Dale Earnhardt Jr. presents new Connect and Cruise crate drivetrain

Dale Earnhardt Jr. presents new Connect and Cruise crate drivetrain

GM through its Performance Parts aftermarket division helped pioneer the crate engine concept almost 45 years ago, and now it’s breaking new ground by launching the industry’s first ‘Connect and Cruise’ crate drivetrain systems.

Essentially a factory-assembled engine-and-transmission combination, matched with all the electronic control modules, wiring harnesses and other key components, the new Connect and Cruise drivetrains are ready for sale and are just begging to bring new life to some classic metal.

GM used this week’s 2011 SEMA show in Las Vegas to announce its latest offering, which it presented with the help of Team Chevy NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr. in a 1970 Chevelle SS coupe.

The particular setup chosen by the NASCAR star was a supercharged LSA engine and 4L85-E automatic transmission combination. This, and one other setup, will be offered initially in the GM Performance Parts catalog.

The supercharged LSA and 4L85-E transmission (part number CPSLSA4L85E) is good for 556 horsepower, while the second package, a Corvette-based LS3 matched with a 4L65-E four-speed transmission (part number CPSLS34L65E), is good for 430 horsepower.

The specially calibrated controllers for the respective kits are designed for retrofit installations in older vehicles, for easier and quicker installation and operation. That means no “theft” codes, no System OBD2 codes and, therefore, no need for third-party tuning.

The engines, transmissions and all other components are brand-new and each system is covered by a 24-month/50,000-mile limited warranty.