By some measure, this year’s PRI show could be summed up as a testimony to the overwhelming endorsement of boost. Every aisle was a tribute to turbo and supercharger technology, and nitrous wasn’t forgotten either. So, this year’s 50 Hot Engines of PRI is a showcase of boost in every form you like.
That’s not to say there weren’t other great naturally aspirated engines to enjoy. Rules require standard atmospheric pressure into the cylinders in many classes, and plenty of street enthusiasts like the simplicity of a straight carburetor of EFI system. However, the turbo market has been exploding in recent years as racers follow the success of Pro Mod teams or even IndyCar and Formula 1. And don’t the forget the diesel market has enjoyed unprecedented growth, and multiple turbos–sometimes three or more–are required to provide the incredible boost levels generated by the oil burners.
Superchargers are also getting bigger and more efficient — both Roots and centrifugal styles. And then there’s nitrous. Multiple systems and sophisticated controls have tightened the power gaps between supercharged, turbocharged and nitrous engines. In fact, we’ll get to see all three run side-by-side-side next year. It was announced at PRI that the Real Pro Mod Association will add Charlotte to the NHRA schedule, allowing all three types of engines on the track at the same time.
Since racing is the priority at the PRI show, there wasn’t much emphasis on aesthetics as we looked into the engine bays. Packaging is a more impending priority with the plumbing required to support turbos and the real estate needed to locate superchargers. However, you can find a few dress-up in this gallery. There is certainly a wide variety of engines, from single cylinder to 16-cylinder–and one with no cylinders but it sported a few rotors. Enjoy!