HKS Unveils Their Latest WeaponsIn August of 2007, HKS USA held their very first ride and drive seminar located within the Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) El Toro, 8 miles east of Santa Ana, Calif., showcasing their highly anticipated GT Supercharger kit and Hypermax III suspension lineup to a handful of curious magazine editors. Recognized as the first company to develop a turbocharger kit for commercial vehicles in 1974, HKS has continued to revolutionize the performance market, fortifying its name and reputation as the leaders in true innovation. This year marks their 35th anniversary as HKS spins a new web in their quest to push new and technological advancements within the supercharger and suspension world. "Our customers can now choose HKS turbo or supercharger technology to maximize their driving performance," states Rick Lafferty, president of HKS USA.
Designed for use on street and track applications, the HKS GT Supercharger kit has gone through extensive redesign and engineering improvements over their previous units, which used a Rotrex supercharger unit. The HKS GT system is designed using a traction drive system which provides greater efficiency, quieter operation and more linear output throughout the powerband compared to the less efficient gear-type centrifugal, roots and twin screw chargers sold on the market today. The HKS GT traction designed system spins on a more efficient roller-type design which enables the small, more compact GT unit to develop a higher ratio of pulley revolutions to compressor wheel revolutions which in terms equate to improved torque and bottom end power response without sacrificing power output. While many might come to the assumption that the GT supercharger is a rebadged version of the Rotrex unit will be surprised to find the internal engineering of the two units are quite different. Preliminary information concludes that rollers used within the GT unit use a larger single roller followed by two smaller sized rollers which HKS engineers have found to improve supercharger efficiency and boost response. Detailed specifications on the internal supercharger designs have been deemed as top secret as we enjoyed a brief breakfast before being quickly escorted out the conference tent and onto the El Toro tarmac to begin our driving impressions through a series of quarter-mile and an autocross events.
The GT supercharger system will be available as a CARB-legal kit which is currently pending and the more serious enthusiasts who spit in the face of law enforcement will be glad to know that a Pro Kit for off-road use only is currently in development. Both GT supercharger kits contain a front-mount intercooler, Super Mega Flow intake, self-contained oiling system and an oil cooler. A preprogrammed HKS F-CON engine management system is included with the GT street kit to ensure CARB compliance is maintained, while the Pro Kit excludes any fuel management system. HKS recommends using the F-Con VPro to maximize horsepower on the Pro Kit. Peak boost for the Pro setup is maintained around 11psi, and 7psi for the CARB-legal kit. Using a HKS Dual Hi-Power exhaust system, HKS has recorded power gains for their street version to increase power ranging from 30 to 50hp and 46 to 60 lb-ft of torque. HKS plans to debut the street version kit to the general public for the Nissan 350Z, Infiniti G35 coupe and the Infiniti FX35, while the Pro Kit is in development for the Z and G coupe; with rumors surrounding the newer HR-base model engines.
Slated as the next generation in suspension technology, the Hipermax III has evolved from the previous model Hipermax II and Performer models, offering higher quality in improved durability and performance. The newest lineup in HKS suspension known as the Hipermax III street, Hipermax III Sport (serious track performance), and Hipermax III CLX (luxury) offers a 30-way damping force adjustability to fine tune every suspension dependant on road conditions. Both Hypermax III and Hypermax III Sport are designed with a monotube construction, encased with a hard chrome plating cylinder shaft that's twice the thickness as previous models to reduce wear and corrosion.
The HKS GT traction designed supercharger consists of a more efficient roller-type design comprised of a single larger roller followed by two smaller sized rollers which HKS engineers have found to improve supercharger efficiency and boost response. This complex design has been stated by HKS engineers to develop a higher ratio of pulley revolutions to compressor wheel revolutions which in terms equates to improved torque and bottom end power response without sacrificing power output.
Not offered in previous suspension models is the newly introduced HLP (Hyper Linear Piston) was designed with precise channels for fluid transfer and specific pressure areas for valve engagement, which creates a positive relationship between piston speed and damping force. All three Hipermax series III will be launched in North America also in Fall/Winter '07, and the line is expected to range in price from $1,695 to $2,395 depending on application. HKS offers a one-year limited warranty for both the GT Complete Kit and the Hipermax III's, available through Authorized HKS Dealers and HKS Certified Pro Dealers.
The HKS GT Supercharged G35 using a HKS Hi-Power exhaust system has been tested by HKS engineers to extract 305.4hp and 321.1 lb-ft of torque; a gain of 36.7hp and 61.1 lb-ft of torque over baseline numbers. The supercharged Infiniti FX35 equipped with a HKS Legamax exhaust system spins the dyno to the tune of 286.4 and 302.9 lb-ft of torque. The HKS GT street kit increased output by 31.7hp and 46.1 lb-ft of torque over baseline.
Showcasing the newest street version GT Supercharger, this forced induced 350Z is tuned to a rated 321hp and 317 lb-ft of torque. The Hypermax III equipped machine was shod on a set of 18x9 Volk RE30 up front and 18x10.5 wheels in the rear, while wrapped in Advan Neovas. The Z was used as a test bed to compare vehicle performance and handling characteristics versus a factory 350Z on the autocross. As you might imagine, the power, torque and handing were dramatically improved over its factory-tuned adversary.
Perhaps the highlight of the event was crawling into this 478hp and 432 lb-ft pound of torque machine, equipped with a prototype GT Supercharger. Using an optional HKS Valcon V-cam+ kit, SPL intake manifold spacer and F-Con VPro fuel management system, among a slew of aftermarket components, this car was simply noted as a pure adrenaline rush as media were entailed to blast down the quarter mile. The main purpose of showcasing a high horsepower vehicle such as this was merely done to display the vehicles potential using numerous HKS products and implementing them into what's known as their GT Supercharger Pro Kit.