News, Notes, Reviews, and Other Important Stuff
Less Whine, All the Time If you're a fanatic about high-performance upgrades for your off-road vehicle, then you've probably considered supercharging your truck's engine. However, many enthusiasts are unwilling to live with a blower's inherent gear whine on a day-to-day basis. For that reason, the folks at Vortech Engineering, (805) 247-0226, have developed a new, advanced centrifugal supercharger, dubbed the V-2 SQ (Super Quiet), which promises to quiet things down while it's stuffing an engine full of air.
The secret of the V-2 SQ blower's quiet function lies in its helical geardriven impeller. The curved teeth on both the beltdriven drive gear and the driven gear, which drives the impeller - the small fan-shaped component that creates a centrifugal blower's boost - are virtually silent in operation. Additionally, Vortech gave the V-2 SQ supercharger an improved, low-friction impeller seal and an O-ring between the two segments of the compressor housing, which further quiets the blower's operation.
Did we mention that Vortech's all-new 60,000-square-foot manufacturing facility features an aerospace-quality machining center and a state-of-the-art technical center? Good, because we wouldn't want to leave out that important information.
The new VQ huffer is now standard equipment on the full line of Vortech supercharger systems, but Vortech's previous centrifugal superchargers, the V-1 series, are available as a no-cost option for those who crave the whine from the V-1's straight-cut gears. For those who crave the Internet, go to www.vortechsuperchargers.com
Desert: The New Frontier Nissan has radically redesigned the Frontier for the '01 model-year. Styled at Nissan Design International in La Jolla, California, the new exterior appearance features a simple, tough, machine-aesthetic appearance with a new front grille and a rugged bumper, a tall hoodline, oversized headlights, and large fender flares with visible divot holes and fasteners. Nissan designers also incorporated foglamps into the new bumper, and in the rear, added a new tailgate cover and a standard tailgate lock. Interior changes include a new instrument cluster with reversible gauges, new seat fabric, a new steering wheel, and enlarged control knobs and switches. There is also a new lineup of audio systems available, including an in-dash six-CD changer.
There are changes under the hood as well. In an effort to satisfy consumer demand for more power, Nissan has engineered a supercharged V-6 engine. The optional powerplant, sold in addition to the 143hp 2.4L inline-four and the 170hp 3.3L SOHC V-6, pumps out an estimated 210 horses and 240 lb-ft of torque. The new V-6 will be available in the '01 Desert Runner, the crew cab, and the King Cab models with the SC designation.
More on that tasty Desert Runner: The new hauler is configured as a two-wheel drive, but is built on the Frontier's 4x4 chassis for off-road rigidity, ride height, and ground clearance. The Desert Runner's standard powerplant is the 3.3L V-6 (subliminal message: must get the boosted V-6; must get the...), and the truck is roughly 500 pounds lighter than the 4x4 King Cab V-6, giving the Runner the best power-to-weight ratio of any Frontier pickup. The Desert Runner is equipped with skidplates for the bottom of the engine and the fuel tank, gonzo-looking fender flares, a fullsize spare tire, and four-channel ABS. A limited-slip rear differential can be selected on SC and SE models as an extra cost option.
Trucks to Invade the Track Deemed Too Tough to Tame In the annals of NASCAR history, only a handful of racetracks can be referred to as world-class. Darlington Raceway in Darlington, South Carolina, is one of them. The Darlington track was the site of the first Southern 500 in 1950 when NASCAR races were conducted with off-the-street stock cars. Today, Darlington is one of NASCAR's oldest venues and is the kick-off point for the new Truxpo Truck Tour Series on April 29-30, 2000.
The hundreds of custom trucks and thousands of spectators expected to attend the Darlington event will enjoy one of the best truck fests east of the Mississippi. Open to all trucks, Jeeps, and 4x4s, the Truxpo event will feature a show-'n'-shine competition, a burnout contest, and plenty of interesting things for the whole family to see and do during the weekend. A manufacturers' midway will showcase the latest off-road products, and an index ramp will let 4x4 owners see just how compliant their trucks' suspension systems are. On the entertainment side, famed monster trucks Bigfoot, Samson, and the Executioner will square off and provide plenty of car-crushing action.
Presented by ISC and sponsored in part by Truckin', OFF-ROAD, Mini Truckin', 4 Wheel Drive & Sport Utility, Classic Trucks, and Today's SUV magazines, the Truxpo Truck Tour will host four truck shows at some of NASCAR's most historic tracks. After the series kicks off at Darlington, it moves to NASCAR's palace of speed, Talladega Superspeedway on June 3-4, 2000, then on to Nazareth Speedway in Nazareth, Pennsylvania, on September 16-17, 2000. The grand finale of the series is at the famed Daytona International Speedway in Daytona Beach, Florida, on October 7-8, 2000. Each Truxpo event will offer a taste of NASCAR history and a parade lap around these impressive tracks.