Welcome to Arkansas. In 1932, Johnny Cash was born here, the state where the average annual snowfall amounts to less than five-inches. However, this year is different. Sound the sirens, and take cover from the Abominable Snowman. The precipitation pattern has not changed, but the repulsive monster must have thought blizzards were abundant when he felt an undeniably wild supercharged sled fly by, creating a whirlwind of cold air. The trouble is, both are on the loose. For now, turn up The Blizzard by Cash, use extreme caution, and get the hell out the way. The Summit White ZL1.R will devour you.
Okay, okay. The childish snow creature known as the Abominable Snowman is obviously fictitious. The supercharged sled, on the other hand, should strike fear in the hearts of all whom cross paths with such a monster, conjured up from the maliciously modified masterminds at MTI Racing. Part of the lyrics to Johnny Cash’s The Blizzard say “we’d best be movin’ faster if we can.” Dave Domingues purchased the 2013 Camaro ZL1 knowing what the fifth-gen was capable of from the factory, and he must have been coincidently listening to Cash’s song on the way home. He didn’t go home. Instead, he decided to sprint over to MTI Racing for special treatment. Dave knew MTI would satisfy his horsepower craving, but in case you’ve been calling the underside of a rock home, equate MTI’s capability to riding a snow sled down a scary-steep slope, but instead of snowballing out of control (pun intended), the sled handles like it’s on rails. Oh, and they’ve equipped your classic wooden sled with a Saturn V, the American rocket used to break the bounds of the Earth’s atmosphere - you know, just in case you wanted to travel to the Moon. Have a better idea now?
With that being said, when Dave drove in with the shimmering Summit White Camaro, the guys at MTI knew it was time to initiate the innovative modification madness to make a normal ZL1 into something special. When you’re adopted by such demanding performance entity, the result is a new name extension, and loads of horsepower. It’s like going to the gym as a skinny kid, and leaving like an Arnold. A normal fifth-gen ZL1 comes from the General Motors’ factory with an all-aluminum, 6.2-liter supercharged LSA engine, delivering a stout 580-horsepower, and over 550 pound-feet of torque. Instead of that skinny kid going to the gym, the guys at MTI Racing were already starting with the Arnold of the Camaro model lineup. Obviously, normal does not occupy space in either Dave, or MTI’s, vocabulary. Dave not only yearns monster-like horsepower, but he also craves competitive, adrenaline filled, open-track racing. You know, where drivers can reach speeds that shoot well over the big 200 miles-per-hour mark. Time to add some more ponies. Sit back, relax, and discover what the “.R” means when added to the already established, ZL1.
The potent platform from General Motors, known as the LSA, offers up a great deal of potential, especially when the goal is to increase brute force, while maintaining drivability. Time to open the hood, and find out what goes into the ZL1.R. Underneath you’ll find a pair of CNC ported LSA cylinder heads, and MTI’s “super” V5 hydraulic roller camshaft. Couple that with a ported supercharger snout, a ported throttle body, an overdrive harmonic balancer kit with a 10-percent overdrive pulley, an MTI 8-rib upgrade pulley kit, and an MTI 160-Degree Thermostat. Air is sucked in through an MTI high-flow cold air intake, and fuel is pumped to the LS9/LSA 63-pound fuel injectors. The components listed above work extremely well together, complementing and accentuating the LSA platform. The new platform, installed by those modification masterminds at MTI, has been dubbed the ZL1.R, and for good reason too.
For that extra surge, Dave’s Camaro has also been equipped with a ZEX-125 wet-shot of nitrous, just incase you actually wanted to go to the Moon. With every rocket ship component secured, MTI was anxious, yet confident, to get the new setup on the dyno. Dave’s once stock LSA fifth-gen has been transformed into a supercharged sled, a monster in its own right, making 823.45 rear-wheel horsepower, and 794.26 rear-wheel torque. There’s no snow here mister so-called Abdominal Snowman, just one badass Yeti-hating Summit White ZL1.R, capable of stirring up enough energy to create a blizzard by itself. Just in case circumstances snowball out of control, Dave had a roll bar installed too.
Collecting and inspecting the post-blizzard project, MTI Racing has magnificently assembled their first (No. 001) ZL1.R, making 950-horsepower, and 935 pound-feet of torque. Are you wondering why the label of No. 001 has been given to the Summit Sled? Lucky for you, MTI did not want to do a stand-alone project. Instead, the modified masterminds at MTI Racing have put together a package, for consumers and horsepower junkies alike, calling it the MTI Racing 700-plus Horsepower Kit, specifically put together for the ZL1. Just as any LSA MTI touched Camaro would, Dave’s ZL1.R can be compared to that snow-sled ride that handles like it’s on rails. The best part about the whole package, besides the glacial horsepower, is the drivability. Dave can take the Camaro out by himself, or with his wife. Yeah, it’s quiet enough for those nights when a super-loud drive to dinner would be frowned upon. It’s one thing to have a drag-worthy car, but it’s a whole different set of bragging rights when the wife, or girlfriend, absolutely enjoys date-nights cruising around in a 950-hosepower monster.
Stay focused. Let’s not get carried away, now. Dave, and MTI Racing, built the ZL1.R for one reason…to go fast. The rubber peeling, blastoff-power rockets the pilot and Camaro down any stretch of American open pavement. As stated previously, Dave originally craved competition, in open-track style racing events. One of the venues visited by Dave was the WannaGOFAST event at Heaven’s Landing Airport (GE99 for fellow aviators), based in Clayton, Georgia. It’s an exclusive half-mile venue held at a fly-in community on top of a Georgia mountain, offering astounding scenery coupled with the smell of race fuel. The half-mile run uses a temporarily closed runway, giving a variety of rides the opportunity to fly down open pavement, unrestricted. Speed demons just looking for a thrill, to all out, purpose built top-speed rigs piloted by adrenaline junkies compete for the top speed title. In 2012, the fastest participant (a Nissan GT-R) was clocked a top speed of 190-miles per hour, using all of the allotted space, before hitting the finish line positioned 2640-feet down the 5062-foot runway.
The day has finally arrived. The sky is clear and it’s a little hot, but there’s no rain! The time to test the newly minted MTI Racing ZL1.R is now, and the perfect stretch of pavement waits. The thought of blasting down an open runway had Dave, and pretty much every car nut in attendance, drooling with anticipation. After a reconnaissance run to scope out the concrete runway, Dave’s ZL1.R reached a whopping 165 mph on the next run without even missing a beat. The Summit Sled stayed straight as an arrow, with a respectable half-mile pass down the extra-dusty runway. Impressive indeed.
With a solid performance advantage thanks to MTI Racing, Dave was able to reach his goal with astounding satisfaction. There’s something to be said about fulfilling a project plan, especially when traveling over 165 mph. While there is always room for more horsepower, the guys from MTI put together a package making it easy for all of you like-minded adrenaline junkies. If a stock ZL1, or anything from General Motors, is sleeping in your garage, wake it up with some help from the performance junkies at MTI Racing. Turn your car into the respectable beast that all other monsters would be scared of!
Car: 2013 Chevy Camaro ZL1
Owner: Dave Domingues
Block: 6.2L, LSA
Compression ratio: 9.1:1
Heads: MTI aluminum CNC ported
Rocker arms: Stock
Pistons: Cast, hypereutectic
Throttle body: MTI, ported
Fuel injectors: Stock direct, high-pressure
Fuel pump: Stock
Ignition: Stock coil-near-plug
Engine management: Tuned by Reese Cox of MTI Racing
Power adder: GM Twin Vortices Series, 1.9L supercharger
Boost: 15 psi
Intercooler: Top-mounted liquid-to-air
Exhaust system: Stock
Transmission: Tremec TR6060
Front suspension: Double ball joint, multi-link strut; direct-acting stabilizer bar; progressive-rate coil springs; with Magnetic Ride Control
Rear suspension: 4.5-link independent; progressive-rate coil springs over shocks; stabilizer bar; with Magnetic Ride Control
Rear end: Heavy-duty cast iron housing, 3.73:1 gear ratio, limited slip differential
Brakes: Stock Brembo six-piston front, four-piston rear
Wheels: GM Forged 20x10 front, 20x11 rear
Front tires: Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G:2 P285/35ZR20
Rear tires: Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G:2 P305/35ZR20
Fuel: 93 Octane
Race weight: 4120-pounds
Best ET/mph: 1/2 Mile, 165 mph
Current mileage: Unknown
Miles driven weekly: Unknown