Third Gen Camaro Hotchkis TVS Suspension Kit - Track Pack

Help your third-gen handle better with a Hotchkis TVS suspension kit

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1. Meet our test subject: an ’88 Camaro owned by Shaun Dove. It’s powered by a badass Donovan small-block, but its handling is somewhat hindered by the stock suspension. It also suffers from a stance that isn’t as high as some third-gens we’ve seen, but still has a wheel gap bigger than we like.

Of all the generations of Camaros, the third-gens are the most frustrating in stock form. Blessed with sleek body lines that make the car look like it’s haulin’ ass even when parked, GM hobbled the car with mediocre power, which kept it from utilizing it’s full driving potential. Third-gens are known for great handling straight out of the box, and just like how power problems can be addressed with a new mill or a pile of go-fast goodies, the suspension can be brought up a notch or two with a few carefully chosen replacement parts.

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The key is to increase the suspension’s firmness without inducing harshness to the ride. Other parts help to stiffen the chassis and keep the various suspension pieces moving in predictable ways under hard turns. The TVS kit from Hotchkis does just this. The package includes parts to tighten up the third-gen’s handling, improve traction, and make it look even better in the process. To test it out, we borrowed an ’88 from our friend Shaun Dove, installed the kit over at JR Competition in Escondido, California, and took the newly refitted Camaro to our testing facility at El Toro Field.

Putting it to the Test

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The Hotchkis TVS Race Pack really improved the stance, but we wanted to know how it performed, so we decided to test the car against its modern cousin, the 2011 SS Camaro. After all, the whole point is to end up with classic style and modern performance.

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In our 420-foot slalom course, the Hotchkis-equipped Camaro was put to the test. According to our editor and test driver, Nick Licata: “Without any adjustments, the car felt very predictable, both in corner entry and corner exit. The handling was precise, yet it didn’t seem like it would be overly harsh on the street.” The tires were brand new so we spent a little time scuffing them in properly, and we also released a few pounds of air pressure for some more grip. Once that was done, Licata started darting between the cones and eventually knocked down a best time of 5.86 seconds (49.3 mph). Last year we baselined a bone-stock ’11 SS, which put down a best time of 6.16 seconds (46.6 mph) in the slalom on its factory rubber. Now, a betterment of 0.30-seconds may not sound like much, but in a 420-foot slalom it’s pretty substantial margin.

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