The STS front-mount air-to-air intercooler is specially designed to fit just behind the sixth-gen Vette's grille. There is one rearward-facing inlet at each lower corner, and the two streams of air meet in the middle after being cooled by outside atmosphere. Factor in the heat-dissipating properties of the extra-long inlet tubing, and air exiting the intercooler can be chilled to a temperature just slightly above ambient.
Our starting point is the stock Z06 exhaust system. To begin the install, it is removed all the way back from the cylinder heads; however, essentially everything forward of the over-axle pipes will be reused. Note the large size of the factory mufflers-a big plus in this case, as it means there's plenty of room for a rear-mount turbo system.
The stock Z06 exhaust manifolds flow rather well, so ECS retains them on the twin-turbo kit. They have to come off the car temporarily to be coated with high-temp ceramic, which helps ensure that as much additional heat energy as possible is retained in the exhaust gases.
Though the standard C6 twin-turbo system includes T3/T04B Stage III Garrett turbos, bigger GT32 turbochargers are utilized by ECS for the Z06 system. Doug Ring believes these units can likely support 12 psi, so "more is in this kit," so to speak, if a customer wishes to build, say, a lower-compression forged engine. Note that the turbos' exhaust housings are ceramic-coated as well.
With the stock exhaust system (sans mufflers and over-axle pipes) reinstalled, the new over-axle pipes slip into the stock H-pipe, and the turbochargers are bolted onto the back of them. Notice the mounting flange for the wastegate just upstream of the turbine. This is where excess exhaust pressure will bleed off to keep the turbo spinning out just the right amount of boost.
Though the majority of the turbo system is located aft of the rear wheels, a few items go up front, and one of those is the air-to-air intercooler. Though many STS rear-mount turbo systems don't use an inter-cooler, STS and ECS felt it a necessity on these cars, thanks to their high-compression engines and partially concealed intake tubing (as you'll see shortly).