SEMA News - March 2010

SEMA NEWS-MARCH 2010-CHRIS KERSTINGAutomakers spent a good deal of effort at this year’s auto shows focusing on electrics, plug-in hybrids and a range of alt-technology hopefuls. Interesting future-view sort of stuff. Here in the present tense, there is a quiet reality that warrants the focus of the performance aftermarket: the great majority of vehicles that are on the road today, and those we will be buying in the coming 5, 10 or even 15 years, will involve an internal combustion engine and a consumer looking for efficiency without sacrificing performance. And that means some solid opportunities for our industry. Not surprisingly, “green performance” technologies are advancing full-throttle in the world’s racing garages.

Racing’s innovators are busy developing revolutionary advances in fuel efficiency and engine performance as well as aerodynamics, braking and suspension design. Green racing developments will be a substantial part of our industry’s future. That’s why you should care. That’s also why SEMA will once again team up with the Motorsports Industry Association (MIA) to host the 2010 MIA-SEMA Green Racing & Performance Conference, Friday, April 16, in conjunction with the Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach.

The conference brings together international leaders in green motorsports with high-performance automotive aftermarket business leaders. Conference panelists will discuss ways in which the industry is developing green solutions for the world’s car manufacturers and specialty-equipment suppliers. One example is the LS3 small-block V8 engine that was displayed by Chevrolet in a ’55 Bel Air project called the E-Rod at the 2009 SEMA Show.

That engine, which is compatible with California’s smog-check standards, produces 430 hp and 424 lb.-ft. of torque and is only the first of many green engines to be introduced by GM Performance Parts. GM is also planning to offer a 5.3L variant as well as an LS7 and a supercharged LSA. There are myriad opportunities for our industry to create that type of green performance. Racing will undoubtedly lead the way.

The panel sessions at the 2010 MIA-SEMA Green Racing and Performance Conference include a diverse roster of speakers. Representatives from J.D. Power and Associates will discuss the findings from a major research study on Gen Y’s perspective of green technologies. A speaker from Honeywell’s Aftermarket Turbo Technologies Group will build on the research findings from the SEMA-CAR Powertrain Report, which was developed to help SEMA members capitalize on today’s opportunities and plan for the future. Other discussions will look at developments such as gasoline direct injection, clean diesels, turbocharging, supercharging and a host of other topics. These are all eco-minded technologies that are being developed and proven on the track but will be taken to the marketplace.

This year’s conference features an added bonus: attendees will be provided VIP access to the Toyota Grand Prix pits, including on-the-spot briefings by team owners, engineers and drivers involved in the American Le Mans Series Race covering the green performance technologies incorporated into these incredible racing machines.

The MIA-SEMA Green Racing and Performance Conference is a great opportunity for specialty-equipment business leaders, engineers, product planners, marketing and sales people to meet and connect with many of the industry’s experts defining the crossroads of green racing and performance. Tickets are $275 per person for MIA or SEMA members and $375 for nonmembers. Visit here for more information and to register. 

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