It’s no surprise that there is a plethora of Transformers fans in the world today. As the first generation that grew up on the cartoon matures and venture out into the world and become professionals, some of those fans become Senior Creative Managers of Corvette and Camaro Accessories and Specialty Builds. Adam Barry is that man. Being a long time fan and youth of the Transformers/Decepticon struggle he laid mum, quietly aging leaving behind his boyhood admiration for the mating of machine and might, until the first Transformers movie was brought up and the Camaro was suggested for use in the film. Barry jumped at the opportunity, and it seems he was the chosen one.
Faces of GM interviewed Adam, which is a blog run by GM solely to showcase the people behind the scenes of the company. Think of it as sort of a “Meet the Press” for GM. They do stories on the people that make GM, GM. Barry admits that he still has some of his boyhood Autobot action figures, and goes into detail about the intricacies of the package. The following article and video are from the Faces of GM website.
You don’t have to speak Cybertronian to understand what’s so rad about the latest special edition Transformers package for the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro.
When this car shows up in your review mirror, you’ll definitely do a double take, and then some! Bold yellow paint with pumped up black stripes, a high-wing rear spoiler and black-on-black wheels… this car looks like Bumblebee, straight from the set of Transformers: Dark of the Moon. It’s enough to make Sam Witwicky’s heart beat fast.
“It’s so cool to see little five-year olds standing in front of the car saying, ‘Wake up, wake up.’ And, I’ll ask them, ‘Who do you want to wake up?’ And, they’ll say ‘Bumblebee,’” says Adam Barry, Senior Creative Manager, Corvette and Camaro, Accessories and Specialty Builds.
A self-described “Transformers geek” who still has his Autobot action figures, Barry says that when he found out about the project, he jumped all over it. “There’s no question that this specialty package was designed by someone who loves, Transformers,” says Barry.
It’s the little details — like Cybertronian symbols spelling “Transformers” on the spoiler, Autobot logos on the wheel caps and front quarter panel and an awesome interior with black leather seats and bright yellow stitching — that give this Chevrolet extra attitude.
“When you see this car,” says Barry, “you’re not going to think it’s a car, you’re going to think it is Bumblebee… and you’re going to be looking around for the other Autobots. How cool is that?” Plus, if any Decepticons show up, you’ll be able to handle them.
You can order the Transformers Specialty package now. It’s due in dealerships in September.
A lot of people have recently started running pretty fantastic sales and specials on the GHL Camaro Cat-Back exhaust, and the price (I was able to pick mine up for $599.99! Under $600 for a Cat-Back? Yes please!) was so unbeatable that I had to get one.
GHL has been making exhausts for a number of years now, and the work they do has been very well reviewed, so I was confident going in. The exhaust arrived in a single, tall, box, and everything was packaged well and efficiently within it. I opened it up, took everything out of the bubble-wrap, and inspected the various pieces–everything looked awesome! The tips are over 4″ in diameter, and made from high-quality, well-finished stainless steel. The enlarged dual round exhaust tips also have a fantastic visual appearance when installed on the vehicle. The mufflers are actually kind of small, compared to what I’ve seen from other companies, so I was a little worried that the volume and tone may be too aggressive at first sight, but (and I’ll address the sound later) I was very thankfully proven wrong on that point. The rest of the piping, back through the x-pipe, is all made from the same high-quality stainless steel, and is very obviously an improvement in quality and construction over the stock Camaro exhaust. So, just looking at it, I immediately knew this thing was going to be a hit in many ways.
The install, as with the install for all Camaro Cat-Back exhausts, was quick and easy. It took me less than an hour to get the old exhaust off, and get this new one on, doing the work underneath a lift. Everything bolted up and lined up well, and looked perfectly placed underneath the Camaro carriage. If you have any experience with vehicle installs, and have access to a lift, a cat-back exhaust is the sort of install for a Camaro that can definitely be done from home, which means that at $600, this exhaust is definitely a steal! That being said, the GHL hardware, while sufficient, isn’t as solid as some of the other companies. If you can find access to an upgraded set of clamps and bolts for install, I’d recommend going with them, as Stainless Steel clamps and bolts in general tend to have some issues holding their lubrication, and have a history of being difficult to work with. Even if you do end up buying improved hardware, the price is still WELL below what you’ll pay from any other company right now, and the piping, mufflers, and tips are of comparable quality to what any other company offers. From behind, the pronounced and aggressive appearance of the 4 1/4″ rolled edge exhaust tips gave the vehicle a fantastic modified appearance. I love that powerful, muscle look that the round exhaust tips offers for the Camaro.
Once installed, I was excited to get this Camaro started up and check out the tone! At start-up, the increase in volume was immediately noticeable. The system is definitely louder than stock, but it’s by no means deafening. This isn’t the sort of exhaust that’s going to wake up the neighborhood or draw you a ticket, but it’s also the sort of exhaust that offers such a muscle-y and powerful tone that on the road, it’s certain to draw envious looks from more than a few other drivers. And muscle-y and aggressive are the perfect descriptors for the tone. When revving it up through the RPM range the GHL Camaro exhaust emits a deep, throaty, rumble–just the sort of tone that provides the perfect combination of classic and modern, which the Camaro specializes in so well. Combining that tone with minimal drone under load (note, there is some drone, especially around the 3600-4200rpm range, for whatever reason, but it’s nowhere near the drone levels that systems like the Magnaflow and Flowmaster) gives an exhaust that offers the better of two worlds. A throaty, strong growl outside, and a gentle hum inside.
During decel, however, the smaller mufflers lack the ability to even out the decel pop noise, that is common with larger (read, V8) exhaust systems. That popping tone, which, at around 2500-2000RPM when decelerating is already noticeable on the stock Camaro, is definitely more noticeable with the GHL exhaust. It’s not obnoxious, by any means, and some people even love that noise because it hearkens back to the classic muscle-car days, but it is there. I’m not a huge fan of it, personally, but even given my natural disposition to that tone, it hasn’t been a personal bother at all while driving. The Decel pop can even be avoided by a couple of different means. The first is, quiet simple, dropping in to Neutral whenever decelerating at a rate to cause the popping tone. By doing that, you’re allowing the engine to drop RPMs in a more natural manner so that the tone doesn’t exist. You can also tune the vehicle to change the deceleration rate, and, at the cost of 1-2mpg create a much more even tone. This is something that I’m considering doing, and it’s not all bad, either. The 1-2mpg are lost, but a proper tune will also allow for the exhaust system to put out even more power. And, at maybe $300, the full cost of the GHL (with tune) still comes in below the cost of many competitor’s cat-back exhaust systems.
So, I mentioned the tune, and I mentioned horsepower, and that leads me to my last point on this review: performance. We know the exhaust is well-built, well-designed, gorgeous, and has a fantastic tone–but how does it perform? I can’t say for certain, as I did the install myself and didn’t have ready dyno access, but a few things are known for certain. Aftermarket exhaust systems allow for greater air-flow, and greater air-flow means that the engine runs more efficiently. Efficiency is the name of the game when it comes to HP, too, so you can be certain that this GHL provides extra HP. How much, exactly, is difficult to say. A lot of competing companies will offer different exhaust performance numbers, and you have to remember to take them all with a grain of salt. If I were trying to sell you an exhaust, I’d publish the best numbers that I could too, and what this usually means is that those exhausts that claim 16, 18, even 20+ HP are getting those numbers post-tune, and on a generous dyno. There are many many ways to eek out extra numbers on the back-end of a dyno if you know how to manipulate it to your cause, and that’s what a lot of companies do. Realistically, any and every exhaust will give you a similar performance gain. There’s some variance, as the more aggressive systems ultimately do allow for greater air flow, and, ultimately greater HP, but the 9-14 range is pretty much how it is for all cases. Trust me–I’ve dyno’ed multiple systems with multiple people on multiple vehicles, and those numbers are the standard across the board. So, let’s assume the GHL gives 11-12 HP extra (right in the mid-range of them), then. That’s the sort of HP that’s noticeable, but not super-obvious while driving. I can honestly say I felt like the Camaro had more pick-up with the GHL exhaust on it, but I also wonder how much of that feeling comes from also hearing how much more aggressive the vehicle sounds. No matter what, the performance is along the same lines of what any other exhaust will offer, and at a steal of a price. Again, too, if you tune your GHL, you’ll still come in below the cost of a Corsa/Borla/Magnaflow/Etc. exhaust system, and be getting every bit of power there is out of your exhaust–putting it ahead of those more costly competitors in performance.
So, here’s a short list of the pros and cons for the GHL Camaro Cat-Back Exhaust, and my final thoughts on it.
Pros: Beautiful exhaust system–the polished stainless steel and large round exhaust tips look great; fantastic sound; minimal drone; equivalent performance numbers to competitors; solid construction on the piping; GREAT price.
Cons: Hardware’s sufficient, but not impressive; decel pop became a good bit more noticeable; that’s it.
Final thoughts: The pros far outweigh the cons on this exhaust system. Far far outweigh them. Ultimately, the incredible price means that this exhaust just can’t really be beat, and that’s ultimately the name of the game, isn’t it? The bang for the buck? It’s all here. Even if you splurge on new hardware, a tune to even out the pop and give better performance, and somebody to install it, you’re coming in just below what you’d pay for the Corsa Camaro Exhaust system, alone. At that price, how can you say no? I have to give the exhaust an A, all-around, for providing the ultimate economy solution for your Camaro exhaust needs, and for doing so in a gorgeous, great-sounding, well-built, aggressive package. GHL has hit a serious homerun here, and, when it has distributors like Southern Car Parts (my good friend Jim over there was the guy who alerted me to the deal that this exhaust was, and I have to give him a shout-out for that!) selling the thing at $599.99, they’ve certainly got a huge hit on their hands.
(Note: the photos and videos I’ve used here are from the www.SouthernCarParts.com website, and I’ll get my photos from taking the thing out of its packaging loaded up here this evening, also.)
Carbon fiber was only the stuff of Formula One fifteen years ago. Today it can be had for your Camaro. Out of the many manufacturers that produce carbon fiber components for the automotive industry, there is one that consistently stands above the rest. APR has time after time proven to be the heavyweight contender when it comes to the industry of making solid quality, aerodynamically tested, great pieces. They have made pieces for world record setting race cars to show stopping trophy queens. APR doesn’t just arbitrarily come up with random cars to produce pieces for, they take a car that is designed for performance, and then they focus on how to make it better. In the case of the Camaro, they have started with the front diffuser.
The Camaro is a performance driven machine. It is a front engine, rear wheel drive car with a big engine under the hood. What APR has done is design a front splitter for the front end of the car. The idea behind a front splitter is to direct wind over the splitter which is attached to the front valance. What this does is direct air up into the front air dam, while simultaneously producing downforce on the front of the car-keeping the front tires planted better. With a firmer stance at the front of the car, and a better contact patch on the tires, the ability to perform better at higher speeds goes up. High-speed cornering, driving, and traction are all improved while the effect of lift is reduced. The effect is an aerodynamic win/win for the driver. So, after the contact patch is provided with a better grip, the tires and the suspension can perform better. In short, by altering one facet of our aerodynamics, we can change a host of things suspension and traction related. Basically, aerodynamics is the key to a good handling car, and to make a good handling car handle better. Better aerodynamics = better traction, better traction = higher speeds and better cornering, which in turn means faster lap times, which means better driving.
In all, a front splitter will not make you win on its own, but it will help you add some more traction up front and reduce front end lift. I would really only recommend this for the track, or shows, because if you live anywhere like I do, the number of potholes, and high curbs turning into the gas station could pose a threat to the splitters well being. However, on the track this guy will work like a charm. The guys at APR also took the time to write up a couple of great articles on their website about aerodynamics, and some cool pictures of the splitter installed on a number of different cars, from full race Porsche’s to show winning Volkswagens. However, to install a splitter, it must be noted that this is a job that does require some ingenuity and a little bit of fabrication. The stresses on a splitter can exceed 100 pounds of vertical force on the splitter’s surface. So, in order for the splitter to handle this kind of force, it needs to be mounted properly. Usually, a splitter is mounted to the bumper via the frame, and if necessary there are brackets that can be fitted to the front frame rails. If you plan on tracking the car, your regular track speed shop should have the knowledge to do this kind of installation. APR does provide a great article on how to mount the splitter if you do decide to tackle the job yourself.
Here’s a (funny) picture for an example of how much stress a splitter should be able to support.
This is a link to the article on Southern Car Parts website that has a great explanation of the aerodynamics for a splitter:
Whether your new old-school ride needs a bit of a facelift or you intend on tracking the beast and want some improved aerodynamics for a better handling ride and more efficiently designed car; the guys over at CPX have just the thing. They’re called “Foilers” and attach at the base of the Camaro or Challenger front air dam and add not only a subtle amount of aggressiveness, but an added degree of aerodynamics. CPX also produces rear Camaro and Challenger Foilers that mount just in front of the rear wheels for more of an added throwback to the old-school look to aerodynamics, adding yet again to the cars appearance while reducing the drag coefficient. Yet, far from the old school mounting methods, CPX has opted for the space age technology of 3M using their automotive mounting tape. I know some of you are thinking, “Tape? Really? Somebody’s just saving a few bucks…” But I can personally attest to the strength of 3M’s automotive tape on the use of race and street applications. I used the same tape to mount numerous things to a car or motorcycle (spoilers to rear seat deletes on the motorcycle) and it has withstood full force 140 MPH winds. If it’s not separating at those speeds, I’m pretty sure the strength of this tape is plenty enough for any street or race application for our cars. They offer the foilers in color matched urethane, or an even sexier carbon fiber. Tom Henry Racing, or THR as they have become known, has used these on their 2011 THR SS Camaro’s. These guys are a group that spares no expense in building top notch show-and-go cars. Cars that look as good as they go, and with an attention to detail second to none, if it’s good enough for them I think that says a lot. So, keep these little wings of war in mind as you look at that stock front end and realize that just a little bit more would go a long way.
The first bit of news concerns the twin-supercharged 1200 HP Camaro that Eric Berry, the new Kansas City safety out of Tennessee, had built for himself. When originally selected by the Chiefs, Berry was ushered to a press conference. There he was asked what he wanted to do. His response was, very coolly, “I really just want to get the 2010 Camaro. I love Chevy.” Now, I imagine Eric was probably paid a little something to say this, but he later rang true on this promise. Eric recently received his own custom, $139,000 Camaro, to add him to the growing list of celebrities driving around in America’s favorite muscle car. And now, you too can have an Eric Berry Camaro for just $139,000. At his newly created website, www.eb29.com, Eric Berry goes in to great detail about what it took to create his custom Camaro from start to finish, and the process is pretty impressive. At the end of the Camaro page, he is asked why he loves Camaros, and writes:
“On the field, I like for my game to speak for itself. I think Camaros and I share similar qualities…they are fast, powerful, stylish and tough without trying too hard. That’s my style. I’ve always loved Camaros and I’m excited to be a part of this project with National Speed, Inc. I’m especially proud that proceeds from the sale of the NZ-1200EB will benefit my foundation so that kids can have safe places to play and compete. Check back for progress on the NZ1200-EB, I’m excited to show you the finished product.”
So see, you can put some $$ in Eric’s pockets and help the kids at the same time! In all honesty, Eric’s Camaro is pretty awesome and worth a look.
Moving past that, a Camaro5 Forum member recently found himself the beneficiary of a “right place, right time” situation when, driving through the streets of Coronado, he came across a pack of Camaro test mules. Leading the pack were two Z28 mules with camo hoods that appear to be hiding some sort of massive hood cowl. The vehicles look great (as is to be expected) and definitely do a good job of showing off how great the Camaro can look. I just can’t wait until the Z28 is out and available to the public.
Anderson Silva, the current UFC Middleweight Champion and UFC’s longest continual reigning Champion, is a bad-ass. There is no arguing this. This man knocks out people bigger and scarier than him, and makes it look easy. So, what type of car does a man this hardcore drive? Obviously, the only car with enough personality, attitude, savvy, and cool to match him: a Camaro. His Camaro is not just any Camaro, either. Anderson Silva had just ordered a fully customized Camaro from West Coast Customs, that is an absolute beauty.
Made up in Black and Yellow, the number of visual modifications performed on this car are a long list alone. There’s no official list of the modifications installed on the vehicle, but they begin with a custom paint job, custom rims, stitching, brake duct intake cut-outs and screens on a custom front fascia, and an aggressive and gorgeous looking ground effects body kit. All of this is topped off with Anderson Silva’s trademark Silva Bee logo on the front grille and engraved in the headrests.
West Coast customs has built a name for themselves worldwide as one of the premiere mod shops, and this Camaro is no exception to that at all. By ordering this gorgeous Camaro, Silva joins a list of other notable famous bad-asses who drive the Camaro. We can only assume that Silva, Sylvester Stallone, Randy Couture, and Ric Flair drive their Camaros to match their macho-man characters. Its amazing then, to realize, that the Camaro has the machissimo to fit these drivers, as well as the sophisticated cool, class, sex-appeal, and refinement to work for so many others. The list of celebrities driving Camaros seemingly grows every day, and this Silva custom Camaro is one of the coolest ones to make that list.
The following Ground Effects (GFX) Install Instructions just hit the web, and they’re extremely handy to have. If your Camaro came with the GFX installed and you need to remove a part of it for some reason, having these instructions will really help with the surprisingly complex process. If you’re also looking to install part of the Chevy GFX Kit on to your Camaro that is currently without it, then obviously these instructions can be a major help to you as well. Some people have also reported that their GFX packages were installed improperly by Chevy in the first place, so having these instructions are a great way to check on that yourself, since some mechanics simply can’t be trusted. Regardless of the reason, ultimately, these are a handy tool to have access to. So, here you are!
We’ve seen the spy photos of the Z28 thus far, and it looks pretty awesome. Using those, artist Jon Sibal put together a rendition of what the Z28′s front end most likely looks like. You can make out some angles and details in the spy photos, and obviously Mr. Sibal used those same cues in the rendering he has put together. It’s a good looking car that doesn’t venture far from the standard Camaro styling, which is an absolute plus. Now, we just have the performance numbers to truly speculate on!