Saleen shakes up vehicle performance

  • 05-Sep-2008 08:59 EDT
This colorized section view of the SuperShaker shows key components including the shaker lid (dark pink), molded air box (orange), throttle body (green), cast aluminum snorkel (blue), and the supercharger (dark gray).

A heavy-heaving hood shaker from Saleen gives a sports car fitted with the new technology an extra performance kick. The company's new SuperShaker mates a twin-screw supercharger with a two-stage water-to-air intercooler and a ram-air induction system.

"There is nothing new about ram air, and there is nothing new about superchargers," said Dan Agnew, Saleen's Engineering Manager for Powertrain. "But what we did is integrate it all together along with some other key features, and that's what the patent-pending design of the SuperShaker addresses. This product is unique in that we're able to provide a fully functional ram-air scoop with a supercharger."

How the SuperShaker deals with unwanted fluids is key to the system's function. "There was a lot of attention during the design and development of the system given to managing water," said Agnew. "Since the air cleaner is on top of the engine, we didn't want water to drain on the engine. As such, the SuperShaker uses drain tubes to handle rainwater, small rocks, or anything else that might get sucked into the system. There is also a fabric prefilter on the air filter to help deflect water as well as help protect the integrity of the air filter."

The induction path from the front to the back of the air box is about 1 ft (0.3 m) in length, considerably shorter than the typical 3 ft (0.9 m) or more of length in a classic hood scoop that rams air into an engineered air box. "The SuperShaker has a small plenum behind the filter that collects the air and pushes it through the outlet duct, and this spot is also where the mass airflow sensor is located," said Agnew.

A cast aluminum snorkel attached to the throttle body transitions the flow path of the air into the supercharger package. "The snorkel is a very short coupling in comparison to our existing superchargers, and what that means is a lot of the throttled air volume is gone. We wanted to minimize the air volume that's downstream of the throttle so that there would be a good throttle response. What we achieved is the ability to get instant power when the accelerator is depressed, and that on-demand power is available throughout the engine speed range," said Agnew.

Saleen's SuperShaker is available direct from the factory or via select Saleen SpeedLab dealers. "We're looking to offer the SuperShaker in future Saleen production models, but there is certification work that needs to be addressed before that can happen," said Agnew.

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