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HomeNewsThe fate of Triple Eight’s V6 twin-turbo hardware

The fate of Triple Eight’s V6 twin-turbo hardware

THE Gen3 platform continued the V8-engine tradition into a new Supercars era, but it’s not all that long ago that the sport was contemplating a move to turbocharged V6 power units.

Famously, Holden and Triple Eight worked for many months on a twin-turbo V6 engine that was to be fitted to the ZB Commodore upon its Supercars debut in 2018.

The story is among many told in the book Triple Eight Race Engineering: The Cars 2003-2023, now available to buy in the V8 Sleuth Superstore.

A race version of GM’s 3.6-litre, twin-turbo, aluminium-blocked LF4 engine had been used successfully in Cadillac’s GT3 efforts in America’s Pirelli World Challenge, and work began on a Supercars-eligible version between Triple Eight, KRE Race Engines and GM Powertrains in Pontiac, Michigan.

But history shows that the V6 switch never happened; Triple Eight fitted the development unit to its Sandman Supercar for private testing in Queensland followed by public debut laps at the 2017 Bathurst 1000, but a change in corporate direction for General Motors caused the axe to fall swiftly on the turbo engine in early 2018.

So where did all the engine hardware go when the program was wrapped up?

“We had an engine sent over to assess it, but the engine was being used in an environment that was quite different from a Supercar,” then-team principal Roland Dane explained to V8 Sleuth during interviews for the book.

“GT3 has plenty of toys; flappy paddle gear shift, ABS, traction control, et cetera. Plus the Cadillac GT3 program was a factory program with no customer cars, which meant they didn’t have the economic constraints that we had here in making an engine that was not just for Triple Eight; KRE would have to supply all the Holden teams with an engine that was viable.

“It was very close (to being ready to race); we’d actually ended up making bespoke cylinder heads for it. They were tooled and the first set had just arrived from a company in the UK.

“That got over some of the issues with the production-based head and cured some of the problems we had around its longevity. The driveability of the test-bench car, the Sandman, came on leaps and bounds.

“We’d gone a long way down that route when GM in North America had made the internal decision to stick with V8s and gradually drop their V6 programs.”

But that doesn’t mean that the V6 engine is sitting in a corner at Banyo.

GM had footed the bill for the development program, which meant Triple Eight sent all of the hardware – from the development engine to components and ancillaries – back to the United States.

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