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General Motors Belly Tank Ecotec Lakester 2006

The General Motors Performance Division has conceived a belly tank lakester for the 21st century to demonstrate the versatility of the Ecotec 2,0 litre 4 cylinder engine proposed on several Chevrolet, Pontiac and Saturn cars on the US market. The belly tank is a speed record vehicule conceived by hot rodders in the late '40s to minimize aerodynamic drag and fashioned from war surplus auxiliary fuel tanks formerly mounted on the bellies of military aircraft; these open-wheeled inventions set records on dry lakebeds of Southern California- hence the "lakester" moniker- and the glistening white salt of Bonneville. One of the most famous of the breed was the So-Cal Speed Shop belly tank made by Alex Xydias.

In the place of the original's war surplus components, the GM Belly Tank was constructed from high-tech materials using advanced digital design techniques. In place of a rudimentary flthead V8 is a sophisticated supercharged Ecotec engine

The project started with a show car using transverse front wheel drive mounted production Ecotec engine. The race record version has a longitudinal engine in front of the rear transaxle. The race record version is equipped with a tubular space frame with carbon fiber composite body. The supercharged engine produces 312 hp at 7.600 rpm. The gearbox is a 4 speed manual Hewland.

A first attempt reached 189,2 mph/ 302,7 kph with 203 mph/325 kph in one of its passes. Future attempt are expected to be over 200 mph/320 kph average.

Dimensions: length 164 in./417 cm, width 34 in./86 cm height 40 in./102 cm weight 1800 lbs/816 kg

photos from GM Media on line

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