SEMA 2019: MAHLE’s New Pistons For A New Style Of Horsepower

In the past, compression was the desired way to make horsepower. Today many hot-rodders are using a blend of higher-compression and boosting to get incredible performance from their engines. MAHLE Motorsports introduced its line of pistons created especially for those wanting to use the latest technology to make horsepower.

We spoke with Eric Grilliot about MAHLE’s latest offering for the 5.3-liter, direct-injected Chevrolet engine. Direct-injection, along with other modern technologies, has made excellent throttle response and performance available, thanks to increased compression ratios. The higher means of controlling fuel allows higher compression without the fear of detonation or pre-ignition. Even factory supercharged engines are enjoying higher compression ratios than previously thought possible.

MAHLE had several new designs in its booth. It offers pistons for small- and big-block applications, as well as LS- and now LT-based engines that use direct-injection.

Opening up an engine’s performance envelope means going beyond the designed operating spectrum of many internal components. MAHLE’s new forged pistons for the direct-injected 5.3-liter engine is designed to give naturally aspirated engines increased reliability and durability on a budget build. The new pistons feature a unique crown and dome to complement the LT-based engine’s direct-injection fuel supply. Swapping only the pistons means no change in the compression ratio and requires no re-balancing of internals when using the factory rod.

For extreme applications, the folks at MAHLE recommend swapping to a higher-performing connecting rod and balancing for the new rotating assembly. How much performance can a new set of MAHLE forged pistons bring to a performance-minded engine build? Eric says with a smile, “A LOT!”

Eric also emphasized that MAHLE recently re-vamped its piston lineup to better integrate into the newest trend of boost and compression. For more information, check out MAHLE Motorsports’ website or speak to one of its representatives to see how much your engine could benefit from the newest offerings using today’s latest technology.

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About the author

Andy Bolig

Andy has been intrigued by mechanical things all of his life and enjoys tinkering with cars of all makes and ages. Finding value in style points, he can appreciate cars of all power and performance levels. Andy is an avid railfan and gets his “high” by flying radio-controlled model airplanes when time permits. He keeps his feet firmly grounded by working on his two street rods and his supercharged C4 Corvette. Whether planes, trains, motorcycles, or automobiles, Andy has immersed himself in a world driven by internal combustion.
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