GM Performance and Racing Center

GM Facility Tour
Program Chair: Dale Stephan
GM Global Propulsion Systems Performance and Racing Center
N Glenwood Ave, 
Pontiac, MI 48340

Time 1:00 PM


Tasked with complete racing engine design and validation, the Performance and Racing Center’s capabilities include:

  • Design release
  • Full CNC machining
  • Engine build
  • Electronics and telematics
  • Dyno validation
  • Calibration

The new center helps GM develop powertrains with the right combination of performance, durability and efficiency to help drivers and teams win races and championships. The racing engines under development at the new center include:

  • NASCAR “R07” – A unique 358-cubic-inch V-8 engine designed and developed exclusively for NASCAR Sprint Cup racing.
  • IndyCar 2.2L Twin-Turbo V-6 – A technical marvel that uses a pair of high-boost-producing turbochargers to help extract about 700 horsepower from the small-displacement, direct-injected V-6.
  • NHRA COPO Camaro V-8 engines – Racers competing with a new 2016 COPO Camaro in NHRA’s Stock and Super Stock eliminator classes can select from supercharged and naturally aspirated LS- and LT-family engines.
  • Corvette Racing 5.5L V-8 – Based on the production LT engine family, the naturally aspirated and all-aluminum 5.5L V-8 engine is used by the Corvette Racing C7.R team.
  • Cadillac ATSV.R Twin Turbo – A racing engine based on the production model’s 3.6L twin-turbo engine.

Additionally, the high-performance crate engines and crate powertrain systems offered by Chevrolet Performance are developed at the new facility.


Facility highlights include:

Engine assembly – There are 10 all-new engine build bays – eight in the Engine Build room and two in the prep area to facilitate quicker transfer to dyno testing and other validation areas. Each 120-square-foot bay has an air drop for powered tools and access to an overhead crane for easy loading on the build stands. Builders also use specialized tools such as programmable torque wrenches to help ensure consistency with the engines. Additional specialty tools at their disposal include a Cam Doctor for precise camshaft evaluations and a ROMER Arm coordinate measuring machine.

Machining – Engineers and builders also have access to over 30 machining tools, offering complete machining capability for cylinder blocks, cylinder heads, fuel rails and engine components, comparable to the racing industry’s best racing shops. The equipment roster includes nine CNC machines that can transform designs right into new components – including a new Hurco five-axis machine. The staff also has access to a 3D printer for constructing new or modified components, as well as laser scanners to help ensure the powertrain parts meet the high degree of dimensional accuracy demanded for the rigors of racing.


Engine testing – There are four state of the art AVL engine dynamometer cells dedicated to the Performance and Racing Center: 

  • Two gas-powered engine dynos
  • A gas-powered driveline dyno
  • A new electric driveline dyno

The engine dynos are similar to those used to develop GM’s production engines, but rated for the high output of racing engines. The gas and electric driveline dynos are firsts for GM Powertrain’s campus and are used to test axle differentials for NASCAR and IndyCar. The drive input capability for each is more than 1,000 hp and approximately 560 lb-ft of torque, while the drive output capability is approximately 885 hp and 2,500 lb-ft of torque.

Calibration – An electronics lab is used for the design, assembly and calibration of custom control systems that drive most of the racing and performance engines. Engineers are also able to make calibration changes in the dyno cells. In fact, the dynos can use telemetry data from the race cars’ control systems to replay an engine’s entire race, which can help with development of new engines and calibration changes for existing ones.

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