The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is an authentic piece of American automotive manufacturing. Behind the bow-tie is a 650-hp supercharged 6.2l V-8, an unfamiliar platform around the Vivid Racing HQ. Chevy didn’t skip out on performance with this build. Big brake kit, carbon fiber spoiler, premium suspension, wide sticky tires, these Camaro breaths domestic performance. Knowing this, we set out to add our top three modification choices to the ZL1 to add some Vivid Racing spice to this American muscle machine.
Off the lot, this car is seeking a much-needed aftermarket, high-flow exhaust system. We knew the folks at Stainless Works would have the perfect solution for this application. We chose their stainless steel headers and Legend Axleback Performance Connect with high flow cats, NPP Valves + Quad 4-inch Tips. This system would provide some much-needed relief in emissions restrictions and amplify the rumble from this supercharged V-8 while still having the ability to use the NPP valve technology. The NPP system allows the driver to open and close the valves with a simple touch of a button. Closed valves for soft-sounding comfort; open valves for full flow and aggressive rumble. All made in the USA with beautiful tig welds, precise bends, 3-inch diameter pipes, with 4-inch quad tips, this exhaust system is the real deal. The Legend system produces a signature sound that unique to Stainless Works. “We design Legend systems with the daily-driver in mind, improved tone with restrained loudness. A system that still gets the blood flowing, but allows for a comfortable ride.” – Stainless Works
We didn’t know how much power we would receive from installing the exhaust system, but we knew that we needed to get this ECU flashed to talk full advantage of what this platform has to offer. We opted for the VR Tuned ECU Flash. This makes the process of tuning simplistic by being able to plug into the OBDII port and flash the ECU. Then if the driver ever wanted to flash back to stock, it is the same process. We were expecting a gain of 30HP with the VR Tuned upgrade.
After receiving the gorgeous exhaust system from Stainless Works and having our VR Tuned ECU Flash ready to apply, it was time to get to work. The installation of the headers and exhaust was a mild process, as we expected and the ECU Flash was seamless. We truly didn’t need to strap the bow-tie down on the dyno, but heck, we wanted to show you all the gains and get this Camaro singing through its fresh pipes. It was time to heat things up.
After a handful of stock runs on our Mustang Dyno, we recorded 514WHP and 552LB-FT. Remember to consider this is on 91 octane at 96ºF. After installing the exhaust, we experience an increase in 11HP and 28LB-FT. Needless to say, we’re stoked about these results from exhaust and headers, but it’s time to spearhead this process by applying the VR Tuned ECU Flash. After more pulls on the dyno, we recorded some additional healthy gains. Coming in at 550WHP and 610LB-FT that is an increase of 36WHP and 68LB-FT with exceptional progression in throttle response and gains in the power curve, from the low, up to mid-range, and through to the top end. This system sounds great and should feel exceptional on the road. That said, now would be a good time to tune into the YouTube video below to see our all-American Stig, Iori, put this ZL1 through some proper, recreational testing.
Interested in the Stainless Works exhaust system? Check it out here.
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