We all know cooling is the most critical component of any performance vehicle, whether on a track or sitting in traffic. Sure you might have upgraded the 25-year-old, belt-driven clutch fan in your hot rod, but even some electric aftermarket fan setups still don’t measure up — certainly not versus the brushless 14-inch fan that SPAL brought to PRI 2019. We checked in with our old friends at SPAL to find out how it is shaking up the electric fan industry with a huge air-pusher in a compact set.
“The SPAL brushless 14-inch product pushes huge volumes of air totaling 2,400 cfm from a single fan,” explains SPAL Director of Aftermarket Sales, Thom Balistrieri. “This 500-watt fan does so at 45 amps, so the claims out there of 3,000 cfm from only 11 amps is just not realistic.”
With that, Balistrieri showed how the variable-speed fan on display could be cranked up to create a virtual hurricane inside the PRI Show. The 14-inch fan spun up instantaneously and would blow papers, hair, and clothing of onlookers several feet away. We’ve felt our own 1,250-cfm dual-fan setup, and it certainly feels half this aggressive.
The SPAL 14-inch brushless 500-watt fan system is also very simple to install with a single harness of shielded wires in one durable sheath. The system has no relays and simply plugs into each component. The lead with the temperature sensor unit goes in your preferred location to measure coolant temps.
SPAL is an Italian company that has been manufacturing cooling components for decades. Its primary business is cooling fans for OEMs. Balistrieri explained to us that the aftermarket division is a very small aspect of a massive manufacturer with the same access to R&D, engineers, and manufacturing processes.
“This 14-inch fan is actually derived from the C7 Corvette and we saw an opportunity to make a simple aftermarket version,” Balistrieri says. “While this fan is aggressive, the Camaro version is 17-inches, with 800 watts and draws 80 amps!”
As insane as these fans are, they are virtually silent at low speeds. However, at high speeds, the huge rush of air makes loads of noise but nothing from the brushless electric motor itself.
SPAL is a company making premium components for the demands of the auto industry. Many OEM parts last longer than aftermarket because these cars are intended to serve for years driving hundreds-of-thousands of miles over many years. Though the demand on a casually or rarely driven car doesn’t reach those torturous numbers, it’s good to know you don’t have to worry about a fan ruining your day. One thing is for certain, this fan moves a lot of air, and the brushless technology seems to do it almost effortlessly.