Welcome to the very first tech story ever published on a C7 in the pages of GMHTP. We've had our hands on a few of them at this point, but we never had the opportunity to modify one – until now. Rather than diving head first into one of these cars with a head and cam upgrade package, or a blower or turbo kit install, we took the route most would travel and started with a handheld tuner.
We spoke to our friends over at DiabloSport, and the timing couldn't have been better. They had a C7 program ready to test, and a car already scheduled in. All they had to do was apply the formula.
It's no secret that the Gen-V LT1 (no relation to the Gen-II powerplant found in our '95 Firehawk) is quite the potent package. Apparently underrated from the factory (we've seen them put down as much as 420 horsepower to the tires), these engines respond incredibly well from the factory with minimal modifications. DiabloSport just wanted to be the ones to prove it.
So they hooked up their brand new Trinity T1000 tuner, and later, their InTune i-1000 program into the car's ECU. The results were the same, and while both essentially offer the same type of features and software, everyone has their preference if they want to have their tuner mounted to their windshield, or have the convenience of being able to fit it in their pocket. We have a lot to do, so let's get started!
1. As delivered, the standard C7 Stingray is good for 455 hp and 460 lb-ft at the crank. When ordered with the Z51 Active Exhaust System, those numbers jump up to 460 and 465, respectively. Our tester was so equipped. As you can see in this photo, it’s still an unmolested example, as delivered from Chevrolet.
2 A & B. OK, enough trivia; let’s get down to business. Strapping down the ’Vette to the dyno, and we were instantly rewarded with 412 hp and 410 lb-ft of torque to the tires – not bad! But if you’re anything like us, not bad is never good enough, and we wanted to see how well the car would respond to the Diablo tune would do.
3 A & B. DiabloSport’s Trinity T1000 has a huge array of features, including a full color display, and comes preloaded with tunes for your specific vehicle already programmed in! It also allows you to run vehicle diagnostics, a shift light for manual-equipped cars, 0-60 and quarter-mile performance testing, and it stores multiple tunes for whatever type of performance you seek from your vehicle.
4 A & B. How cool is this? While the ability to test your vehicle’s performance with an electronic device isn’t anything new, the full-color digital readout screen can help during test and tuning sessions, and also provide a real-time track experience. It shows trap speed, reaction times, quarter-mile times, and gives a track-like experience with a digital “Christmas Tree.” Very cool.
5 We made a dyno pull between tunes, letting the car cool, and checking our progress with each step along the way. The C7 proved to be amazingly consistent with each run. The plan was to test the car as delivered, then with the Trinity T1000 tune, then return it to a stock tune, then back it up with the i-1000 InTune. The best thing about these tuners is that DiabloSport works tirelessly to offer their customers the latest tuning software, and if you own a late-model Corvette, Camaro, full-sized truck or SUV, chances are, they have the tuner you’re looking for!
6 A & B. The technician at DiabloSport uploaded the same tune as the Trinity, with the i-1000 InTune tuner. Being as how the software is largely the same as the Trinity, the results were spot on. DiabloSport claims that you will pick 20 hp and 30 lb-ft of torque to the wheels on the 93-octane tune while those living on the West Coast who are relegated to 91-octane can see as much as 15 hp and 22 lb-ft.
7 A & B. …and here are the results. Our baseline numbers (black lines) were 412 hp, and 410 lb-ft. Looking at the red lines, you can see that we were now putting down 432 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque to the tires. This means that with nothing more than the Diablo tune, we gained 20 hp and just over 32 lb-ft, with no other modifications.