Corvette Forum Tours K&N’s Southern California Headquarters
We check out K&N’s new electronic carburetor injection system that aims to improve cold starts & fill in fueling gaps on carbureted engines.
When it comes to automotive brand identities, few have more cache than K&N Engineering. The company’s branding is as common a sight in engine bays as it is in parts stores across the country. However, the company is looking to expand even further beyond engine oil and air filters, so the company invited Corvette Forum out to its headquarters in Riverside, California, to learn more about what K&N has going on going into 2019 and beyond.
Upon arriving at K&N headquarters, we were given a tour of the facility, although no photography or video was allowed. K&N’s shop foreman was tossing out facts, figures and stats faster than we could sear them into our brains.
The company’s Riverside headquarters is divided into several buildings for production, R&D, and business operations. The main building is over 250,000 square-feet. They also have smaller, secondary facilities across the globe, one in the U.K. to handle European product, and another in China, with Asia being one of its quickest growing markets.
At the facility, K&N produces one filter every five seconds. There are 350 people working every production shift via two, eight-hour daily shifts. While there are automated systems and conveyor lines running all over the facility, the majority of production work is done by hand, or overseen by human eyes. About 38,000 filters are made per week, and roughly 6,000 air intake kits are built alongside that. It’s a massive operation, so much so that it would be very easy to get lost in the company’s main warehouse, which has several floors.
After the facility tour, K&N’s guide led us into its research and development building. Special service tools, tool boxes worth more than our apartment and spotless floors were all a part of the equation. Oh, and don’t forget the dyno cell, which has both a mustang dyno and a dynojet unit. It was there we spied a stunning Sebring Orange Corvette ZR1 testing a prototype K&N air intake kit. This prototype kit appeared to be 3D-printed and was in the final stages of calibration.
After oogling at the ZR1, we were led to another very orange muscle car to check out K&N’s latest tech innovation: its electronic carburetor injection system.
Corvette Forum Tours K&N’s SoCal Headquarters continued…