January 31, 2002
General Motors announces front-wheel-drive Cavalier/Sunfire drag racers
Detroit, Michigan – Drag racing versions of General Motors’ Chevrolet Cavalier and Pontiac Sunfire sedans will compete in the National Hot Rod Association’s (NHRA) Summit Sport Compact Drag Racing Series and select Import Drag Racing Circuit (IDRC) events in 2002.
The two front-wheel-drive cars, powered by differently prepared versions of GM’s Ecotec 2.2 litre four-cylinder engine, will compete in different categories of the two series. Sunfire will contest the Hot Rod and Quick classes of NHRA and IDRC respectively. The more heavily modified Cavalier will run in NHRA’s Modified and IDRC’s Outlaw classes.
“We’re thrilled to campaign these cars across North America to show drag racing enthusiasts and consumers alike that front-wheel-drive cars don’t have to sacrifice their production roots to be both exciting and competitive at the drag strip,” said Josh Peterson, manager of drag racing programs for GM Racing. “The cars use race-modified versions of Ecotec, the technologically advanced, all-aluminum 16-valve powerplant that is used globally in GM’s small cars. The modifications raise horsepower to a remarkable 600 to 700.”
Production Ecotec 2.2-liter engines are available in the Chevrolet Cavalier, Pontiac Sunfire, Pontiac Grand Am, Oldsmobile Alero, Saturn L-Series and VUE in North America and Opel and Saab models in Europe.