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Thread: 2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show - Clean and Green

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    2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show - Clean and Green



    2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show - Clean and Green

    By Pete Dunton

    http://www.ericpetersautos.com/home/...4&Itemid=10853

    Is there such a thing as auto heaven? The 2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show may just fool most into thinking there is. With about 8 acres of new cars, trucks, SUVs, and other automotive exhibits under the same roof, it is close to a car heaven for any automobile fan. Going to this show is like a kid with a sweet tooth being set loose in the world's largest chocolate factory.

    The DC Auto Show has always aimed to please. Exhibits are plentiful and always garner plenty of attention. A few years back the show was centered on performance, with most automakers having performance oriented exhibits. This year was different. Though some newly released performance cars could be seen showcased such as the Shelby Mustang GT500 KR, the Pontiac G8, Nissan GT-R, etc. - most automaker displays were showcasing the best energy saving and environmentally friendly technology they had to offer. When one of the main centerpieces of the Cadillac display is a hybrid Escalade, no proof is needed that the main emphasis of this show is fuel efficiency. Of course this is no surprise given the recent passage of the Federal Energy Bill that will be raising the C.A.F.E. (Corporate Average Fuel Economy) standards to higher levels by 2020. Even though that is 12 years away, it's sooner than you think considering that it can take up to 7 years to develop a new automobile, truck, or SUV. So essentially what you see at this show is a foreshadowing of some of the technologies the automakers will build upon to meet C.A.F.E.

    At the show GM is showcasing it's hybrid technology, E85 vehicles, hydrogen fuel cell technology, and it's electric car - the Chevrolet Volt. The Volt is a rechargeable electric car that can run on electricity, gasoline, E85, or biodiesel fuel. The New Ford Escape Hybrid and Mercury Mariner Hybrid are the cornerstone of Ford's earth friendly displays at the show. At the show, Toyota is also playing up its hybrid cars, and even giving plenty of spotlight to its other smaller non-hybrid fuel efficient cars like the Yaris, Corolla, and Matrix.

    Camp Jeep has also made its return again this year. It's a grueling indoor off-road course, which shows the true capability of the Jeep lineup. All show goers have an opportunity to be driven through the course by a Jeep representative and encounter the hills, water, and other rough terrain obstacles. After a spin around the course, it becomes quite apparent the "trail rated" badges on some Jeep models do actually stand for something.

    One of the most interesting and well-traveled displays at the show is the Washington Post contest display called "Guess the Mess". The contest consists of a complete crushed and compacted car, only a few slight clues to its true identity can be deciphered. Believe me it's harder than you think. The best analogy I can give is it's like a 20,000 piece jigsaw puzzle. There were many theories and guesses when I viewed the display. Heather Toth and Julie Daigle who ran the display for the Washington Post, mentioned to me the wide array of guesses they heard from the many spectators on the first day. This writer has his guess, but I'll leave it up to you make your own guess. The prize is a year's worth of free gasoline. Nice prize, if I must say, especially considering current gas prices.

    And for those looking for something a little different. There is a nice display of racecars, new/old exotic cars, and even performance/muscle cars. Tony's Corvettes display is an example of something a little different. There is a complete restored frame with engine, transmission, exhaust system, brake lines, etc. of a 1963 Corvette split window coupe on display. Keith from Tony's Corvette showed this writer a spectacular supercharged Z06 C6 Corvette with around 700 (flywheel) horsepower (this is 50 horsepower more than the soon to be released monster 2009 ZR1 Corvette). Tony's Corvettes provides these types of performance modifications along with classic Corvette restorations.

    The hit of the show is the much-anticipated Nissan GT-R. It's not just a sports car but a reasonably priced world-class sports car that can go toe-to-toe with the big exotic super cars (with much higher price tags).

    Since you can sit in and view most new cars at the autoshow, this provides another great aspect to the show. If you're looking to buying soon there is no better place to sit in all the cars, trucks, or SUVs that you are interested in buying. And this can be done without having to interact with a salesperson. And all the dealership new car brochures are there for the taking.

    So what are you waiting for? Bring the whole family down and make a day of it. You'll need it. In fact there are some who make more than a day of the show.

  2. #2

    Re: 2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show - Clean and Green

    I'm pretty much in love with the GT-R...

    I have to say, there were many impressive displays about clean energy, especially the displays in the GM area. The Volt still gets my vote for most desirable 'upcoming' hybrid.

    As for Tony's Corvette.. I have to say that they are a complete rip off and anyone interested in modifying your Corvette call Fbody Central in Baltimore. You'll save THOUSANDS, and get better results. I know at least 2 or 3 people that used Tony's and then went to Fbody... They'd never go back.
    -Chris
    I live in a van... DOWN BY THE RIVER

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show - Clean and Green

    "As for Tony's Corvette.. I have to say that they are a complete rip off and anyone interested in modifying your Corvette call Fbody Central in Baltimore. You'll save THOUSANDS, and get better results. I know at least 2 or 3 people that used Tony's and then went to Fbody... They'd never go back."

    How much does this dude charge?

    It seems to me you could take a stock new Corvette (not a Z06) and in a weekend, bolt on a supercharger and approach if not exceed Z06 performance for less than $5k in parts...

    If you began with a Z06, I'm betting you could get near ZR-1 power (or better) with a supercharger/intercooler and a few other tweaks - for less than $10k in parts...

    Mustang guys have built up standard GTs to GT500 levels of power/peformance with just such mods; surely it can work on the 'Vette and other LS1 GM vehicles, etc.




  4. #4

    Re: 2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show - Clean and Green

    supercharger kits for the Corvette generally START at 6k, just for the kit
    you cant forget the Corvette Tax
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

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    Vulture of The Western World Eric's Avatar
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    Re: 2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show - Clean and Green

    Quote Originally Posted by damen
    supercharger kits for the Corvette generally START at 6k, just for the kit
    you cant forget the Corvette Tax
    Damn... but still, how much does the "Corvette guy" charge?

    And - if you can approach Z06 performance for an extra $6k on top of the base price of the standard 'Vette, that is not a bad deal in my book!

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    Re: 2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show - Clean and Green

    Keith their representative and engineer was a nice guy who was very knowledgeable. He gave me a breakdown of their whole process of modifying the Z06. He mentioned that it's not as simple as adding a supercharger on the C6 Z06, he has known cases where meltdown will occur if too much boast is applied to the LS7 block. He said Tony's make special mods to the computer and limits the boast to 5 psi (anything more than that can cause a meltdown). He mentioned he had an engineer on staff who has been modifying GM's ECMs for years and had has mastered the correct settings with the LS7 and a supercharger. He also said when they modify late model Corvettes, they leave in place all the computer safety settings such as computer control of detonation (which also helps to add to the life of the engine) and factory traction control settings. I know a lot of shops that do these type of mods and take off all these safety settings. Keith made it quite clear to me his shop does not cut corners. He said they make sure when they do modifications that they provide the customer with good results without any sacrifice to reliability. I don't doubt that Tony's is not cheap, however it seems in talking with Keith, that Tony's does it right, and they spend the extra effort to ensure the car does not come back with any problems.

    It seems for the extra cost at Tony's a customer gets extra engineering that I don't see at other shops. However I don't know anyone who has dealt with them, so I can't vouch for their work. If I had a Z06 and needed a supercharger, I would feel very comfortable taking it to Tony's. However I would certainly check out a few other shops before I would makea final decision. I am not familiar with fbody central in Baltimore, but I remember they did advertise with some of the 3rd and 4th generation fbody sites in the past.

    Have you gotten any feedback about Cooper's Corvettes in Triangle VA? I took a tour of their shop a few years back. They also did Corvette mods.

    As a side note I met a girl yesterday at the show that has a boyfriend who has the last imported Nissan Skyline into the US (it's a right hand drive car) in very nice condition judging from the pictures. She said her boyfriend has keep it bone stock. It will be coming up on the market soon, if you guys interested in the car or know anyone interested in the car, let me know and I'll give you her contact info.





  7. #7

    Re: 2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show - Clean and Green

    Unfortunately Pete, your post demonstrated perfectly what Chris is talking about.
    As a Corvette guy (who spends a LOT of time on the corvette boards) - there is absolutely no need to limit the LS7 block to 5psi of boost. 5psi is considered the minimum to even be worth running any boost (that is, incredibly conservative). 9 seems to be more standard. I've yet to read an instance of someone melting pistons at such low boost unless they have a really really terrible tune.
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

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    Re: 2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show - Clean and Green

    Damen,

    I can see your point however why not play it safe and keep it at 5 lbs of boast? 5 psi gives a gain of almost 200 flywheel horsepower which is 700 total horsepower. Remember these are street cars not race cars, and driveability also is a key factor. If I owned a Z06 I sure as heck would not put more than 5 psi of boast on it, remember it has a high factory compression ratio which does not take well to a lot of boast. When GM supercharged or turbo charged production cars in the past, it always dropped the compression ratio before adding the turbo or supercharger.

    So sure you can probably boast the psi to 9 psi, but if you hammer the Z06 hard, I don't think the motor will last long. Keith (from Tony's) mentioned to me that a guy he knew had a C6 Z06 which he boasted to over 5 psi, the guys son used it as a drift car and one of the pistons had a meltdown due to the boast being over 5 psi. Remember the modern piston tops are much shorter (space between the rings and the top) than the ones on muscle cars years ago, the ring design is also not as strong as some of the monsters from the muscle car era due to these newer engines having to meet the strict new emissions standards. Compare a new LS7 block to a 454 LS6 from 1970 - the architecture on the LS6 454 was geared for serous pounding. The new LS7 is strong but it's also made to meet emissions standards. This is why the Corvette racing crowd will tear down LS1, LS2, LS6, and LS7 blocks and build them up with racing spec lifters, rods, pistons, etc.

  9. #9

    Re: 2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show - Clean and Green

    Yeah, but we've got guys running 11psi (and more) of boost on street driven (daily driven, no less) cars
    a stock ls1 wont melt the pistons until ~800/850rwhp
    the ls7 is around the same

    there's such a thing as being too cautious.

    if this guy is frying pistons at such a small amount of boost, I'm telling you, it is because his tune is bad. I understand that back in "the day" 5psi was a lot of boost, but modern pistons/blocks handle much higher amounts. My EVO (just as an example) run 21psi from the factory, and can run as much as 27-30 on the stock internals. The corvette obviously cant run quite as much due to its compression ratio, but 11 on stock internals is certainly not unheard of.
    '06 Lotus Elise, '07 Saturn Sky Redline

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    Re: 2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show - Clean and Green

    I like high performance, but I tend to error on the side of caution.

    Another factor in these type of meltdowns could be too high RPM. For instance in the drift car example (I don't know the specifics) but the son using the car as a drift car may have overreved it in first gear. I knew a bonehead years ago who loved to overrev his modified TPI '87 Corvette. It took the punishment for some time but eventually the motor had a meltdown.

    You are right tuning is everything.

    Those LS blocks are pretty amazing. I remember when they first came out in '97 the Chevy guys blasted them and said there would never have the potential of the old Chevy Small Block. They laughed at the LS1's smaller size (shorter length and height). Performance parts were very few for the first few years, and then slowly but surely the LS blocks had a whole library of high performance parts. Now the LS blocks have far surpassed anyone's estimations. I remember a GM rep saying in response to an automotive journalist saying the LS1 was a great motor; "We (GM) have barely scraping the service of the new LS block's potential with the LS1, there is much more where that came from" (or words to that effect, been over 10 years my mind is a bit fuzzy).


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    Re: 2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show - Clean and Green

    Back to the main topic, below is a link to 50+ Photos of the 2008 Washington D.C. Auto Show:


    http://www.ericpetersautos.com/forum...39123#msg39123




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