Given the recent introduction of the much-anticipated 2010 Camaro SS (we are equally excited about the possibility of a Z28), it seems logical that the vast majority of owners will be interested minor performance upgrades. There will of course, be those who want to take things one step further, and for those enthusiasts of the more serious nature, Vortech offers a bolt-on supercharger capable of supporting as much as 775 (flywheel) horsepower. Naturally, the bolt-on kit for the 2010 Camaro is not supplied at this power level for the stock motor, and instead comes equipped to supply a peak boost pressure of roughly 7.5 psi at 6,500 rpm. This boost comes from a V-3 Si trim supercharger that features a high-efficiency impeller and housing designed in-house on Vortech's own SAE J-1723-compliant supercharger test cell. What this means to the average consumer is that Vortech went to great lengths to certify its test cell to ensure quality components. It is one thing to state efficiency levels and another to have the test procedure recognized and certified by the Society of Automotive Engineers. In addition to the highly efficient impeller and compressor housing, the V-3 Si trim supercharger features an internal lubrication reservoir, making it completely self-contained (no need to punch holes in the oil pan for drain back). Vortech even went the extra mile to provide ease of maintenance by configuring the self-contained supercharger with an oil drain that eliminated the need for removal during recommended oil changes.
The highlight of the Vortech kit for the 2010 Camaro was obviously the V-3 Si centrifugal supercharger, but a complete kit does not a supercharger make. Keeping the elevated charge temperatures cool was an equally efficient air-to-air intercooler featuring three-inch, mandrel-bent aluminum tubing. Additional features included billet aluminum, twin-plate supercharger mounting brackets, an SFI-approved race crank damper, and Max Flow racing bypass valve. The heavy-duty mounting brackets were designed to eliminate deflection that can play havoc on belt tension and life, while the SFI-approved damper included keyed mounting to eliminate pulley slippage. It is necessary to drill and tap the stock crank and damper, but a complete (and easy to use) drill and fixture combination are included in the kit. This is pretty standard in the industry for LS motors, as GM decided to eliminate the damper keyway on the factory cranks. The racing bypass valve is in place to eliminate compressor surge caused by slamming the throttle closed at high rpm and boost levels. The bypass valve provides an escape route for the pressure buildup. Also included in the street kit are a complete fuel management system (injectors, MAF, and ECU reflash), a dedicated 10-rib belt drive system with automatic tensioner, and even a 3-year/36,000-mile limited warranty.
The kit certainly sounded like it had potential, but there is no better way to demonstrate that potential than by actually running it on the dyno. Before being installed on the 2010 Camaro SS, the six-speed (manual) vehicle was run in normally aspirated trim to establish a baseline. Vortech ran the Camaro on its own Mustang chassis dyno, which offers much lower power numbers than a typical DynoJet, but what we are looking for is the percentage gain and not the absolute numbers. The six-speed 2010 Camaro put down 281 wheel horsepower and 277 lb-ft of torque. As we have come to expect, the torque curve offered by the 6.2L was impressively flat, falling off only after 5,500 rpm. Adding the Vortech supercharger kit to the equation upped the peak numbers to 424 hp and 383 lb-ft of torque, power gains of 51 percent and 38 percent, respectively. The boost curve started at just 1 psi at 2,000 rpm and reached a hair over 7.5 psi at 6,500 rpm. This boost level can easily be run on pump gas, especially with the intercooler as part of the equation. Of course there is more power to be had with additional boost pressure (available from a simple pulley change), but from a simple bolt-on standpoint, it is hard to argue with a jump in power of 51 percent.
As impressive as the Vortech kit was for the 2010 Camaro, there are always those looking to go beyond the basic bolt-ons and take their LS motor into the nether regions of performance. You know the type, the kind of insane enthusiast that will settle for nothing less than four-digit power levels. If you're the type of Camaro owner looking for 1,000 hp (or more), Vortech still has you covered. Knowing that LS enthusiasts might be looking for big power numbers, Vortech decided to design not only a cog-drive system for racing, but combine that slip-free drive system with a powerful YSi supercharger and Mondo air-to-water intercooler system. To eliminate the pressure buildup and compressor surge under hard decell, the Vortech kit also included a racing bypass valve. The last thing you want is 1,000 hp worth of airflow trying to force its way past a closed throttle body. When it can't find a way out through the throttle body, it will reverse directions and try to stall or even reverse the direction of the spinning impeller-definitely not a good thing! The bypass valve provides the pressure an escape route.
Not one to shy away from big power, we decided that it would be in our reader's best interest to provide not just the meat and potatoes standard Camaro kit, but follow that up with a little dessert in the form of a race kit. What better way to demonstrate the merits of a kit capable of supporting over 1,000 hp than by testing it on an LS3-based stroker capable of withstanding just such abuse? Since we did not have access to an LS3 block for the buildup, we started with the next best thing: an LQ9 iron block. The 6.0L block was bored 0.030 over and stuffed with a 4340 forged-steel rotating assembly consisting of a 4.0-inch stroker crank and matching 6.2-inch connecting rods from ProComp. The final piece of the puzzle was an octet of forged pistons from Probe Racing. Each forged piston featured a 10c dish to keep the static compression below 10.0:1 when combined with the 70cc combustion chambers in our ported LS3 heads from Total Engine Airflow. Cam chores were met by a Comp Xtreme Energy grind that offered 0.624-inch lift and a 239/247 duration split. The blower cam also featured a wide 114-degree lobe separation angle. Comp Cams also supplied the matching hydraulic roller lifters, adjustable timing chain, and hardened pushrods. To keep all that wonderful boost sealed inside the cylinders, the TEA-ported heads were secured using ARP head studs and Fel-Pro MLS head gaskets. The buildup also featured a new 102mm FAST LSXR intake and throttle body, along with a set of 1.75-inch QTP headers and a MEFI Burn management system.
Prior to running the supercharged combination, we ran the stroker LS3 in normally aspirated trim to establish a baseline. In normally aspirated trim, the LS3-headed 408 produced 591 hp and 554 lb-ft of torque. Torque production from the stroker exceeded 500 lb-ft from 3,900 rpm to 6,200 rpm. Running the supercharger on this already healthy combination resulted in some serious power, to the tune of 1,004 hp at a peak boost pressure of 13.4 psi. True to its design, the cog drive was slip-free, the intercooler kept the charge temps down (though we ran dyno water and not ice water as was not possible) and the YSi was plenty happy at this four-digit power level. There was plenty more power to be had with more boost, but our goal for this power trip was just to demonstrate the merits of the race kit by exceeding 1,000 hp. Whether you're street or strip, it looks like Vortech has your power trip!