491-RWHP '10 Camaro with a Supercharged LS3
Magnuson Products, Ventura, CA
The '10 Camaro has hit the streets and already there is a flood of new products like headers, cold-air kits, and now a complete Magnuson MP 2300 TVS supercharger. We stopped by Magnuson's shop and watched as Simon Gale bolted this TVS blower on a Camaro in a little more than eight hours, working at a casual pace. The kit includes a preassembled supercharger and intercooler manifold along with a separate radiator, pump, and reservoir that bolt in very easily. Unlike the older Gen IV Camaros, there's plenty of room in these new Camaros for a supercharged LS3 and accessories, and it all still fits under the stock hood. Magnuson claims roughly 20 rwhp per psi of boost at sea level, which works out pretty close to a gain of 120 at the rear wheels. Bolt on a set of headers (there's tons of room) and a good exhaust system and you can expect that number to jump even more.
A. Supercharged LS3 - JackShaft Drive
All Magnuson EFI superchargers direct air in through the back of the housing. To improve inlet efficiency, the Camaro conversion packages (like the Corvette versions) turn the supercharger around, placing the inlet at the front of the engine, requiring a jackshaft arrangement with pulleys on either end to drive the supercharger. The Camaro systems come with a carbon-fiber shaft to eliminate critical speed issues that occur with a steel shaft. The blower drive pulley aligns with the LS3 Camaro stock accessory drive, necessitating a longer belt and an additional idler pulley to complete the drive.
The focal point of this whole package is the Magnuson supercharger, which is an MP 2300 TVS that employs the Eaton four-lobe, 160-degree, high-helix twist rotors. In addition to the standard 8-psi blower boost power potential, these superchargers are also fitted with a vacuum-operated bypass valve. At light-throttle loads such as cruising down the freeway, high manifold vacuum opens an internal valve that routes the inlet air directly to the intake ports rather than through the blower. This reduces load on the engine when not up on boost. According to Magnuson, it takes less than a third of a horsepower to drive the supercharger when it's not in boost. Magnuson also reports several instances where supercharged cars actually see slight highway mileage improvements.
C. Supercharged LS3 - Fuel Injection
One reason the Magnuson kit is somewhat pricey is because the TVS supercharger comes completely assembled with larger LS9 59-lb/hr injectors (42 lb/hr stock), an extruded aluminum fuel rail, OE push-lock fuel line connectors, and a new fuel pressure regulator that boost-references the injectors as manifold pressure increases. All this is already installed and ready to plug in. You literally unbolt the original intake and bolt the new Magnuson blower in place, install the OE throttle body, hook up all the fuel and electrical connectors, and you're most of the way there.
All Camaro MagnaCharger kits also come with a complete water-to-air intercooler that positions the intercooler underneath the supercharger. This radically improves packaging in this tight engine compartment while allowing it all to fit under the stock hood. The rest of the system includes an intercooler radiator placed in front of the existing engine radiator as well as a small electric pump and reservoir placed in the lower righthand (passenger side) portion of the engine compartment. The only visible clue to this system is the remote location surge tank. A slight pressure loss is the only detriment to an intercooler but that is more than compensated for by the dramatic decrease in air temperature entering the cylinders. Cooler air is denser air, which equals more horsepower.
The V-8 '10 Camaro SS can be ordered with an LS3 or the Active Fuel Management L99 engine. No self-respecting car crafter will order the L99 only because it's down on power compared with the 6.2L (376ci) LS3, which is rated at 422 flywheel horsepower at a conservative 5,000 rpm with 408 lb-ft at 4,500. The LS3 is an all-aluminum Gen IV engine with 10.7:1 compression and large-port heads that look like baby Rat motor ports with monster 2.16/1.60-inch valves.
One part of the Magnuson supercharger conversion is the requirement that the stock ECM be removed from the vehicle and sent (in a shipping container included in the supercharger kit) to Magnuson where the company quickly reflashes the computer with a tune-up that creates new fuel and spark curves to account for the larger injectors as well as the boost created by the supercharger.