Let's face it. When it comes to performance, American drivers are looking for immediate gratification. Sure, a high-winding small-block is a joy to behold, but there's nothing quite like the feel of a torque-heavy big-block. And that's exactly what a C5 equipped with Kenne Bell's new LS supercharger kit feels like. Even in Second gear, this motor has more than enough power to make the car swap ends.
It's not so much the impressive peak power number that's responsible for the tremendous shove in your backside. Rather, it's the massive swell of torque that accompanies a twin-screw blower. Check out the accompanying dyno graphs and see for yourself. Even down at just 1,500 rpm, the KB unit boosts the LS1's already healthy torque output by a solid 50 lb-ft. By 2,000 rpm, the gain has increased to over 100 lb-ft. Even better, these improvements carry all the way to redline. Let's see...strong on the bottom, with huge midrange power and a strong pull all the way to the fuel cut. Where do we sign up?
Making all this boost and power possible is one of Kenne Bell's 2.4-liter twin-screw superchargers. For Corvette applications, the assembly is available in either black satin or polished to a show-quality finish. We like the fact that the blower, intercooler, and dedicated lower intake manifold come pre-assembled for ease of installation. The assembly includes a compressor-bypass valve and a powdercoated bypass tube.
One cool trick incorporated into the bypass system is a manual "valet" mode. By physically locking the bypass valve open with a simple screw, you can greatly reduce the amount of boost supplied to the motor and make your car a less tempting target for the parking-lot hot-lappers down at the dealership.
The blower assembly (including drive, pulleys, and even fuel rails) also boasts billet construction to maximize strength and minimize distortion of the blower case. The high-flow, cast-aluminum inlet system features a 93mm opening designed to accept either the factory 78mm throttle body or any of the factory or aftermarket 90mm units. (The inlet is also compatible with both the manual and electronically operated "drive-by-wire" versions.)
The Kenne Bell supercharger kit includes a set of 42-pound injectors capable of supporting 560 rear-wheel horsepower. Available as an option is a set of injectors that flow 62 pounds per hour, allowing Vette owners to step up to 750 rwhp. The new injectors were not the only changes to the factory fuel system, as the blower kit included a billet-aluminum fuel rail and a dedicated housing for the relocated fuel-pressure regulator.
The stock Corvette's in-tank pump could not supply sufficient fuel to feed the needs of the blown beast, so Kenne Bell augmented it with one of its Boost-a-Pump units. The Boost-a-Pump improved the flow capacity of the stock pump by increasing the supply voltage. The flow rate of a fuel pump is dependent on both supply voltage and head pressure. Higher fuel pressure means less flow, while higher voltage equals more flow. Using the Boost-a-Pump, Kenne Bell was able to supply enough fuel to the blower motor without replacing the factory pump.
Knowing the 2.4L supercharger was capable of supporting well over 850 hp, the gang at Kenne Bell realized they'd have to keep inlet restrictions to a minimum. With the ability to accept a 90mm throttle body, the free-flowing inlet into the blower was up to the task, but they worried about what was in front of the throttle body-namely, the air-inlet system. Accordingly, the factory airbox assembly and filter were ditched in favor of a custom filter and inlet tube. The 93mm inlet tube was designed to maximize flow yet still fit within the C5's cramped engine compartment.