It seems like superchargers seem to be getting all the glory when it comes to the fifth-generation Camaro. Everybody makes a kit, and even the new ZL1 comes with one. But what about good old-fashioned nitrous? Nitrous oxide is actually one of the newest forms of power adders (in terms of actual development), used to help get heavy cargo planes down the runway and up in the air during WW II, yet the oldest when it comes to drag racing. While the increased cylinder pressure and heat make it unreliable for sustained usage, it is useful for short bursts of power, like 1/8 or 1/4-mile (though some guys are even using it at standing mile events too), as it injects a larger saturation of oxygen into the combustion chamber while also decreasing the charge temperature to increase volumetric efficiency. Pat Musi knows this all too well and has used nitrous to burn up the Pro Mod circuit, running 5.94 at 240 mph last year. In the streetcar realm, nitrous can be the perfect weapon on a daily driver looking to conserve fuel, while also giving a significant performance kick for weekend racing. Adding to its appeal, the kits themselves are also pretty economical. Though at times it gets a bad name, other forms of power adders are just as prone to destruction as nitrous when used or installed improperly. A good tune-up and listening to the advice of your tuner or builder (instead of the greedy little voice in your head) is key to having a reliable setup.
To give nitrous it's fair shake in the fifth-gen realm, we gave ZEX a call to pickup its '10 Camaro V-8 specific kit (PN 82380B). Though often overshadowed by its parent company, Comp Cams, ZEX makes some excellent products for streetcars, and we've grown particularly fond of the Blackout line. In addition to the fact that the system's bottle, nozzle, nitrous and fuel lines all look mean in black, it also hides them very well. This worked out well for us because our tester's owner Terry Angell made only one request, hide everything as best as you can. Terry's early Inferno Orange '10 currently sports long-tube headers, straight pipes, LMR cold air intake, and a custom tune in addition to the Precision Industries Vigilante converter, BMR control arms and drag radials installed on our last trip to Next Level Performance in Altamonte Springs, Florida. Once again master tuner Geoff Skorupa will be in charge of the calibration while Ty Sochaki is responsible for the ultra-clean install. Finding a thorough shop like Next Level is essential for a nitrous install, as it can be way too easy to cut corners. We felt at ease putting Angell's prized possession in Next Level's hands, and couldn't be happier with the results.