It's been said that if you spent eight seconds at every booth at the SEMA show, it would take you the event's entire four-day duration to walk the floor. Thankfully for VETTE readers, Editor Jay Heath has mastered the methods of precision stopwatch timekeeping and, like a professional reader breezing through a speed-reading course, he was able to find the latest Corvette products you should consider indispensable for 2008.
But first, some background. The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) showcelebrated its 41st birthday last fall. The event started in 1967 under the grandstand bleachers at Dodger Stadium, moved to Anaheim in 1974, and finally settled in Las Vegas-where it currently resides-in 1977. Once a year-traditionally during the first days of November-some 2,200 vendors, 2,000 show vehicles, and 130,000-plus industry professionals from over 100 countries scour the show to find the latest and greatest in aftermarket parts and accessories.
Following SEMA, in the second week of December, is the Performance Racing Industry (PRI) trade show, held in Orlando, Florida. The automotive aftermarket's second yearly get-together is a smaller and more narrowly focused event, one where hard-core performance parts take center stage. Come along with us as we take a hot-lap tour of SEMA and PRI '07. Our exclusive pass will let you in on all of the industry action.
Want LS7-beating performance from your '08 C6 Vette? ProCharger's (www.procharger.com) new LS3 supercharger may be just for you. It features an intercooled centrifugal design that produces a 40 to 45 percent power gain at only 6 psi and comes with all the components needed for a quick and complete installation. The price of the system is $7,195. Look for a full write-up on the ProCharger LS3 unit in an upcoming issue of VETTE.
A cold-air intake is a great way to add quick, easy, and inexpensive horsepower to your Corvette. New from Airaid Filter Company (www.airaid.com) is a CAI designed to fit '05-'07 Vettes equipped with the 6.0L LS2 engine. It features a roto-molded intake tube, Airaid premium filter, stainless-steel hardware, and a lifetime warranty. The price is $341.
Comp Cams (www.compcams.com) now offers a pair of head/cam packages designed to boost the performance of the ever-popular GMPP ZZ4 crate engine. The Stage Four kit features Racing Head Service (RHS) 180cc as-cast heads with 2.02/1.60 valves, Comp 918 springs, 1.5-ratio Pro Magnum roller rockers, and a Comp camshaft with 283/303-degree duration and 0.513/0.498-inch lift. It produces an 83hp gain over the stock ZZ4. The Stage 5 kit uses an even hotter cam with 291/311-degree duration and 0.522/0.509-inch lift; it produces a 92hp gain over stock. Prices are $1,873 for iron heads and $2,189 for aluminum heads.
Have you thought about a head swap to increase the output of your LS2 or LS7? Trick Flow's (www.trickflow.com) new 235cc offerings are designed exclusively for Gen IV engines with a minimum bore size of 4.125 inches. They come with 2.08/1.60 valves, dual springs, and 70cc chambers, and are capable of supporting up to 700 hp in naturally aspirated form (1,500-1,800 hp with a power adder). The price is $2,449.
If dyno-straining power numbers are your thing, Air Power Systems/APS (www.airpowersystems.com) knows how to make your day. The company's new LS7 twin-turbo system is capable of more than doubling the power to your Z06's wheels when combined with internal-engine upgrades. For those with more modest expectations, the system is said to be worth over 620 rwhp when used on an internally stock LS7. The price is $14,995.
More air means more power. That's the idea behind the new 92mm LSX "Big Mouth" throttle body and intake manifold from FAST (www.fuelairspark.com). These pieces bolt directly onto your LS2/LS3/LS7 engine and significantly increase power in both naturally aspirated and boosted applications. The throttle body uses an increased-thickness blade and shaft to improve strength and ensure correct air flow. The intake, meanwhile, is a better-flowing design of the original FAST 90mm unit. Prices are $399 for the throttle body and $999 for the intake.
Think SEMA and PRI only offer products for newer-model Corvettes? Think again. From Chassis Tech (www.airbagit.com) comes this complete, bolt-on air suspension for '84-'96 Vettes. This package offers full adjustability at all four corners, making it possible to personalize ride quality and performance. The assembly is finished in durable powdercoating and is manufactured in the USA. It retails for $2,795.
No matter how far engine technology advances, high-performance headers never go out of style. Providing further evidence of this truism, Dynatech (www.afabcorp.com) has introduced a Supermaxx header system for the C6 Z06. Designed as a direct bolt-on fit, it includes 1 7/8-inch primaries, dual Power Cats, and a 3-inch, NASCAR-style cross-pipe. According to the Dynatech, the system will tack an extra 45 hp onto your Z06's output. The price is $1,795.
If you like easy-to-install exhaust products, you'll love SLP's (www.slponline.com) new 4-2-1 Long-Tube Header System for '06 and '07 Z06 Corvettes. It's engineered with equal-length, 1 3/4-inch main primaries; two 2 1/4-inch secondary primaries; and one 3-inch, high-flow collector. The headers use mandrel-bent, 409-stainless-steel construction and are "ceramic coated to keep heat in, exhaust velocity up, and underhood temperatures down," according to SLP. Even better, the headers install without the removal of any dry-sump oil lines or the starter. The price is $1,899.
World Products (www.worldcastings.com) has taken LS-engine technology to the races with an assortment of partial engines built for speed and durability. Choose from 427, 454, and 481ci combos stuffed with an Eagles or Callies crank, Eagle rods, Manley pistons, Total Seal rings, Clevite bearings, and World Products' own LS1X 15-degree or LS7X 12-degree cylinder heads. Each partial engine weighs 335 pounds in race-ready form and is fully dyno tested before delivery. Prices start at $14,595.
PML, Inc. (www.yourcovers.com) now offers classic-style replacement valve covers for your '86-'96 Corvette. These covers feature a sand-cast aluminum design, Corvette script lettering and fins, two-bolt mounting, and cast-in baffling on the intake-manifold side. They're available in cast (shown), orange or black powdercoating, and polished versions. Prices start at $215.
Take advantage of the D-shaped exhaust ports on your LS7 with a header/exhaust system from American Racing Headers (www.americanracingheaders.com). American's D-port header package-the first in the country, according to the company-features 304 stainless-steel, 1 7/8-inch primaries; 3/8-inch-thick flanges; merge collectors with scavenger spikes; and hand-ported, TIG-welded tubes.
The cross-pipe is engineered to fit directly inline with the collectors, increasing low- and mid-range torque with no negative effect on the top end. The full system is said to add 40 hp to a Z06 when combined with proper tuning. It goes for $1,795.
Always on the go? Maybe it's time to think about upgrading the looks of your braking system. Classic Performance Products' (www.classicperform.com) new Corvette-style master cylinder features show-quality chrome plating, lightweight aluminum construction, and a large reservoir. It is offered in two bore sizes-1 inch or 1 1/8-inch (for manual or power-assisted brakes)-and can be fitted to '53-'82 Corvettes. Prices start at $75.
If it's good enough for Jay Leno, it should be good enough for your Corvette, too. That's what Katech Engineering (www.katechengines.com) says about its new Street Attack 500. The engine features an all-aluminum Dart LS block, displaces 8.2 liters (500 cid), and cranks out 600 horsepower when fitted with LS7 induction, heads, and valvetrain. At an expected retail of $33,600, the Street Attack 500 furnishes the accelerative potential of the Pratt & Miller-built C6RS ber-Vette at a $150,000 discount.
Weiand's (www.weiand.com) new Warrior composite intake manifold for LS engines utilizes an optimized runner design and Formula One inlet-trumpet technology to improve airflow from 2,000-6,200 rpm. The result? Brutal low-end torque and killer horsepower in the upper rpm ranges. According to Weiand, the Warrior makes 30 additional hp as compared with a factory LS6 intake. The price is $764.