Cars Illustrated headed to the Fun Team headquarters and sat with Eric Blakely from Edelbrock to talk about their new E-Force Superchargers for both the all new Camaro and Mustang and here is what we came up with…
Cars: Cars Illustrated Magazine is sitting here with Eric Blakely from Edelbrock and the fun team talking about e-force superchargers and Eric I wanted you to give us first a little backstory on Edelbrocks power adders. Starting so long ago, Edelbrock has made power however you can make it, whether it’s normally aspirated, you want to spray it, Edelbrock’s made a kit, and still does, you guys went into turbo-charging for awhile, but then supercharging was a technology most likely because of efficiency, packaging, a lot of different items – I’m sure we will cover that – became the “go-to” power-adder for you and it’s just flourished from there…how did that become the direction for the company as well known for performance as Edelbrock.
Edelbrock: Before 2008 we started looking at the various late model platforms and wanted to make the same kind of power we made with the muscle cars and street rods. We took the same basic approach that has made power for years -intakes, head and cam swaps excreta and we will make power, but then we started getting into issues with drivability, check engine lights and emissions because now you’ve got a fully monitored engine with sensors of every kind. Even then, when you throw a set of heads, a cam with the labor involved, you’re talking about a price tag of anywhere around $4,000 to gain 50, maybe 75 horsepower and the math wasn’t there plus we wanted to avoid all those inherent problems that came with it.
So we knew we had to find a solution for late model performance and that’s when we started looking at superchargers and after we crunched all the data and research we found that this was the best solution to get the most power without giving up drivability. We can obtain a automotive EO executive order, be able to have it pass DEQ/SMOG guidelines and it’s a nice complete package and its all of these considerations that drove us to find this solution for late model cars, because we knew it would benefit the future of the company and our relationship with performance enthusiasts looking for more power in their late model vehicles.
So really kicked it off with the Mustang just because it was the first of the big three to help bring back the pony cars and we started development in late 2006 to be ready to launch the supercharger kit for the ’05 to ’08 Mustangs and in 2008 that we launched that first supercharger.
Cars: It was one of those first kits that we teamed up on and I was lucky enough to be part of the build – if I remember correctly it was hitting 510 horsepower and it was a big number at the time especially with that kind of drivability.
Edelbrock: You had no idea it was supercharged, it was a grocery-getter, a daily you could drive it anywhere and put your wife in it and she’s never going to know any different unless she steps on the accelerator a little too far and then all of a sudden “Wait a minute, this isn’t the good old Mustang we had before.” So absolutely it was a really exciting time for us to step into that market. It was also, I’m not going to lie, challenging because we knew the Mustang market was pretty saturated at that point and we had a lot of competitors in a forced induction space so we put a lot of engineering and development time into it and felt like we competed very well, especially with the amount of choices out there plus we knew we had concocted a secret sauce that’s going to work out well for everybody.
Cars: It’s also a good reason to know your local tire guy because that Mustang that we built obliterated several sets of rear set. I remember being asked the question, “Can you do a burn-out in this thing?” of course my reaction was “Are you really asking me that question?”
Edelbrock: Maybe not one of our best decisions was letting you loose in that Mustang.
…we broke for lunch and wandered the shop and checking out various items inside the engine room, but eventually we got back to the topic at hand….Note: I was wearing my “Camaro versus Everybody” t-shirt during this interview.
Cars: Everybody knows I’m a Camaro guy and I do truly love them all, let’s put that on record, but the new 2016 Camaro is such a fantastic car, tremendous chassis and I’m not going to go into all the reasons why I like it more than the others because there’s a Mustang guy out there to balance me, just like there’s a Challenger guy to balance it all out. But with that incredible new chassis, powerful new LT1 motor you could not leave well enough alone and made it just that much better because more power is always a good thing.
Edelbrock: Yeah, it is and we noticed that too – as soon as we put the kit on our car, it was amazing to see that it made impressive horsepower gains. The new Edelbrock E-Force Supercharger for 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray produces 624 flywheel Horsepower and 600 ft-lbs of torque, fits under the stock hood with no modifications and doesn’t sacrifice runner length or intercooler area had already been designed and has had great success, but it was not as easy as taking the C7 kit and bolting it under the hood of the new 6th-gen Camaro…we faced the same challenges anyone faces when trying to more where more was not designed to go and in the end we feel that the performance gain are going to yield happy customers.
Cars: The LT1 already puts out more than enough horsepower to get someone in trouble, but with the added power of the supercharger it was just that much better – very linear feel of building power is definitely there but man it certainly pushes you back in the seat a lot harder than that LT1 out of the factory.
Edelbrock: Absolutely, its what we love the most about our superchargers is it just builds power. It’s just infinite pedal, you lay the pedal down and it just keeps going and going and going. You don’t know where it’s going to stop at.
Cars: I can answer that – at the fuel shut off, somewhere around 6700 rpm – What were the numbers on the Camaro with the kit installed.
Edelbrock: We’re making 580HP and 548 LBS-FT of torque at the wheels – a crazy amount in a street car.
Cars: It’s ridiculous amount of power in a car with every creature comfort item you could list and still get great fuel millage….I could sit and talk about the Camaro all day, but really what is really interesting is your new Mustang DP3C. The power you’re making on that new Mustang is ridiculous for something that is a street driven car that will smog in all 50 states on an executive order, it’s just amazing but talk about some of the new technology that you’re applying to the new Mustang and the Coyote.
Edelbrock: Yes, for the new Coyote engine it was a refreshed platform so we attacked that really knowing that we would be adapting to direct injection which we never had any problems with direct injection on the GM side and we handled that on the C7 and this new Mustang with no problems.
We knew this application would actually work out better for us, believe it or not. We were able to bring in the timing a little bit earlier and it really helps us out, but for the Coyote we kind of took another step and a fresh re-design. Because that car got smaller and we couldn’t go with our old system that we had for the previous generations we had to redesign from scratch.
We said to ourselves , you know what, let’s see if we can pull more power out and throw some technology at it and actually decided to come up with a new inner-cooler system. Not really new but it was just a different way of formatting it, we made it the dual-pass three core and actually on a case you’ll see a DP3C, and that’s what that stands for. That’s a dual-pass three-core intercooler. What it is is we have one large intercooler going across the top instead of having two smaller ones on each side now. So, when the air charge comes in, it passes through the intercooler twice. This just makes for a more compact charge and then you can throw more fuel at it and you make more power. Imagine, 45% more space to cool the inlet charge and that allows us to really improve power. In this case, the Stage 1 system is 690 horsepower, and 588 foot pounds of torque to the flywheel.
Cars: Excuse me, did I hear that right – 690HP and this is Stage 1.
Edelbrock: Stage 1 is 50-state emissions legal and a 255 horsepower increase over stock…think about it, that’s a whole other car on it’s own. That a 255 horsepower increase that’s being thrown on top of this already potent engine package and, if that’s not enough, then there’s Stage 2. Stage 2, you’re talking 731HP and 588LBS-FT. The difference being that in that in Stage I system we essentially ran out of the throttle body. The throttle body was too small so this new Stage 2 kit is going to be a throttle body/injectors, cold air intake, pulley, and a belt. So, it’s essentially the components you need to get that extra 40 horsepower out of the engine.
Cars: Stupid question but at 690HP why would you bother with the Stage 2 system, because the average consumer that goes out and spends approximately $7000 on the kit is going to really step up their car-control game before worrying about running out of power.
Edelbrock: Might be a good idea to enroll in a driving class or two before the average guy goes out and drops the hammer?
Cars: So let’s call it a little over $7000. $7000 – and if you’re going to go out and buy a $50,000 Mustang, you’ll spend $57,000 on your Mustang and you have 690 horsepower, I don’t know what else you can ask for. It’s really kind of a ridiculous number we’re talking about. We were amazed at 510 in that ’05 – that first generation new Mustang, and here we are now talking close to 700 horsepower.
Edelbrock: It’s ridiculous, it’s nuts and it’s a good time to be in the performance industry on both the manufacture side and even better for consumers wanting big power without giving anything up.
Cars: So here’s a good question for you – where do you go from here?
Edelbrock: You know, it’s funny, this DP3C concept is going to probably be carried throughout the rest of our line, it’s done so well in the Mustang and we are making so much power. Like I said it gives more control to air temps and I think this is something we’re going to adapt to the rest of our systems because it just makes sense. We found a way to make it really compact and if we can get this to fit under the hood of the Mustang, you know we can definitely get it to fit under the hood of a Challenger or a Camaro…the Corvette may be a challenge because there’s not a lot of room to work there. It’s definitely going to make its way to the truck line as well because again, with a truck even thought its a different strategy. More torque and pulling, but you know anytime you get more control over air temps, you can control the power.
Cars: It’s really simple, it’s an air pump and if you can put more cold air into that thing and a bunch of fuel your going to make what customers are looking for – power.
Edelbrock: What tops it off is something we did last year that we haven’t really been telling a lot of people about is that all of our e-force systems come with a free three year, 36,000 mile warranty. So your covered and you can have no fear. You can put that system on your brand new car, and we’re going to cover you from the engine all the way to the trans, rear axle, at roughly $16,000 in coverage should something happen, as long as we are talking about the Stage 1 kit as a stand along modification…and yes we some basic guidelines you will need to be aware of, you can’t do cams swaps, crazy bottom end mods, stuff like that. If you put on this system and don’t tamper with it, you can’t beat the 3 year warranty that says if anything goes wrong and it’s because of our fault in manufacturing, we’ve got you covered. That’s how much confidence we have in our product, the quality control we have in place, and manufacturing is completely in house. It’s designed here, cast here, and then machined here all in our facilities in California, and that’s how we know that we’re putting out a good product, and that you’re not going to have a problem with.
Cars: I’m sold….690 horsepower car that makes smog….sold….done.
Edelbrock: You can’t beat it. That’s the late model solution. It’s really because we knew the late models customers want a real world upgrade that can add serious horsepower and for these guys – they are daily drivers. It’s got to work all the time. It’s got to make it to work. Lots of power and mostly you’ve got to have a warranty to back it up.
Cars: We’ll lets stop this recording and got for a drive…
Edelbrock: No problem.