The advantages are numerous. The front-drive, front-inlet configuration makes for a shorter intake path without the use of a jackshaft. Also, on the ZR1 version, the coupler is encapsulated with a large casting that blocks airflow to the rotor on the passenger side. The E-Force system dispensed with this casting by using a Teflon seal on the coupler, which provides freer airflow to the passenger-side rotor.
The side-mounted intercoolers lower the profile of the blower case so the entire unit can fit under the stock hood. In addition, the long intake runners below the case offer several benefits.
One is more low-end torque for crisper throttle response. The temperature distribution of the cylinders is also better with longer runners. "Typically we see a 60-degree spread, but it's only 20 degrees on the E-Force system," Simons notes. That makes tuning more precise, since you typically have to tune to the hottest cylinder, he points out.
Another benefit of the runners is a lower boost level at low rpm, since they get air out of the plenum more efficiently. Under light-throttle conditions, an integrated bypass valve minimizes parasitic loss (by removing load on the supercharger) to maintain fuel efficiency.
"A longer runner is tuned to maximize the scavenging effects of the oscillating pressure wave, in the lower-rpm range," Simons adds. "The name of the game is airflow-tuned intake runners reduce restrictions."
To keep up with the increased airflow, Edelbrock supplies the same-size injectors used on the ZR1 (52-lb/hr), but mounted at the end of the runners so they don't interfere with airflow. The ECM's fuel map is modified as well, with a handheld programmer for downloading proprietary software. Edelbrock engineers handled all the calibrations in-house, derived from testing done on both engine and Eddy-current chassis dynos.
"That took a lot of time," Simons admits. "And the Eddy-current is the most important, as it allows varying the loading for more-precise programming. We use it to improve driveability."
Speaking of driveability, for all the sophistication of the E-Force design, Edelbrock didn't neglect to focus on a more fundamental aspect: the belt system. "Superchargers are notorious for throwing belts," Simons says. "So we designed a six-rib belt system with maximum wrap and a new tensioner with twice the throw and torque. So there are no belt issues."
How about emissions issues? Edelbrock says CARB testing has already been completed, and an EO number is expected before fall. In the meantime, the company is already shipping out E-Force systems. Extended warranties are available, as much as five years and 100,000 miles.
Installation time is estimated at 10 hours, facilitated by the molded connections and fittings on the pre-assembled hoses. In addition, no plumbing of oil lines is required, since the blower case has a self-contained oiling system with a 100,000-mile service interval.
Getting back to the driving experience, there's no question that Vic's Vette has way more beans under the hood. Even so, he prefers a subdued exhaust note so it's more of a stealth bomber. The traction control kicked in pretty quickly, but we were reluctant to switch it off and hammer real hard on his personal car, even it was fitted with the Z51 suspension and Edelbrock IAS shocks. So maybe we smoked the tires a little, but let's keep that just between you and us, OK?