Boulder Nissan’s ethanol-fueled Switzer E1K GTR has been preaching the twin gospels of high performance and renewable fuels at events like the last TX2K event, showing off both the reliability and the flexibility of Switzer’s R/E1K hardware in the hands of a capable driver. Recently, though, the 1000 hp alt-fuel track terror came back to its spiritual Ohio home for the automotive equivalent of a tent revival: a bunch of power-building upgrades!
The Boulder Nissan-sponsored car received upgrades to its Switzer-blueprinted engine that included CNC-ported and polished cylinder heads, more aggressive, Switzer-specific camshafts, as well as new valves, springs, and retainers. Outside the long-block, Switzer fitted updated manifolds and the newest GT35R-based turbochargers with billet-machined compressor wheels and custom cast/machined compressor housings with forward-facing outlets for maximum flow. “Everything we’re doing to the Boulder car is about increasing efficiency,” explains Tym Switzer. “We improved airflow inside the engine by a few percentage points, and updated the turbos for better response and more efficiency in the mid-to-high rpm range. All of those incremental improvements to parts of the system build on each others’ strengths, just like they were designed to.”
That same “holistic” approach to tuning that Switzer applies to all the GTR conversions follows through with upgrades to the E1K’s existing flex-fuel system. The most visible upgrade under the hood is a new intake manifold featuring a 3rd injection rail system (making for a total of 12 individual injectors good for up to 4500 cc of flow per cylinder). The new fuel system is managed by what might be the single most significant upgrade to the Boulder GTR - the new Syvecs S8 engine management system.
“The computing power of the Syvecs ECU helps us to make the ‘X’ builds flexible enough to go from a road course to a runway or drag strip without the driver having to leave the driver’s seat,” offers Tym. “Using just buttons on the steering wheel, the driver can switch through a series of maps.” These are more than the simple air/fuel maps available on other systems, however - the Syvecs allows the driver to select different launch protocols, traction control strategies, even rolling anti-lag and rolling launch strategies to make the most of the traction available in highway-speed roll races. “The Syvecs also helps us preserve the car with the protection strategies built into the unit’s hardware and software. That’s critical for us, obviously, since we want to maximize the time the car spends on the track and minimize the time the car spends in a garage over its lifetime. The customer wants to enjoy the car, not worry about the car’s next repair bill.”
Once finished, the familiar Boulder Nissan Switzer E1K will be a full-fledged E1K-X GTR, making it the ethanol-fueled equivalent of cars like the 8-second Red Katana and the pump-gas record-setting R1K-X we ran at Milan last October. “We showed with the R1K-X cars what was really possible when you pushed the hardware,” explains Tym, “and those cares are still running strong. At these power levels (1300-ish WHP) the Boulder guys should have a fun, reliable ride that will give them a real challenge at the track. Just what they wanted.”
It’s probably not just what their competitors wanted to read this morning, however … but it will make for a more interesting TX2K13!