Is That A V8 Under The Hood, Or You Just Happy To See Me?
Let's take a step back a minute. Years ago, James Evans had a RB26DETT-powered S13 that was taking podium spots at local Formula D events. Like everything else in life, things evolve and it came time to out-do oneself. When planning on the buildup of this 350Z, the owner of JE Import Performance decided he wasn't going to let the V8 cars dominating Formula D push him around. Instead, he was going to beat them at their own game.
You don't see Chevy LS engines in just Camaros and Corvettes these days. You see them in RX-7s, Zs and 240SXs. Raw American V8 power with Japanese suspension geometry makes for an explosive combo, and it was exactly what James needed.
Not taking any shortcuts on his 350Z, James enlisted the help of Sikky Manufacturing. Sikky is the mount specialist when you're talking about doing cross-marque swaps (just take a look at the SR20-powered S2000 also in this issue). Since this car was designated for Formula D, the rulebook states that crossmembers cannot be notched or cut. Similarly to their S13/S14 mount kit, the Sikky mount kit for the 350Z works around the factory crossmember. Sikky offers complete support for the swap and so James also picked up the Sikky engine harness, driveshaft, fuel system kit, headers and oil pan.
Not stopping there, the LS heads were sent to Trick Flow where they were CNC ported to perfection. While at it, Trick Flow went ahead and replaced the valves, springs and the cam with their custom units. Harland Sharp roller rockers and push rods complete the upper internals of the heart. And for huge gulps of airflow, a FAST (Fuel Air Spark Technology) intake manifold and 92mm throttle-body are mounted on top of the LS1.
With the heart transplant complete, the 350Z now holds a 5.7L engine earning it the new 570Z title. Not the cup of joe for everyone, but for racers and drifters 450whp NA can be very seducing. Getting over 450whp out of a naturally-aspirated VQ35 would be nearly impossible.