Great drag race suspensions seem to be a dime a dozen, but finding a good suspension setup that will help your Fourth Gen handle as well as it accelerates is a much different story. We flew out to the Left Coast to meet with Hotchkis Performance in Santa Fe Springs, California, who assured us that it had the recipe for a kickass street suspension that would easily prove its worth on a slalom, skidpad, and autocross course. The test subject was to be a bone-stock six-speed 2002 Camaro SS. Hotchkis would be bolting up its Sport Suspension on the Camaro at its state-of-the-art install facility prior to the final flogging.
Hotchkis employs the usual suspects to stiffen the Fourth Gen's chassis and suspension, each backed with countless hours of R&D. A set of weld-in boxed subframe connectors (PN 4002) helps achieve proper articulation of the suspension by eliminating chassis flex. With the front and rear suspension well tethered, a strut tower brace (PN 2006) was the next logical tie-in as the front end bears so much of the burden in terms of weight and turning. Progressive-rate lowering springs (PN 1905) are a no-brainer for both lowering the roll center, which ultimately means greater lateral acceleration, and a nice safeguard from bottoming out the car with an increased load. optimum balance was achieved with 285/525 lb/in springs in the front and 100/140 lb/ in out back in combination with a set of hollow 1 7/16- inch front and 1-inch rear sway bars (PN 2204) to get rid of the safe factory understeer. Boxed rear lower control arms (PN 1301) with urethane bushings are sure to improve corner exit speed without compressing your spine on every bump or pothole. Finally, a double adjustable Panhard rod (PN 1501) will locate the rearend and increase stability. While in Hotchkis' shop, we managed to take a peep at a new x-brace to merge the subframe connectors horizontally, and we were also informed that an adjustable front upper control arm might be on the way to increase the range of camber adjustment.
The Hotchkis crew has a solid racing background-let's see how its goodies do on a Fourth Gen F-body.