From the May, 2010 issue of Chevy High Performance
By Henry De Los Santos
Photography by Henry De Los Santos
The fifth-gen Camaro has really made a name for itself, and lately we’re starting to see them everywhere. While some folks are completely satisfied with a set of louder pipes and a more aggressive stance with a set of aftermarket springs; some enthusiasts command more from their performance vehicles. Instead, they want to take their rides to the next level by pumping out big horsepower numbers.
Bone stock, the SS comes with enough oats to tickle the 12-second zone with its factory rated 426hp LS3. If that isn’t enough, the easiest way to bolt on a significant amount of power is to invest in a supercharger system. We say invest because understandably you can expect to shell out another $7,000 above the factory sticker and a little bit more if you need to farm out the install. Even so, it’s hard to argue the bang for the buck when it comes to dollar per horsepower figures.
Not long ago we took a quick trip to Vortech Engineering in Channel Island, California, where engineer Russell Davis took us through a complete install in a fresh 2010 Camaro with the six-speed automatic transmission. At the time, this was one of the first installations into the modern-era fifth-gen; while everything shown here is what to expect, there are very subtle differences from the final production systems that are available today. The biggest difference being each system now comes with a programmer to accommodate the supercharger.
And when it came to the chassis dyno figures-they were fun to witness, but it was having the opportunity to take the end product for a spin that ingrained an everlasting impression. Saying the drive was fun is putting it lightly; the power on tap is more than enough to make the heavyweight feel nimble in every gear, and those aggressive off-the-line launches will put a grin on your face every time you stab the loud pedal. We should mention that this was Vortech’s entry-level package that produces between 6.5 and 7.5 psi of boost with the V-3 Si-trim supercharger. If this isn’t enough, they also offer this system with their V-7 YSi-trim head unit that’s good for 1,200 hp-yes, a reinforced bottom-end is required. Beyond that, we’ll leave you with one word of caution: hold on and don’t turn off the traction control unless you know what you’re doing.