC in Europe , Holden HSV in Australia and Vauxhall VXR in Great Britain .
GM’s SEMA display vehicles are designed to complement and enhance the brand character of each vehicle. Following are brand highlights:
Marking the 50 th anniversary of the legendary small-block, GM Powertrain will showcase its new 5.3L LS4 V-8 engine, which will debut in the 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix GXP. The 5.3L LS4 V-8 represents that first time that the small-block will be offered in a front-wheel-drive car.
The LS4 produces approximately 300 horsepower and 300 lb.-ft. of torque. It also incorporates Displacement on Demand technology (DOD), which helps the vehicle realize fuel economy gains of up to 12 percent in certain light-load driving conditions, such as highway cruising, by seamlessly alternating between eight- and four-cylinder operation.
When matched with the inherent smoothness and torque of the V-8 configuration, the LS4 delivers strong performance – 90 percent of torque is available between 1500 rpm and 5600 rpm – and surprising economy. It’s a combination most competitors’ V-6 offerings can’t match.
GM Racing helps transfer technology to the street
Racing helps demonstrate the depth of GM’s technical resources, the capabilities of its people and the performance, reliability and quality of its products. By integrating motorsports with GM’s product development efforts, technology is quickly transferred from the track to the street. GM plans to make two racing-related announcements at SEMA; in addition, GM’s SEMA presence includes several vehicles that are already making their marks in competition.
Fresh from the Bonneville Salt Flats is the Chevrolet Cobalt SS Supercharged, which is based on Chevy’s new factory-built front-wheel-drive Super Sport. Driven by Nelson Hoyos, the Cobalt SS Supercharged set a mark of 243.127 mph, eclipsing the 212.684 record established last year by Jim Minneker in a Saturn Ion Red Line, showing the high-end capabilities of GM’s Ecotec global four-cylinder engine.
A supercharged, 205-horsepower version of the same engine powered the Ecotec Lakester, a collaboration between GM Performance Division, GM Design and the So-Cal Speed Shop. Also displayed at SEMA is the customized Chevy SSR push truck used to provide the initial acceleration for the high-geared race cars at the Bonneville Salt Flats .
GM's SEMA exhibit also includes the Pontiac Crawford DP03, one of the most successful Daytona Prototype endurance sports racing cars in the history of the Grand American Rolex Sports Car Series. Using the most successful engine in motorsports – the GM small block V-8 – the Pontiac powerplant in the DP03 features an all-aluminum variant of the LS6 V-8 engine along with stock throttle body and intake manifold found in the 2004 Pontiac GTO.
GM Performance Parts on Leno’s vehicle
Jay Leno’s latest creation combines classic style with the contemporary punch of extreme horsepower supplied by a concept engine. This high-performance engine serves as a real-world evaluator for potential new products. Equipped with parts under consideration by GM Performance Parts, Jay’s ride is a classic restoration that screams power and performance.
Another highlight of the GM Service and Parts Operations presence at SEMA will be a 1967 Chevy C10 short bed fleetside pickup with the GM Performance Parts 620-horsepower, 572-cubic-inch crate engine (ZZ572) and packed with performance and appearance components. Stacey David, producer/host of Trucks! TV on the Spike TV cable network, designed and built the truck and named it “Copperhead” because of its quick-strike capabilities.
GM Accessories’ new offerings include 26 additional plus-sized wheel and tire systems that are planned for release through December 2005. By year’s end, GM will offer more than 50 accessory wheel and tire systems for 35 GM vehicles available at GM dealerships. This expanded portfolio positions GM as the market leader among original equipment manufacturers, with the greatest variety of durable, high-performing, tested and validated wheel and TPC (Tire Performance Criteria) tire systems tailored to its vehicle lineup. GM Service and Parts Operations also will showcase a Chevrolet Cobalt and Chevrolet Colorado with GM Accessories that add performance and style.