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click the photo for a high-res gallery of the new R07 NASCAR engine

It should come as a surprise to no one that for the past two decades there has been essentially nothing stock about NASCAR stock car racing. After all, when was the last time that you opened the hood on a new car and actually saw a carburetor or distributor? GM and its Detroit counterparts have at least maintained the facade with the dimensions of their engines. Although there are no parts that are common with production versions in their NASCAR powerplants, they have had the same cylinder bore and cam position.

Toyota had no production pushrod V8 upon which to base its NASCAR engine, so that meant a ground-up racing design was called for. As a result, GM has followed suit with a similar engine of its own dubbed the R07. The new engine gets wider 4.5-inch bore spacing that allows for bigger bores and redesigned cooling. The camshaft is also moved up to accommodate better performance of the valvetrain at high rpms. The potentially large bores allow for higher redlines and more power as well. The new R07 will make its competition debut at this weekend's race at Texas Motor Speedway. GM's press release is pasted after the jump.

[Source: General Motors]

Team Chevy Rolls Out New Chevrolet R07 Racing Engine

Transition to New-Generation NASCAR Small-Block V-8 Begins at Texas Motor Speedway

FORT WORTH, Texas – On the heels of the successful introduction of the new Impala SS race car in NASCAR Nextel Cup competition, Team Chevy is beginning the transition to the new Chevrolet R07 racing engine. Approved by NASCAR for competition in 2007, the Chevrolet R07 is making its debut this weekend in the Samsung 500 at Texas Motor Speedway.

The Chevrolet R07 marks another step in the evolution of the GM small-block V-8. It is the successor to GM's SB2 (Small-Block/2nd Generation) engine that was introduced in NASCAR Cup competition in 1998. The Chevrolet R07 will eventually replace the SB2 as teams turn over their inventories of engines and components.

"The GM Racing engine development team had four key objectives in mind throughout the design and development of the Chevrolet R07 engine," said Mark Kent, director of GM Racing. "Our goal was to create an engine that produces competitive power, delivers excellent reliability, enhances safety, and reduces costs for Chevrolet teams. Based on the feedback we have received from Chevy teams after extensive dynamometer and track testing, I believe we have achieved our objectives."

The evolution of the GM small-block V-8 racing engine mirrors the development of the GM small-block V-8 production engine, which is now in its fourth generation. Until the introduction of the Chevrolet R07, all of GM's small-block racing engines shared key dimensions such as cylinder bore spacing, camshaft location and deck height with the original small-block V-8 introduced in 1955.

"The Chevrolet R07 is GM Racing's first purpose-built NASCAR racing engine," said Pat Suhy, GM Racing Group Manager, Oval Track. "NASCAR's parameters for the new generation of engines provide a range of choices on key dimensions and design features. Our job was to make the critical decisions and carefully balance the tradeoffs that would enable the Chevrolet R07 to continue Chevy's success in NASCAR. In the long run, the results will show whether we made the right choices."

GM Racing supplies the major components that define the Chevrolet R07 engine package – the cylinder block, cylinder heads, and intake manifold. GM Racing also developed engineered assemblies such as the water pump, rocker covers, valley plate, and front cover. Teams and independent engine builders prepare and assemble these components using their own proprietary parts and processes, including the rotating and reciprocating assemblies, valvetrain, oil pump, fuel and ignition systems, and accessories.

"New manufacturers coming into NASCAR pushed the envelope with engines that had no links to production powerplants, while GM engines were based on the architecture of the first small-block V-8," explained Jim Covey, NASCAR engine development manager for GM Racing. "NASCAR Nextel Cup Series director John Darby addressed this issue by developing a list of parameters that define the envelope for all manufacturers, thus giving Chevrolet an opportunity to develop the R07 engine. Now with the introduction of the Chevrolet R07, Chevy teams have an optimized engine design that reflects the advances in racing technology that have been made over the last 50 years."

Per NASCAR regulations, the R07 displaces a maximum of 358 cubic inches and retains the classic two-valve pushrod design that has been the mainstay of American motorsports for more than 50 years. The R07's key technical advances over the SB2 include 4.500-inch cylinder bore centers (vs. 4.400 inches in SB2) that enhance coolant flow, a raised camshaft that improves valvetrain dynamics, a new six-bolt head bolt pattern that reduces cylinder bore distortion, and a targeted cooling system that minimizes temperatures at critical locations. A cast camshaft tunnel, integral piston squirter galleries, and overhead oil feed galleries reduce engine assembly time. Relocating the fuel pump and eliminating external oil and coolant lines enhance safety.

GM Racing engineers created the Chevrolet R07 in-house using many of the advanced development tools employed by GM Powertrain engineers to design production engines. These included computer-aided engineering (CAE), computational fluid dynamics (CFD), finite element analysis (FEA), and solid 3D modeling. Extensive use of computer modeling accelerated the production and testing of prototype Chevrolet R07 components while reinforcing the connection to GM production powerplants.

"The introduction of the Chevrolet R07 this weekend marks the beginning of a new era for the GM small-block V-8 engine," said Kent. "The Chevrolet R07 is the heir to the winning tradition of GM production-based engines that have powered Chevy to more than 600 victories in NASCAR Cup competition. As we look to the future, we are confident that the Chevrolet R07 engine and the Impala SS race car will continue Team Chevy's winning ways in NASCAR."

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't understand the statement, "[Toyota just built a NASCAR motor from the ground up.] As a result, GM has followed suit with a similar engine of its own dubbed the R07."

      Like, why does GM need to respond to what Toyota is doing? Don't know anything about NASCAR, but does GM lack a NASCAR motor all these years?

      • 8 Years Ago
      Anyone know if the R07 would be available as a crate engine?
      Brooklyn Park
      • 3 Years Ago
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      • 8 Years Ago
      This really sort of baffles me. If NASCAR is going to make absolutely no attempt to follow their original traditon of a true stock car, why the hell do they insist their car technology be twenty plus years behind every other racing series on the planet, let alone passenger cars.

      It used to be that I would hear about how auto racing had a trickle down effect, in that new tech employed in racing would make it to daily drivers. That clearly isn't the case with NASCAR. I don't find the racing quality of the series remotely interesting either, each race I watch comes down to the driver not wrecking, fuel mileage, and pit strategy. With that in mind I don't see what is gained by sinking millions into ancient tech.
      • 8 Years Ago
      NASCAR isn't a driver sport. The fastest car wins, not the fastest driver. Why do you think so many teams were cheating at the beginning of the season? They know full well that the best driver in the world won't win if the car is 2mph slower than the rest of the pack. This promotes cheating since every team is trying to gain an edge and still remain within specification.

      I am not discounting how much skill is involved in driving, but the crew is more involved in which car wins than the driver.

      • 8 Years Ago
      >>>The only appeal of Nascar as it stands is to wait for a spectacular crash and hope that one of those awful drivers with their gross mustaches just offed themselves.

      Hey moron, welcome to the 21st century. Don't trip on the IPOD on your way out of idiotville.

      Hey the new engine will let the bowtie brigade smoke the field a little more faster, hehe!!
      • 8 Years Ago
      NASCAR is a lifestyle based upon a series of races. It's not for you, nor is it for me, but let the fans do what they please.

      It's really no different than horse racing when you think about it, just a larger and different crowd.
      • 8 Years Ago
      We should get back to real stock car racing.

      It would be a lot more interesting to see what race teams could do on the track with absolutely bone stock, same tires, same gas, same everything as in the dealer showroom cars (except for the possible need for extra seat belts and roll cages).

      There could be price categories in the racing. And how about some twisty corners too! This might just drive some advancement of the vehicles into production!

      As it stands Nascar is a joke.

      A bunch of cars driving in circles for laps upon laps. The drivers are lauded as heroes, but you could practically train a Monkey to do the job (and it would probably be more interesting)

      The only appeal of Nascar as it stands is to wait for a spectacular crash and hope that one of those awful drivers with their gross mustaches just offed themselves.

      I would love to see an American equivalent of the BTCC, but instead of tuned up screamer street cars, use bone stock ones.
      • 8 Years Ago
      " NASCAR isn't a driver sport. The fastest car wins, not the fastest driver."

      Very true but the driver is very important in that if they can't tell the crew whats wrong with the car then it will never work. Thats one thing that I admire about NASCAR, its human element. The fact that the driver has to tell the crew what they are feeling and then have to wait until a pit stop to fix it. In F1 the crew can often fix a handling problem without having to bring the car in and not forcing the driver to change his line or their approach to the track.
      • 8 Years Ago
      Specification bodies on specification chassis running soon to be specification motors. NASCAR is trying to make the racing more like a stick and ball sport, selling it with "teams" and "stars" rather than equipment. Anyone care what brand bat their favorite baseball slugger uses?

      I would prefer NASCAR made then run stock body panels. At least that would provide some advancement of stock production cars, although I'm not sure the 1988 Aero rear window Monte Carlo was an advancement.

      Anyone that thinks the drivers aren't skilled reveals their ignorance. These are heavy cars with less tire than they need, sliding all four tires around every turn. It's not wild sideways sliding (usually) but controlled sliding, in close quarters, like hockey players on ice; including the occasional "check into the boards". Crashing isn't the attraction for racing fans, just as hockey fights aren't the attraction for true hockey fans.

      Nothing but money is preventing Honda, VW, Audi, Nissan, Volvo, etc. from competing in NASCAR. Have someone make a pushrod V-8 for you (remember the "Chevy" Indy engine by Ilmor?); buy the specified frame and body; make some decals to resemble the grill and lights of your brand; and PRESTO instant NASCAR "stock car".

      Toyota has an NHRA fuel funny car (and dragster). The only part they provide is the money for having their name on the car. That's the path NASCAR is heading down.

      I'm not watching the races much anymore. The cars all look the same, probably because they are.
      • 8 Years Ago
      I don't get why Americans would rather see these stock cars going around a track rather than, say, a C6R or Viper GTS-R. NASCAR seems to be another way that Domestic car companies are stuck in the past, but it's also something they're good at. I'll admit that NASCAR gets the crowds out. But couldn't they do the same using resrticted DOHC V8's?

      I think the lack of anything to trickle down to consumers is what really sucks about NASCAR. Something like the C5R leads to a Z06 or CTS-V, but NASCAR leads to a dead Monte Carlo.
      • 8 Years Ago
      There are a few inaccuracies in the article here Autoblog. First of all, the engine was not created as a response to Toyota. According to the full press release, it has been under development since '99, which is before Toyota even announced their intentions to compete. Secondly, the Texas race already happened yesterday, and therefore the engine has already debuted.

      As for the NASCAR hater(s), I'll leave that alone. I think its funny that the people that post on the internet to crap all over NASCAR for being stupid usually show themselves to actually be quite stupid. Yes, the cars are not stock. Yes, we all know that. No, they're not going to change it, its WILDLY successful. If you want production cars on road courses, go watch the Speed GT series, its exactly what you're looking for.
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