Top Seven 2010 Chevrolet Camaro Intakes - Suck On This

We Review Seven Of The Top Fifth-Gen Camaro Intakes And The Results Are Surprising

Justin Cesler Mar 5, 2010 0 Comment(s)

Up front, you should know that this test contains no hyped up dyno numbers and no glory pull track runs. There is no winner or loser and no air intake managed to pull off the impossible and rocket us to the moon. This is a real-world test that contains a lot of great data, but takes a little more reading than the usual "dyno queen" testing that some other magazines are so fond of. But we know you want the real deal, so here it is. First of all, we almost completely omitted the dyno because there is no way it can accurately replicate real-world conditions for intake testing. Without cold air moving over the front of our test Camaro, we couldn't guarantee real-world IAT/MAP figures, or see how the filter placement would affect the "ram-air" properties of each design. Above those two factors, we also wouldn't be able to replicate actual airflow through the front grille, or the engine bay cooling properties of a moving vehicle. However, we did want to test how each intake compared with its advertised numbers, as well as what it would do to static air/fuel. With that in mind, we have included both maximum horsepower and torque but we urge you to not make your decision on those dyno numbers alone. With the dyno portion of our testing figured out, we were left with driving our 2010 down the track, which added another unwanted variable; us. Now, we're not saying we can't drive, but we do understand that no one can be exactly the same every run and those couple of milliseconds difference could definitely skew our results, giving some intakes an unfair advantage, based on a solid shift here or a better 60-foot there. And with that in mind, we set out to build a real-world test that could be replicated by anyone, at any time.

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Test Procedure
In order to produce meaningful results, repetition and consistency was key to our experiment. Our first objective was to remove as many variables as possible, which meant eliminating both the human element (shifting, time between shifts, launch, etc) and the electronic element (torque management, shift pressure, etc). With Greg Lovell of AntiVenom at the helm of his otherwise stock 2010 6-speed manual 2SS Camaro, we laid out a procedure that would allow every intake a fair shot.

• Install intake system
• Reset fuel trims and begin data logging
• Observe idle quality
• Observe low speed driveability
• Observe part-throttle driving, in traffic and around town
• Data log two wide-open throttle runs, back-to-back from 3,500 to 6,500 rpm in Second gear
• 45 minutes of cool down, change air intake system Rinse and repeat

The On-Road Data (Ambient temperature and coolant temperature)
While consistency was key, we did see a measurable swing in ambient temperature during the day, which is noted before each test. The difference between ambient air and intake air temperature (IAT) is important, as it shows how good an intake is at both gathering cold air and defending against heat-soak. Coolant temperature isn't normally affected by intakes, although the results from tilting the radiator back for the New Era Performance system should be noted.

RPM and MPH
Our wide-open throttle intake testing was done across a fixed rpm band: from 3,500 to 6,500 rpm, in Second gear. This means we were effectively testing acceleration from 40 to 75 mph, a simulation of what is typical on the street. For each test, you will notice that the runs don't always start or end at exactly 3,500 or 6,500 rpm, but are usually within (+/-) 10 rpm. This is due to the sampling rate of the stock ECM and the HP Tuners software, and is an acceptable variable for this type of testing.

Time and MPH/Sec
These are the numbers of most importance to us. On the following charts, total time represents the number of seconds elapsed from 3,500 to 6,500 rpm. On average, it took 3.812 seconds to accelerate through our rpm band and gain 35 mph. Breaking the total down in 1,000-rpm increments allows us to see how an intake affects our powerband, where some work better at making low-rpm torque and others at making high-rpm horsepower. Since we have time and mph, we can also calculate mph/sec, which allows us to see exactly how the Camaro reacts to each new intake. This acceleration rate is what you feel when you smash the pedal, and the higher the number (greater mph/sec) the faster your Camaro will be. Again, breaking it down per 1,000 rpm gives us even more information, confirming where each intake makes its peak power.

IAT and MAP
Intake Air Temperature (IAT) is the measure of air coming across the MAF sensor and into your engine. The cooler the incoming air, the denser it is, which means more power. IATs also need to be compared to ambient temperatures, to see how well the intake works given the actual temperature of the air it could be consuming. Total IAT Drop shows the total drop in temperature over the entire run and is a good indicator of how well the intake system is working at grabbing cold air. Manifold Absolute Pressure (MAP) is the actual amount of pressure in the intake manifold, measured in KPa. For our testing, 100 KPa roughly represents normal atmospheric conditions and shows that the engine is consuming air without any restriction. Numbers higher than 100 represent extra air that is being forced into the intake by a "ram-air" effect, while lower numbers show a slight vacuum in the intake manifold.

2010 Camaro SS Baseline

Conditions:
60.8°F
30.28 in-hg
194°F coolant temperature
Max HP: 393.37
Max TQ: 395.45
Run 1
Average MPH/Sec: 9.143
Total time: 3.828
Total IAT Drop: -1
Run 2
Average MPH/Sec: 9.333
Total time: 3.750
Total IAT Drop: -6

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ADM Street

Initial Impressions: The ADM Street intake was well packaged and looked great upon our first inspection. The system seemed very complete with quality couplers; 100mm powdercoated aluminum piping; and a bolt-together, three-piece air filter box. The box includes a very nice carbon-fiber logo piece, which looked great but we did have some concerns about the install time, considering the box had to be assembled during the install. The ADM system used a 4-inch tapered oval Lingenfelter air filter, which was a washable, oil-type filter.

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Install Notes:
The install instructions were average, but the online video was broken up into many small videos, which made it a little frustrating to watch. The box looked great once assembled and fit very well. Once installed, this system looked fantastic. The first portion of our testdrive did have some minor stumbles and -17% Short Term Fuel Trim (STFT), which did eventually settle down. Due to some required "trimming" we did not test the ADM Race intake at this time, although the extra airscoop may provide additional gains.

Conditions:
59°F
30.32 in-hg
196°F coolant
temperature Max HP: 389.77
Max TQ: 399.09
Run 1
Average MPH/Sec: 9.217
Total time: 3.797
Total IAT Drop: -18
Run 2
Average MPH/Sec: 9.143
Total time: 3.828
Total IAT Drop: -11

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Advanced Flow Engineering (AFE)

Initial Impressions:

We were impressed by how well the aFe system looked-it was like an OEM piece-and were excited to see that it reused both the stock air inlet duct and the stock breather line. The plastic tubing was high quality, along with the provided couplers. The Pro-5R tapered oval filter looked good and was an oiled filter like many others. Advanced Flow sent a very high quality filter housing, which looked to bolt in the stock locations.

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Install Notes:
The aFe instructions were well written and included numbered, step-by-step pictures, captions, and a tool list. Advanced Flow also has an excellent online video, which covered the entire install in an easy to follow format. The aFe intake box reused the stock "ram air tube" and the stock air breather line, but neither piece fit perfectly. The install was very easy and had a very nice OEM look to it. We experienced a small stumble on startup, along with +13% STFT. After driving, the stumble subsided and the car drove well.

Conditions:
53.6°F
30.37 in-hg
196°F coolant temperature
Max HP: 391.72
Max TQ: 387.97
Run 1
Average MPH/Sec: 9.218
Total time: 3.797
Total IAT Drop: -4
Run 2
Average MPH/Sec: 9.105
Total time: 3.844
Total IAT Drop: 0

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Airaid

Initial Impressions:

The first thing we noticed about the Airaid system was the massive air filter, which is an oiled, tapered oval style with a 6-inch inlet. The 4-inch filter-to-throttle body tube was molded plastic and had an OEM level of quality. Unlike any other system we tested, the Airaid shipped complete with a one-piece molded airbox, which looked effective and very simple to install.

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Install Notes:
The included instruction manual was very nice, with an assembly diagram, well thought-out captions, matching pictures, and a list of required tools. We found the Airaid system fit well and reused the OEM "ram air" tube, which fit snugly to the supplied molded air box. Upon install we noticed STFTs of +/-10%, with no noticeable stumble or surge.

Conditions:
55.4°F
30.35 in-hg
192°F coolant temperature
Max HP: 405.55
Max TQ: 407.36
Run 1
Average MPH/Sec: 9.296
Total time: 3.765
Total IAT Drop: -16
Run 2
Average MPH/Sec: 8.924
Total time: 3.922
Total IAT Drop: -2

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Cold Air Inductions

Initial Impressions:

The Cold Air Inductions (CAI) system looked very simple, but well thought-out. The air filter box came preassembled and was the only system in our test that used a thermal heat barrier attached to the box. The intake tube was ceramic-coated, which was a nice touch for both looks and thermal management. The supplied conical filter was large and was a washable, oil type filter.

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Install Notes:
The CAI system was very simple to install and the fit was excellent. The included instructions were great and the air box fitment was perfect, fitting tight to the framerail and bodywork in order to keep any unnecessary heat away from the filter element. The CAI system uses a slip-over air breather hose, which got the job done, but we would prefer a single hose to eliminate the stock breather line completely. Initial STFTs were +/-8%, with no noticeable stumble or driveability issues.

Conditions:
71.6°F
30.24 in-hg
192°F coolant temperature Max HP: 409.66
Max TQ: 408.32
Run 1
Average MPH/Sec: 9.218
Total time: 3.797
Total IAT Drop: -3
Run 2
Average MPH/Sec: 9.032
Total time: 3.875
Total IAT Drop: -6

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Fastlane

Initial Impressions:

When we opened the Fastlane Pipeline box and saw a new windshield washer fluid bottle, we knew this was a different animal from the rest of the group. Using two "carbon-fiber look" 4-inch aluminum tubes, Fastlane chose to move the AEM dry-flow air filter out of the engine bay and in front of the tire, which seemed promising. Unfortunately, during the dipping process for the "carbon-fiber look," some of the weave got distorted, but it was in an area you could not see after the install.

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Install Notes:
This system took the longest to install, but it was by no means hard to do, especially after watching the online installation video, which was professionally done and thorough. This system used the stock air breather hose, which fit quite well in the supplied bung. The washer bottle fit great and had a provision to mount the stock washer fluid pump. The Fastlane intake bolts to the engine and the Camaro frame, which made for a solid feel. This intake presented no initial stumble and we saw +3% STFT during our idle period.

Conditions:
46.4°F
30.38 in-hg
196°F coolant temperature
Max HP: 401.22
Max TQ: 398.11
Run 1
Average MPH/Sec: 9.257
Total time: 3.781
Total IAT Drop: -7
Run 2
Average MPH/Sec: 9.532
Total time: 3.672
Total IAT Drop: -6

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Late Model Racecraft

Initial Impressions:
The Late Model Racecraft (LMR) system was well packaged and shipped complete with a one-piece, L-shaped air filter panel. The "carbon-fiber look" finish was nice and had no visible blemishes. The included K&N filter was smaller than expected, but may well flow enough for the stock engine. The single coupler install was nice, as was the MAF sensor positioning.

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Install Notes:
The LMR intake was simple to install and fit well once everything was lined up. The included instructions were decent, but the online video was excellent. The airbox wasn't a perfect fit, but it seemed to do the job. The supplied air breather line fit well over the stock breather tube, but we would prefer a one-piece unit, eliminating the stock line altogether. Overall, the LMR looked good in the engine bay, with an aggressive appearance.

Conditions:
73.4°F
30.14 in-hg
190°F coolant temperature
Max HP: 404.39
Max TQ: 407.03
Run 1
Average MPH/Sec: 8.961
Total time: 3.906
Total IAT Drop: -7
Run 2
Average MPH/Sec: 9.257
Total time: 3.781
Total IAT Drop: -9

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New Era Performance

Initial Impressions:

The New Era intake certainly makes a bold statement. This system looks like nothing else on the market and the innovation is definitely welcome. The weld quality and powdercoat looked excellent. The air filter looked smaller than we were expecting, but due to the final location of the filter, we expected it to work well.

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Install Notes:
Installing the New Era intake requires tilting the Camaro's radiator back, which was very simple to do. The instructions were good, with nice pictures and easy-to-follow steps. The system fit great and came with all of the necessary brackets to make everything fit. Unfortunately, the provided air breather line attaches to a hole punched in the throttle body coupler, which looked unfinished and fit poorly. Both Greg and I agreed that this system felt the quickest, even though our data proved otherwise. We experienced some stumbling early-on, along with +10% fuel trims.

Conditions:
59.0°F
30.29 in-hg
189°F coolant temperature
Max HP: 398.18
Max TQ: 402.39
Run 1
Average MPH/Sec: 9.069
Total time: 3.859
Total IAT Drop: -13
Run 2
Average MPH/Sec: 9.218
Total time: 3.797
Total IAT Drop: -1

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Conclusion Still looking for a clear-cut winner?
So were we, until we realized we didn't need one. After countless hours of phone calls, installs, instruction-reading, photographing, testing, and analyzing data logs, we found that every intake in our test would be perfect for someone. Interestingly, we found that acceleration on the street had little to do with peak horsepower or torque numbers on the dyno. In fact, the three slowest accelerating intakes took the top three spots on the dyno, proving to us that dyno numbers alone can't tell the whole story during this type of testing. With that in mind, we offer you a final overview of the intakes we tested.

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For the enthusiast who appreciates what the OEM can provide, the stock air intake is an amazing piece. In fact, it was the second fastest accelerating intake in the test (sixth on the dyno) and obviously requires no additional tuning or warranty worries. For the mod'er who enjoys a stock fit and finish, both the aFe and Airaid intakes faired well in performance, while maintaining a subtle look in the engine bay. For the engineers in the crowd, the Cold Air Inductions and ADM Street intakes both performed well, taking the top HP spot and the third fastest accelerating, respectively. For the serious tuners who prefer a more aggressive look, Fastlane and LMR looked great, with Fastlane sitting atop the group in terms of fastest acceleration. And, last but not least, the New Era Performance intake is perfect for those looking to stand out from the crowd, while still picking up some additional horsepower.

Sources

AntiVenom
Seffner, FL 33584
813-381-3995
www.antivenomefi.com
Late Model Racecraft
Houston, TX 77041
713-466-9900
www.latemodelracecraft.com
HP Tuners
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089
www.hptuners.com
Fastlane Inc.
Houston, TX 77070
713-600-8600
www.fastlaneturbo.com
Airaid
Phoenix, AZ 85050
800-498-6951
http://www.airaid.com
ADM Performance
Lewisville, TX 75057
214-228-8782
http://www.admperformance.com
AFE
Corona, CA 92879
9514937155
http://www.afepower.com
Cold Air Inductions
Memphis, MI 48041
810-531-0121
http://www.coldairinductions.com

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Up front, you should know that this test contains no hyped up dyno numbers and no glory pull track runs.
Justin Cesler Mar 5, 2010

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