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2011 Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible Indy 500 Pace Car

January 22nd, 2011 No comments

A special-edition Chevrolet Camaro SS Convertible will serve as the official pace car of the 2011 Indianapolis 500. Chevrolet and Indianapolis Motor Speedway officials made the announcement at the Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale classic auto auction, where a bidder will have the opportunity to purchase the first of 50 Indianapolis 500 Festival Committee cars.

The 2011 Camaro Convertible is the 22nd Chevrolet chosen to pace “The Greatest Spectacle In Racing®” and the seventh Camaro. Adding to the rich heritage is the fact that 2011 will mark the 100th anniversary of the first Indianapolis 500, as well as the centennial year of Chevrolet.

Chevrolet will donate full proceeds of the auction to the David Foster Foundation, a charity devoted to supporting families with children in need of life-saving organ transplants. David Foster, the 15-time Grammy-winning music producer and songwriter, founded the organization in his native Canada.

The pace car, along with the matching festival cars, features a Summit White exterior accented with orange stripes and door graphics. The interior is trimmed in orange leather, including front seat headrests embossed with the Indy 500 logo, along with white door panels and instrument panel trim. The instrument panel trim features extensions of the orange exterior stripes.

The color combination is similar to the design used on the 1969 Camaro Indy pace car – replicas of which have become among the most popular Camaros in the collector world.

“It’s an honor for Chevrolet to pace the 100th anniversary of the Indianapolis 500, especially during this landmark year,” said Chris Perry, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “This is also a great opportunity for us to build on Camaro’s strong momentum, while supporting an important charity.”

Pace car details

Equipped with a 400-horsepower (298 kW) V-8 engine and six-speed automatic transmission, the actual pace car for the race requires no performance modifications to perform its duty in front of the racing field.

All 50 of the Festival Committees cars will be SS convertible models fitted with the 2SS equipment package, offering the following standard features:

• Four-wheel disc brakes with Brembo four-piston calipers and hydraulic assist
• StabiliTrak electronic stability control
• Competitive/sport mode that enhances on-track performance
• Performance Launch Control (with the manual transmission) that optimizes hard-acceleration launches for quicker, more consistent performance
• Twenty-inch polished aluminum wheels and performance tires
• Head-up instrument display
• Center console with auxiliary gauge package.

Along with the 2SS equipment, the cars feature the RS package, which includes HID headlamps and unique tail lamps.

Convertible refinement

The Camaro Convertible delivers coupe-like driving dynamics, with the unmatched fun of open air driving. The Convertible model contains an enhanced structure designed to eliminate the traditional compromises of open cars, such as cowl or steering wheel shake. The goal is a convertible that drives like the coupe. All the powertrain and suspension elements of the existing Camaro Coupe carry over unchanged in the convertible. The top has a smooth, tailored fit, with acoustical foam in the headliner that helps deliver a quiet ride with the top up.

Four strategic reinforcements enhance the already-stiff body structure to eliminate common convertible maladies of cowl and steering wheel shake. They include:

• A tower-to-tower brace under the hood
• A transmission support reinforcement brace
• Underbody tunnel brace
• Front and rear underbody “V” braces.

The power-folding top retracts in about 20 seconds. It is built in partnership with the same manufacturer as the Corvette convertible top, and operates in a similar manner. That means it folds in a simple “Z” pattern and latches with a single, convenient handle located at the center of the windshield header. Other convertible models in this segment still offer convertible tops with dual latches, forcing drivers into two-hand operations reaching across the car.

The regular-production versions of the 2011 Camaro Convertible will begin arriving in Chevrolet dealerships in February 2011, opening a new chapter in the Camaro’s ongoing 21st century rebirth. Even before the introduction of a convertible model, Camaro ended 2010 as the sales leader in its class in the United States for the first time since 1985.

Chevrolet’s pace car heritage

Louis Chevrolet, who founded the brand with William “Billy” Durant in 1911, was a racer, mechanic and pioneering engineer. He raced in the early years of the Indianapolis 500, which also started in 1911, and served a luminary of the event in the years after he retired his racing helmet. That included driving the official Indianapolis pace car, which was developed by Indy 500 founder Carl Fisher, who believed a rolling start was safer than a standing start. The first Indianapolis 500 featured a pace car driven by Fisher.

The first Chevrolet selected as the Indianapolis 500 pace car was the 1948 Fleetmaster Six. The brand would go on to lead the racing pack more than any other manufacturer.

Categories: Chevrolet Tags:

2011 Chevy Camaro AEM Cold Air Intakes

January 11th, 2011 No comments

In September of 1966, with a listed base-price of $2,466, the 1967 Camaro was born, as was its sister on the “F-Body” platform, the Pontiac Firebird. Although the standards of the time dictated it was a compact car, it was also classified as an intermediate touring car and a sports car. The Camaro’s primary design mission though, regardless of how you label it, was to be the yin to Ford Mustang’s yang – two muscle cars flexing in the same pony car division.

After four generations of the Camaro helping to define the look and sound of the ensuing decades, production abruptly ended in 2002. Then, in March of 2009, the nameplate was revived on a concept car that evolved into the fifth generation Camaro. And now, with the dawning of 2011, the Camaro has returned with its full Transformers Bumblebee induced glory.

The SS model for example is powered by the LS3 6.2-liter V8 engine and it has a six-speed manual transmission which produces a factory claimed 426 horsepower. The automatic transmission equipped Camaro SS is fitted with the L99 V8 engine producing 400 horsepower. To counter the engine’s get-go Chevrolet opted to outfit the SS with four-piston Brembo brakes, along with the StabiliTrak Electronic Stability Control System with Traction Control. Unquestionably, this is a car designed with the sports car aficionado in mind.

The V6 model features a direct-injected, DOHC engine that pushes an impressive 304 ponies and also comes with a choice of 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions. How far has the fifth generation technology come? The new V6 Camaro can clearly out-gun many older V8 models, both at the drag strip and at your local road course. As depicted in the two hit movies, these Camaros are monsters – good monsters as it were though.

With that much power coming straight from the factory, the challenge to create an air intake that would beat the competition and OEM specs wasn’t easy, yet AEM’s engineering department managed to get it done. After months of testing a total of nine different designs with 24 variables, using CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) analysis, in-vehicle fuel-trim tests, under hood thermal analysis, and over 180 dyno pulls on six different vehicles – they finally designed a winner with impressive mid-to-high range power increase.

There are in fact three new AEM Cold Air Intake Systems available for the 2011 Camaro. For the V6 model there is the gunmetal gray finish intake (21-8028DC) and another available with a polished finish (21-8028DP). Specially engineered for the SS 6.2 liter V8 model there is also a gunmetal gray finish intake (21-8029C).

All three AEM Cold Air Intake Systems for the Camaro use an oil-free DryFlow air filter technology which is extremely durable and easy to clean. To further augment the filtration properties of the DryFlow performance air filter, AEM also offers DryFlow Pre-Filters, designed to prevent splashes of water and/or mud from saturating the DryFlow air filter. AEM’s Pre-Filters are manufactured from durable micro-screen materials that are pretreated with a proprietary hydrophobic process.

The more important development though is that all three intake systems provide around 16 horsepower of added peak power. In testing the factory form Camaro V8 generated a peak of 318.67 horsepower at the rear wheels. With the AEM cold intake system in place the peak power output jumped up to 325.98 horsepower – a maximum gain of 16.53 horsepower at 4,200 RPM.

Testing of AEM intakes for the V6 engine revealed a maximum power gain of 16.39 horsepower at 5350 RPM and 17.57 ft-lbs of torque at 2600RPM at the rear wheels. Any way you slice it that’s a lot of pop for a relatively simple bolt-on installation.

Generations of car enthusiasts, hot-rodders and motor-heads began jonesing almost immediately when Chevrolet announced it was discontinuing Camaro production. Rejoice and jones no more, the Camaro is back, and it’s badder than ever. Add an AEM Cold Air Intake System and this fifth generation 2011 Camaro will deliver an irrepressible tear of joy.

Categories: Chevrolet Tags:

2010 Chevrolet Corvette Z06X Concept

November 1st, 2010 No comments

The Chevrolet Corvette Z06X Concept showcases how an enthusiast can leverage Chevrolet’s expanding portfolio of performance parts to create a full-on track car. Chevrolet teamed with Pratt and Miller, partners in Corvette Racing in the American LeMans Series, to create this Z06X track car concept.

“Racing is an integral part of Corvette performance and technology,” said Tadge Juechter, Corvette chief engineer. “This concept car represents a mid-point between our GT race car and the production Z06, prepared by the team responsible for the Corvette Racing C6.R race cars, and featuring many performance parts owners can choose today.”

The Chevrolet Corvette Z06X concept is based on the Corvette Z06 with the 1LZ equipment package, along with the Z07 Performance Package and CFZ Carbon Fiber Package. The 2011 Z06 with the Z07 package creates the lightest production Corvette and includes carbon ceramic brakes and Magnetic Ride Control, while the CFZ package offers body components that enhance aerodynamic down force on the race track, including a front splitter.

The Chevrolet Corvette Z06X Concept features competition-oriented modifications including: an adjustable carbon fiber rear wing, a polycarbonate rear window, roll cage, racing seat and safety harness, racing wheels, suspension enhancements – including coil-over struts with fully adjustable camber plates – racing-spec cooling system and more. The radio, carpeting and sound-deadening material are also removed.

The concept vehicle wears a low-gloss Icy White Metallic exterior color, accented with exposed carbon fiber body components and red trim. It rides on black racing wheels and racing tires. The interior is all business, with a racing seat, window net and roll cage-mounted camera system. It includes a racing pedal kit, a Genuine Corvette Accessory.

“It’s a classic case of form following function,” said Dave Ross, design manager. “The exterior color and accents were carefully selected to enhance the Corvette’s racing-influenced design, but there’s nothing superfluous in the Z06X’s design – everything is there for a reason.”


• Low-gloss Icy White Metallic color with exposed carbon fiber and red accents
• 2011 CFZ-option carbon fiber package, including splitter and rockers
• Adjustable carbon fiber wing
• ZR1 carbon fiber roof panel and B-pillar panels
• Carbon fiber raised hood (from the Z06 Carbon Limited Edition)
• Carbon fiber headlamp housings from Specter Werkes/Sports
• Weight-saving and shatter-resistant polycarbonate rear window


• Base Z06 1LZ trim
• Radio, carpeting and sound-deadening material removed
• SCCA-spec roll cage
• SCCA-approved window net
• Racing seat with five-point safety harness
• Fire suppression system
• Driver’s drink system
• Video camera system mounted on the roll cage
• Genuine Corvette Accessory racing pedal kit


• LS7 7.0L V-8 engine and Tremec six-speed manual transmission
Low-restriction air intake system
High-capacity radiator and enhanced cooling system
• New-for-2011 Z07 Performance Package, feature Brembo carbon ceramic brake rotors and special brake pads
• Lightweight racing wheels in black; 19-inch (front) and 20-inch (rear)
• Michelin racing tires
• Mono-ball control arm bushing
• Adjustable stabilizer bars
Coil-over struts with adjustable camber plates

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2010 Chevy Camaro V6 Gets 16 Horsepower Gain with AEM Cold Air Intake

October 25th, 2010 No comments

Nowadays, V6 muscle cars mean business, and the new 2010 V6 Chevy Camaro is no exception. With its direct-injected, DOHC 304HP V6 engine, a choice of 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions, and a sporty independent rear suspension, the new V6 Camaro can out-gun many older V8 models both at the drag strip and at your local road course. With that much power and value straight from the factory, the challenge to create an air intake that would beat the competition would not be easy.

After several months of testing four different prototypes with CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamics) analysis, in-vehicle fuel-trim tests, under hood thermal analysis, and vehicle dyno tests, AEM Induction’s engineers were still not satisfied with the results. While testing a 5th prototype they found it had no advantage over competitor designs. Our conclusion at that point was simple: Compromise is not an option. It was back to the drawing board.

AEM engineers came up with 4 more designs and put them through their usual onslaught of tests. In total, 9 designs with 24 variables were run through dozens of flow tests and over 180 dyno pulls on 6 different vehicles! The ultimate reward came when they finally designed a winner with impressive mid-to-high range power. The results for the new AEM 21-8028DC with a gunmetal gray finish and 21-8028PC with a polished finish were what AEM engineers were looking for in a Cold Air Intake Systems for the 2010 V6 Camaro. Testing revealed a maximum power gain of 16.39 HP @ 5350RPM and 17.57 ft-lbs of torque @ 2600RPM at the rear wheels!

AEM’s new 21-8028DC and 21-8028PC Cold Air Intake Systems for the 2010 V6 Camaro use a bolt-on kit, including a large 2-piece, 3.5-inch diameter mandrel-bent intake tube made from high-grade aluminum. The intake tubes include a venturi insert to contour the air flow at the MAF sensor position, maintaining the factory calibration while allowing a greater volume of air into the engine. The new MAF position reduces heat soaking of the integral IAT sensor, a common issue with the stock intake system, allowing it to read true intake air temperatures instead of hotter surface temperatures. An OEM-quality MAF extension harness is included.

The 21-8028DC and 21-8028PC intake tubes position the large, AEM DryFlow performance air filter in the optimal location for cool air. As a result, the V6 Camaro’s windshield washer fluid reservoir had to be replaced with a smaller, lightweight washer bottle mounted in a new location. An OEM-quality washer pump extension harness and a powder coated mounting bracket are also included. Just bolt it on, plug it in, and GO! AEM provides detailed instruction instructions that make installing this power gaining air intake on your Camaro V6 easy.

The AEM DryFlow air filter has a large surface area and a velocity stack inlet design that outflows the V6 engine’s requirements. The oil-free synthetic DryFlow technology is extremely durable and easy to clean. To further enhance the filtration properties of the DryFlow performance filter, AEM also offers DryFlow Pre-Filters. Designed to prevent splashes of water or mud from saturating the DryFlow air filter, AEM’s pre-filters are manufactured from a durable micro-screen material that is pretreated with a proprietary hydrophobic process.

Categories: Chevrolet Tags:

Chevy vs Ford – Who can tow the most? Duramax vs Power Stroke!

October 5th, 2010 14 comments

Who’s up for a good ‘ol fashioned Motown Showdown? Chevy is ready… but Ford… hello? You guys there? Looks like Chevy challenged Ford to a tow showoff and Ford declined the challenge!

Ford is making headlines of their own, such as their new Ecoboost V6 Twin Turbo Torture Test, and were on a roll with their trucks until this little snag by Chevy took the spotlight away.

OK, let’s back up a bit here. Ford has released their new Power Stroke engine and were quick to announce how it produces more power and torque than Chevy’s Duramax. However, Chevy said that numbers on paper don’t mean much and that their truck can out-tow Ford and they want to prove it. The challenge was to get both trucks on a mountain road and tow an equal load up the hill. May the best truck win. Ford declined the challenge and everyone was bummed.

“We challenge our trucks against the competition in grueling prove-out tests continually, and the customer gives us the results — sales leadership year after year,” Ford Trucks spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari said.

Chevy isn’t going to stop there. They decided to run their own test without Ford and prove their trucks are the best. They asked to oversee the competition and ensure fairness along with the guys from Diesel Power Magazine.

For reference sake, the 6.7L Power Stroke V8 has 400 horsepower and 800 pounds-feet of torque. The Chevy duramax has 6.6L and 397 horsepower and 765 pounds-feet of torque.

The final details are still coming together. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for more news about this challenge.

Who you you think will win?

Categories: Chevrolet, Ford Tags:
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