Back in the '60s and early '70s, Chevy often didn't give its customers exactly what they wanted-namely, 427 and 454-powerd Camaros, Chevelles and Novas. This opened the door for companies like Dana, Yenko and Baldwin Chevrolet (with assistance from Motion Performance) to install the forbidden big-blocks in these vehicles and unleash them on unsuspecting competitors.
Fast-forward more than 40 years and history is repeating itself. Forward-thinking dealerships and aftermarket companies are building the kinds of fifth-gen Camaros that Chevy is not-first it was supercharged cars and now the hot thing is engine swaps. To whit, DeNooyer Chevrolet in New York has been building E-force supercharged LS3 and LS7 (427) Camaros since the car's introduction last spring. At the Performance Racing Industry trade show in Orlando on December 9, GM Performance Parts personnel pulled the wraps off its latest creation: the HTR-SS454 Camaro.
Under the hood of this specially-crafted Gen5 is a GM Performance Parts LSX454 crate engine with 620 horsepower. The DeNooyer 454 Camaro (named for partner Redline Motorsports' owner Howard Tanner) takes the GMPP LSX454 crate engine and adds a port fuel injection system to its LS7-style LSX six-bolt cylinder heads. The engine has an all-forged rotating assembly and an 11.0:1 compression ratio. A front end accessory drive system was added, too, along with a custom flywheel and ZR1 clutch matched to the six-speed manual transmission.
With the custom engine installed and properly tuned, chassis-dyno testing of the Camaro delivered a strong 520 horsepower and 530 lb-ft of torque at the rear wheels-or right about the 620-hp/590-lb-ft estimates from GMPP for the basic crate engine. The car's driveline was beefed up to handle the 200-horsepower increase over stock, too, with stronger axles and stiffer bushings throughout.
Much like what was done with the legendary Baldwin-Motion cars, of the '60s, DeNooyer joined forces with an expert performance shop, Redline Motorsports, to help engineer and build the HTR-SS454. Redline is a leader in LS-based high-performance engines and vehicles and it also collaborates with DeNooyer Chevrolet on the HTR-600 Camaro, which uses the 505-hp LS7 engine from the Corvette Z06-also available as a crate engine from GMPP (part number 19211710).