Five Supercharged Tuner Camaros

Chevrolet may be working on a hot Z28 Camaro, but for those who are sick of waiting for General Motors to launch the beast, we’ve come up with a few alternatives.

The forthcoming Z28 reportedly will be powered by the same 6.2-liter, supercharged V-8 LSA engine residing under the hood of Cadillac’s CTS-V models. Although the CTS-V is tuned to produce 556 hp and 551 lb-ft of torque, we aren’t sure exactly how much power the General will bestow upon the Z28. Power will most likely be sent to the ground through the same six-speed manual and automatic transmissions featured in the CTS-V.

Since there is no data on the yet-to-be-released Z28, we have to estimate performance figures based on the CTS-V sedan. With an automatic transmission, the CTS-V can sprint from 0-60 mph in just 4.4 seconds, or 4.5 seconds when equipped with a manual. Quarter mile passes take 12.7 seconds and 12.8 seconds, respectively. The Z28 is expected to weigh in some 300 pounds less than the CTS-V sedan, which should help it to perform slightly better.

Pricing for a 2011 Chevrolet Camaro LS starts at $23,530 — including $850 delivery charge — whereas the more powerful SS retails for $31,795. Jumping from a V-6 engine in the LS to the V-8-powered SS will cost you an extra $8000 and give you an extra 122 hp. With that in mind, we suspect the added power and prestige of a Z28 will bring a similar $8000 premium over the SS.

The following is a list of tuner-prepared vehicles that may hold their own against the Z28 when it finally does arrive. All the vehicles listed began life as a 2010 Camaro SS, and pricing includes the $31,795 cost of the donor car.

2010 Hennessey HPE550 Camaro
Price: $52,000
Power: 562 hp and 557 lb-ft of torque
Availability: Package can be installed on any 2010 Camaro SS at Hennessey.

Texas tuner Hennessey Performance has a history of dramatically increasing power to nearly anything with four wheels. For the Camaro, Hennessey offers a total of seven power packages. They range from a naturally aspirated 475 hp, to a supercharged 650 hp package, and a twin-turbocharged 1000 hp upgrade. All those sound great, but we’re looking for something a little closer to what the Z28 will be capable of. And Hennessey’s HPE550 package is just that.

The tuner boosts the stock SS’s 6.2-liter V-8 to 562 hp and 557 lb-ft of torque by adding a Magnuson TVS2300 Roots-style supercharger, cold-air induction, and a stainless-steel exhaust system. Engine management software, a new set of high-flow injectors, and a high-temperature thermostat have been added to keep things running smoothly. With the additional equipment, the car can now sprint from 0-60 in 3.9 seconds and travel a quarter mile in just 11.9 seconds. If you’re interested in racing your Camaro in anything but a straight line, we suggest looking into the suspension upgrades Hennessey offers.

Hennessey dresses up the car with exterior badges and numbered interior plaques. A new engine cover, floor mats, and embroidered headrests complete the cosmetic upgrades. However, if you want enhanced exterior styling to match the car’s new performance package, additional equipment may be added. A front splitter and rocker panel extensions are available in either black, hydro carbon, or carbon fiber finishes. And a set of 20-inch three-piece wheels and an exterior graphics package complete the available styling options.

Package pricing includes professional installation, followed by extensive dyno and track testing. Hennessey verifies every Camaro’s stated power level on its in-house dyno, and runs every car on its own drag strip. A 3-year/36,000-mile warranty comes standard with the upgrade. The car will need to be transported to Hennessey headquarters in Texas for its alterations. Or if you want to take delivery of a new car with the HPE550 kit already installed, Hennessey can purchase the vehicle for you and begin work. Once the transformation is complete, Hennessey can either deliver the car or you can head to Texas and pick it up yourself.

2010 Callaway SC572 Camaro
Price: $48,785
Power: 572 hp, 541 lb-ft of torque
Availability: Package can be installed on any 2010 Camaro SS.

Callaway Cars, located in Old Lyme, Connecticut, has been in the business of tuning vehicles since 1977. Over the years, it has worked its magic on models from BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Aston Martin, and Porsche. More recently though, Callaway has focused its efforts primarily on Chevrolet products, including the Camaro and Corvette.

The Connecticut-based Chevy tuner builds a single version of the Camaro, which is very closely matched to the expected output of the upcoming Z28. The stock powerplant remains intact, but gets a healthy bump in horsepower from a bolted on Magnuson TVS2300 supercharger. The boosted engine produces 572 hp and 541 lb-ft of torque at a moderate 7 psi of boost. A new air intake and low-restriction exhaust enhances engine breathing while high-flow injectors improve fuel delivery. Callaway says the car can run the quarter mile in just 11.94 seconds, while a sprint from 0 to 60 mph takes just 3.9 seconds.

Aesthetic alterations are kept to a minimum, but there are a few additions worth mentioning. A set of exterior badges, a dash plaque with engraved VIN, door sill plates, and embroidered floor mats and head rests come standard with the package.

Callaway has two options with regards to suspension tuning. It offers adjustable or non-adjustable dampers, both with Eibach springs. A set of beefed-up front and rear stabilizer bars comes bundled with either choice and, if you’re into road racing, Callaway offers upgraded six-piston calipers in the front and four-piston calipers in the rear that grab hold of 14-inch rotors.

Callaway is sufficiently confident in its upgrades that the company offers a 3 year/ 36,000 mile warranty. Callaway offers the necessary hardware to transform a 2010 Camaro SS into its SC572 from its website and recommends an authorized shop perform the install. If that’s too much trouble, there are several Chevrolet dealers that have new SC572s sitting on their lots just waiting for a buyer.

2010 SLP ZL575 Camaro
Price: $54,790
Power: 575 hp, 550 lb-ft of torque
Availability: Customers can only buy SLP Camaros though authorized Chevrolet dealers.

Based in Toms River, New Jersey, SLP is in the business of modifying American muscle straight from the factory. From Mustangs to Challengers to Camaros, SLP offers several levels of modifications that will boost a car’s performance from mild to outright insane.

Of the several modification packages available for the 2010 Camaro, SLP’s top-end ZL575 fits perfectly into our criteria. The package starts with a Magnuson TVS2300 supercharger, which bumps output to 575 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. A cold air induction system and high flow muffler-back exhaust system with four-inch tips lets the LS3 engine breathe more freely. The increased power allows the car to reach 60 mph in 3.7 seconds and devour the quarter mile in 11.6 seconds. New five-spoke 20-inch wheels feature a powder coated red lip, metallic gray paint, and a machined surface.

SLP’s Camaro may be priced slightly higher than other similarly tuned competitors in the market, but its modifications are more extensive. A new hood, with functional scoop, is included along with a body-colored rear spoiler and a new set of springs that lower the car one inch. Other standard equipment includes serialized dash plaque, embroidered floor mats and head rests, and a custom car cover. Although the ZL575 comes well equipped, SLP offers several other options to further enhance your ride. Two Brembo brake packages are available, along with adjustable anti-roll bars, and racing stripes.

Like other tuners, SLP warranties its work for 3 years/ 36,000 miles. Due to SLP’s relationship with Chevrolet, Camaro SS’s are transported directly from the factory to its shop in New Jersey. SLP prefers not to be called a tuner, as its modifications are approved by Chevrolet and SLP performs the upgrades before the car reaches the dealership. However, if you’ve recently bought an SS and aren’t completely satisfied with its power, you can return it to your dealer — so long as it has less than 5000 miles on the clock — and have SLP work its magic. If you’re interested in the SLP treatment, act fast, as it will produce no more than 300 units for 2010.

SLP has a few changes in store for its 2011 ZL series supercharged Camaros. First off, it will receive a 10 hp bump over the previous model year, and get some additional styling upgrades. Its Camaros will get a new front splitter, rear diffuser, and the option for a Katzkin leather interior. With GM increasing its powertrain warranty for 2011, SLP will follow suit, and offer a 5 year/100,000 mile guarantee on its power upgrades.

2010 Lingenfelter 570 HP Camaro
Price: $42,790
Power: 570 hp, 570 lb-ft of torque
Availability: Package can be added to any 2010 Camaro SS.

Lingenfelter has been in the business of tuning General Motors vehicles for more than 30 years, which includes a storied past of racing and building fast cars. Based in Decatur, Indiana, Lingenfelter will make just about any GM product faster than it was when it left the showroom floor.

While many other Camaro tuners add fancy wheels, embroidered headrests, and door sill plates to inflate their package prices, Lingenfelter keeps things simple. Every bit of additional equipment involved in its package has a performance purpose.

A Magnuson TVS2300 supercharger system is bolted onto the 6.2-liter V-8, but Lingenfelter takes extra steps as well, to coax more power and ensure reliability. For instance, the fuel system gets a complete overhaul with new high-flow injectors and a fuel-pump voltage booster. A high-flow air intake and an upgraded thermostat are included as well. Despite its minimalist approach, Lingenfelter is able to coax the LS3 to produce a staggering 570 hp and 570 lb-ft of torque.

Should you decide additional equipment is a must, Lingenfelter offers a laundry list of options. A cat-back exhaust is available for an extra $1749, including installation. An optional hood with a ZR1-style window can be had for $1349, along with a new front bumper and splitter. An optional suspension package includes new springs, adjustable anti-roll bars, polyurethane bushings, and a chassis brace. Brembo brakes, further engine upgrades, and several wheel options are available also.

Camaro SS owners will need to transport their cars to the shop in Indiana for installation. Lingenfelter needs just one week to complete the job, though one thing to keep in mind before taking the leap is that the car won’t pass emissions tests in California after the install.

2010 Hurst Performance Series 4 Supercharged Camaro
Price: $64,245
Power: 600 hp, 550 lb-ft of torque
Availability: 50 will be produced and are only available at Hurst or authorized dealers.

Hurst began tuning vehicles some 40 years ago. However, a rough patch in its past caused Hurst to take a 20-year break from customization in the 1990s and early 2000s. Starting last year with new management, Hurst reintroduced a lineup of performance vehicles. Headquartered in Irvine, California, Hurst currently offers upgrade packages for the Dodge Challenger, Ford Mustang, and Chevy Camaro.

As the priciest of the cars on this list, the Hurst Performance Series 4 Supercharged Camaro is also the best equipped. Hurst installs the familiar Magnuson supercharger, which helps the engine to produce 600 hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. A Magnaflow cat-back exhaust produces rumblings out back. The sprint from 0 to 60 can be accomplished in 4.1 seconds, while it takes just 12.3 seconds to perform a quarter-mile pass. Wheels hare replaced by Hurst’s own 20-inch polished units and unlike its competitors, a set of Michelin performance tires come as part of the package. A full suspension upgrade comes courtesy of Eibach, with coilovers and anti-roll bars.

A good portion of the packages price is devoted to extensive aesthetic upgrades. An extensive exterior graphics package is added to the car, along with a new “Airspeed” rear spoiler. All seating surfaces get stripped and replaced with leather featuring contrasting stitching and Hurst embroidery. As a throwback to the original, Hurst includes a modern take on its Pistol Grip shift knob. Custom floor mats, a car cover, and a numbered dash plaque round out the upgrades.

To maintain rarity of its Camaro, Hurst will build no more than 50 examples for 2010. In order to get one, you’ll need to either contact an authorized dealer, or pick one up at Hurst’s headquarters in California. If you choose to take delivery at its headquarters, Hurst is happy to include a private tour of its facilities.

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