The "Quest" never ends. After many months of brainstorming with Steve Dinan, we have come up with what I believe will be the ultimate naturally aspirated S62 engine for my Z8: a streetable Daytona Prototype Grand-Am race motor! Steve is going to use his extensive experience building S62 motors for Daytona Prototypes in the Grand-Am Rolex Series to create a street-oriented version for my Z8. Interestingly enough, since the motors used in the race cars are limited by the rules to 6800 RPMs and 11:1 compression ratio, my engine will actually be stronger than the full race version! And, because the engine management system will be retained (albeit highly modified), the engine should be eminently streetable.

Steve expects something between 525 and 550 HP with a red line of 8000 RPMs! The engine will be dry-sumped, close to 50 lbs. lighter than stock, with custom headers and exhaust system, proprietary solid lifter cams, rods and valve components, Mahle racing pistons, higher compression ratio, a ram air intake system, remote oil cooler, lightweight ancillarys, and unique engine management software to provide maximum performance at the higher altitude where I live. As a result of the increased red line, we are switching from 3.64 to 3.91 gears which will provide another big bump in acceleration while retaining virtually the same top speed in each gear. What fun!

My decision to go this route, as opposed to forced induction, is based on my personal preference for the responsiveness of a naturally aspirated engine plus my desire to save weight and make the Z8 handle better. Steve says this engine's lightweight reciprocating components and increased power will provide astonishingly quick revs along with better weight distribution in the car. We may also be changing to an electric steering rack to eliminate the power steering pump. Steve said he has a few more tricks up his sleeve he'd like to try and I have given him the go-ahead to see what else he can do. Should be interesting.

I don't expect to have the car back until Springtime, but since the driving season here in Montana is already over, I am content to dream about the fire-breathing dragon taking up residence under the hood of my baby. Oh what adventures we'll have when the snow finally melts! Grease Monkey