OCD Guide to Building a Fifth-Gen Camaro

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Every once in a while you stumble across one of the most amazing builds on an internet forum that will make you rethink your next project. Rarely are late models ever built to the level of detail that you will see with a classic, but the Moreno family has certainly turned the tables with its Camaro. Headed by father Al Moreno and oldest brother Nathan, the crew began the G5.R project by trying to reroute the heater hoses, which are commonly thought to be a terrible eyesore in the 2010-2011 Camaro SS engine bay. Things quickly snowballed, and several years later it has transformed into the single most overthought fifth-gen Camaros ever built.

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If you have some time to kill, then I highly recommend traveling down the wormhole on this intense build thread on Lateral-G.net. Consider this an hors d’oeuvre. G5.R Camaro is destined for the 2016 SEMA Show, so you’ll be seeing plenty more of this in the media. Nathan and his two brothers, Justin and Seth, literally had their hands on every single part of this Camaro. There isn’t a bolt or bracket that hasn’t been smoothed, sanded, polished, painted, powder coated or built from scratch. Starting from the engine bay, the LS3 was stroked to 418 cubic inches and treated to Lingenfelter ported heads. The block and the heads themselves were ground smooth and painted BMW Frozen Gray along with the alternator, A/C compressor and power steering pump. The pulleys were given a brush finish. To match, the intake manifold and throttle body were painted. The accessory drive brackets and motor mounts were sanded and powder coated, meanwhile the oil pan, valley tray and timing cover were powder coated textured black. All of the vapor tube lines were replaced with XRP AN lines and fittings, and that was just the beginning. Even the injector connectors on the wiring harness were shaved down to improve the appearance. The exhaust system was TIG welded and treated to a Jet-Hot 1,700-degree coating.

Moving on to the Camaro’s chassis, there is so much detail in every single part. Every hole that was no longer used in the engine bay was filled in and covered. The firewall was covered with a custom carbon fiber plate. A similar piece was made to replace the heavy factory steel that separated the back seat from the trunk. In the trunk, the spare tire well was cut out to shave more weight, and replaced by a custom made flat panel that was painted with the G5.R project logo. The floor was completely smoothed out, too, with some pretty nifty steel “floor mats.” Since this is to be a serious track car, like the Camaro Z/28 on steroids, a roll cage was also added to the interior, which will be integrated with the headliner. A fire suppression system complements it nicely. Underneath, the floorpan was completely covered in a gold heatshield. The roof skin was completely removed, which will be replaced by carbon fiber. Carbon is used throughout the body, with the Moreno family’s own brand of components. Custom tubular front and rear bumper supports replace the heavy factory pieces, as do tubular engine and differential cradles. While originally some off-the-shelf parts were used on the suspension, every piece has been replaced with custom made components designed by the Morenos. It’s amazing what a couple of engineering students can do. The shocks are even custom-valved Penskes.

When the G5.R Camaro finally makes its debut, expect it to have a new Ozmo carbon fiber intake manifold, Trick Flow LS3 heads and a dry sump system. This Camaro is not for the faint of heart!

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Hot New Colors for the 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang

Hot New Colors for the 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang

We’ve been wondering what Ford had in store for the 2017 Shelby GT350. And today the hot new colors for the 2017 Ford Shelby GT350 Mustang were revealed. Shelby GT350 buyers will now get to pick from Grabber Blue, Ruby Red Metallic and the new Lightning Blue. Deep Impact Blue and Competition Orange are no longer available.

Ford Performance is also adding more standard features to the new Shelby® GT350 Mustang that will go on sale this June. Ford has combined the best features of what customers have been asking for from the most track-capable, race-ready Mustang ever built.

Track Package is now standard on the Shelby GT350 Mustang for the 2017 model year, giving all customers the features they want along with the option to add even more – no longer do buyers have to choose between the Track Package and additional features.

“Ford Performance is always listening to customer feedback,” said Dave Pericak, global director, Ford Performance. “At the end of last year we started offering a back seat option for Shelby GT350R due to customer demand. Now, we have adjusted the packages available to continue to provide more of what customers want on the Shelby GT350 Mustang.” The 2017 Shelby GT350 also brings an available Electronics Package or a Convenience Package.

 

New features for 2017 Shelby GT350 Mustang include:

 

  • Standard Track Package featuring aluminum tower-to-tower brace; high-downforce decklid spoiler; engine oil, transmission and differential coolers; MagneRide™ damping system
  • Three new colors – Ruby Red Metallic, Lightning Blue and Grabber Blue – replace Deep Impact Blue and Competition Orange
  • Two new available packages – Electronics Package includes SYNC® 3, voice-activated navigation and nine-speaker audio system; Convenience Package includes the same options, and replaces manual Recaro seats with leather-trimmed power sport seats
  • Available audio system upgrade from seven to nine speakers with Electronics Package, Convenience Package and R-Electronics Package

GM Warranty Covers 2016 Camaro SS for Track Use

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Owners of a new 2016 Camaro SS might be apprehensive to take their car to the limit on track for fear of voiding the warranty. Well, good news for those guys. Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser confirmed that GM is so sure the Camaro will stand up to track abuse that they will honor the standard warranty even if you caused the failure at a race track. Oppenheiser said “If you’re not modifying your car and you take your production car to a track day and you have an issue with one of your parts, it’s covered under warranty. That’s pride of craftsmanship that we know it will stand up to track use”

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Not surprisingly, there are some limitations to this coverage. The main requirement is that your car has to remain in completely stock form, or at least very nearly stock (details are still not 100% clear on this). Oppenheiser says you can’t make a bunch of changes to the car and expect to blame GM engineering for breakage. He went on to say “We know when somebody changes their ECM calibration and we know if they changed to a cold-air intake, we can tell all that, but driving it as you break it in from the dealership, if you have a half-shaft or whatever, it’s covered.”

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Official information on what modifications will be allowed have yet to be released, however it should be noted that this only applies to the V8 powered SS, 1LE and ZL1 models at this time. That seems a little odd since you can now get a 1LE with a turbocharged V6 and that’s clearly a car that is designed with track use in mind.

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Iconic Go Mango Orange Returns to Dodge Lineup

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Dodge has been doing a good job of answering the public demand for throwback or “heritage-inspired” paint colors. Go Mango, a bright and high-impact blend of orange and red hues, returns for 2016 and dealers can start ordering cars in that color now. This color was first introduced on the iconic 1970 Challenger and can now be had on both the Challenger and Charger 2016 models.

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Tim Kuniskis, Head of Passenger Car Brands for Dodge North America, says “Powerful performance cars like our Dodge Charger and Challenger demand high-impact colors.” Tim indicated this trend of heritage inspired colors will continue by saying “Dodge muscle cars have a long history of unique paint colors with iconic names, and we’ll continue to reach back into our paint code archive to give our enthusiast customers what they want.”

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Dodge sees itself as America’s mainstream performance brand. With the purification of the brand and consolidation with SRT, Dodge is getting back to its performance roots with every model it offers. The Dodge and SRT brands offer a complete lineup of performance vehicles that stand out against a wide variety of competitors. Dodge is the “mainstream performance” brand and SRT is positioned as the “ultimate performance” halo of the Dodge brand, together creating a complete and balanced performance brand with one vision and one voice.

 

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NMCA Kicked Off the 2016 Race Season in Bradenton

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The 14th Annual Ross Racing Pistons Muscle Car Mayhem kicked off the National Muscle Car Association’s 2016 race season on March 10-13 in Bradenton, Florida. Twenty cars showed up for the Xtreme Pro Mod class at Bradenton Motorsports Park, which just switched to an 1/8-mile format this year. Pro Mod is the fastest class the NMCA offers, ruled by big cube supercharged, nitrous and twin-turbo combinations running as fast as 3.80s. Radial Wars wasn’t far behind, especially since Keith Berry made the first 3-second pass in class history at the event. DeWayne Mills and Daniel Pharris later accomplished the same feat in the finals (Pharris got the win). Xtreme Street saw some newcomers including Camren Massengale’s C5 Z06, which normally competes in the LSX Challenge Series as well as Ultra Street, and the “Wheelie Wagon” of Eric Kenward. Massengale clicked off a 7.80, but Kenward set the pace with a 7.67 (1/4-mile) thanks to his turbo small-block combo. 2015 champ David Hutnick (in the 2002 Camaro) dispensed with Kenward in the semifinals, running 7.68 to his 7.71.

 

For late-model fans, there are two new and interesting classes to watch in Chevrolet Performance Stock (second year) and Factory Super Cars (first year). CP Stock is a sealed crate engine class, which uses the LS3-based DR525 engine. A 226/236-duration camshaft boosts the otherwise stock LS3 to 525hp, and comes with a wiring harness and locked ECM. Any ’55 or newer GM bodied vehicle can run in this heads-up class, provided that they use the sealed engine, ECM and installation kit. Nearly any long-tube headers are allowed, and an air filter and radiator are required. VP Racing C-10 is the spec fuel. The base weight is 3,200lbs and you can run any non-electronic GM transmission such as the Turbo 350/400 or Powerglide. The tires must be 28×10.5-inch bias-ply slicks. In its second year, the NMCA has high hopes for this affordable class. Veteran Ronnie Hackleton took the first win of the season in his trusty 2013 Camaro SS, going 10.61 to Kevin Lumsden’s 10.62. Even the reaction times were close at .092 to .093. Talk about a tight race!

 

Factory Super Cars is limited to the new generation (2008+) Chevrolet COPO Camaro, Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, and Ford Cobra Jet Mustang – reviving that age-old rivalry. Base weights are established for each version, and clones are allowed if they follow the specs. There was a lot of buzz about this brand-new class, and eleven cars showed up to Bradenton to compete in its first go. The one obvious trend noticed so far is that even with the weight advantage, it seems the naturally aspirated cars are no match for the supercharged entries. Kevin Skinner’s CJ qualified first with an 8.41, but it was an all-Camaro face-off in the finals as Brunno Massel and Glenn Pushis met at the line. Massel got the win, going 8.55 to 8.82 despite being slightly slower out of the gate.

 

It will be interesting to see how the Factory Super Cars and CP Stock classes shape up as the year goes on. The first LSX Challenge Series race is the Chevrolet Performance Nationals on June 3-5 at Atlanta Dragway, which features three heads-up LSX classes including CP Stock, two index classes and True Street. Between then and now, the NMCA/NMRA All-Star Nationals take place at the same location on April 7-10, and you won’t want to miss the Bluegrass Nationals on May 12-15 at Beech Bend Raceway Park. See you at the track!

 

 

 

Introducing the 2017 Camaro ZL1

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The ZL1 is back. “It’s a 2+2 coupe offering incredible performance – acceleration, handling and braking – with the highest levels of technology and perfect chassis damping, making it suitable for everyday driving. It will compare well to any sports coupe, at any price and in any setting,” according to Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development. Debuting on the 2017 Camaro ZL1, Chevrolet has announced a new, paddle-shifted 10-speed automatic to back the 640hp LT4 direct-injection V-8. A 7.39 overall ratio means even smaller steps between gears than the 8-speed used in the current Corvette, so the supercharged 6.2L V-8 constantly stays within its powerband. GM stated that it intends to use the 10-speed on eight other models by the end of 2018.

 

The ZL1 otherwise conjures up a similar formula to the previous generation. For the purists, a traditional 6-speed manual with active rev matching will also be available. Unique 20-inch forged aluminum wheels are standard with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 285/30ZR20 and 305/30ZR20 tires. Brembo six-piston monobloc calipers with 15.35-inch, two-piece front rotors also set the ZL1 apart from the SS. Updated Magnetic Ride control and an electronic slip differential bring even more technology to the new, lighter sixth-gen chassis and help the ZL1 live up to the motto: “fast with finesse.” Performance Traction Management, Custom Launch Control, and a Driver Mode Selector evolved from the previous generation. With 200 less pounds, 60 more horsepower and 80 more lb-ft of torque, the driver can use the extra help managing the improved power-to-weight ratio.

 

By the front-end design it is easy to tell that frontal airflow is a key feature to the aerodynamics. Eleven heat exchangers make use of this airflow, so that the ZL1 is track-ready right out off the dealership lot. 100 hours of wind tunnel and on-track testing led to its slippery figure and ample cooling. A new flow-tie (like the 2014-2015 Camaro Z/28), a new hood with carbon fiber insert and heat extractor, larger front splitter, rocker panels, spoiler and wider front fenders separate it from the Camaro SS. Recaro front seats are standard along with a suede flat-bottom steering wheel. The Performance Data Recorder is available as an option. The 2017 Camaro ZL1 goes on sale “late this year.”

 

“It is beautifully balanced, with perfect damping and isolation for optimal performance and driver confidence in virtually any situation – from the Pacific Coast Highway to Willow Springs to Pomona,” said Reuss. Challenge accepted.

 

 

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Ford Mustang Gallery from the 22nd NMRA Spring Break Shootout

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Ford Mustang Gallery from the 22nd NMRA Spring Break Shootout

 

For over two decades, the Nitto NMRA Spring Break Shootout presented by Muscle Mustangs and Fast Fords, blasted into Bradenton Motorsports Park in Bradenton, Florida for a weekend of wheels-up drag racing madness. And Brothers Performance was on hand to take in the sun, sounds, and smells of the burning rubber and race fuel. We walked the pits, talked to the racers and chatted with show enthusiasts to see the latest builds and hottest race cars. Of course, we were sure to gather a huge Ford Mustang gallery from the 22nd NMRA Spring Break Shootout.

The NMRA offers a slew of drag racing classes for all levels of performance and modifications, plus there are special attractions, like the Tremec Racer Appreciation Party, True Street and we spotted BoostedGT from the hit TV show Street Outlaws, who made exhibition and grudge runs against racers willing to call him out.

 

 

Brothers Performance and BBK had a huge display located in the heart of the manufacturers midway, along with a 2016 GT350 and a Performance Pack GT in the display. It’s doesn’t matter if you’re looking for something as simple as a chrome dress-up kit or a set of the latest heads, BrothersPerformance.com has the experience and professionally trained staff to get you’re the best parts at the best price.

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Our team loved being there to see the intense drag racing, giant car show and the always-popular True Street Shootout, which has over 100 street-legal Fords battling. We also watched the amazing Cobra Jet Showdown and saw famous personalities like Mike Murillo, Carl Tasca and all the stars of the NMRA’s heads-up shootout series.

Each NMRA event provides awesome Mustangs and Fords drag racing, including small-tire 2,000-plus hp Outlaws to the sealed-engine, gear-jammin’ Coyote Stockers. The NMRA also has a multitude of bracket and index racing.

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Going fast and looking good is important to Mustang and Ford owners and Brothersperformance.com is your destination for everything to personalize and power up your pony or other fast Ford. Our team specializes in providing enthusiasts with the very best in aftermarket parts, and we offer a huge showroom, installation center and in-house Dynojet at our Deland, Florida location to help get you going.

 

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Hennessey Unleashes 1,000 Horsepower 2016 Camaro HPE1000

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Well known car builders, Hennessey Performance, has just unleashed their new HPE1000 2016 Camaro SS upgrade package. Featuring a built 416 cubic inch short block and CNC ported heads topped off with an intercooled supercharger kit. Those mods, combined with a complete exhaust including 1-3/4” full length headers produce a whopping 1,000 horsepower and 887 foot pounds of torque at the flywheel.

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Hennessey includes custom tuning with before and after dyno runs as well as up to 100 miles of road testing just to make sure the car is 100% ready to tear up the streets. Despite the power figures being more than double what the car makes in stock trim, they say the package works with both the OEM manual and automatic transmissions.

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All of this performance can be yours for only $65,000, but sadly this doesn’t include the price of the car. On the bright side, Hennessey back the car up with a one year warranty. That may not sound like much but how many other 1,000 horsepower cars on the market are still under warranty?

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If the HPE1000 Camaro seems like too much of a good thing, Hennessey offers a couple of lower horsepower supercharged offerings and 3 naturally aspirated HPE Camaro models ranging from the 500 to 650 horsepower range.

 

Hennessey Boosts Hellcat Output to an Insane 1,032 Horsepower

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Every car enthusiast is familiar with the Dodge Challenger Hellcat and its crazy 707 horsepower output in stock form, but Hennessey has turned it up to 11. Hennessey offers a few upgrade packages with tweaks ranging from mainly appearance and tuning upgrades on the HPE800 and HPE850 to the HPE1000 featuring a twin-turbo kit boosting power figures to 1,032 horsepower and 987 foot-pounds of torque at the flywheel.

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The twin turbo kit used on the HPE1000 is designed to work in conjunction with the factory supercharger, making this not only a stout performer but giving it a truly intimidating underhood appearance. The turbo kit is made up of top quality components, including stainless steel headers and down pipes, billet compressor wheels and a high flow intake system. Naturally all that power requires more fuel, so they upgrade the fuel system as well.

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Hennessey says the HPE1000 will do 0-60 in 2.7 seconds and run the quarter mile in a staggering 9.9 seconds at 142 miles per hour. Those interested in collectability will be glad to know that each car comes with numbered plaques signed by John Hennessey and the tech that completed your upgrades.

 

Picking Up My New 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

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Picking Up My New 2016 Ford Mustang Shelby GT350

 

If there’s one perk to working in the magazine industry, it’s vehicle testing. In the past 20 years, I’ve been lucky enough to have track tested basically every new Mustang Ford has built. This includes SVT Cobras, Cobra R models, GT500s, Bosses and all the base models. And let’s not forget the mass of Roush, Saleen or Steeda Mustangs. These special Mustangs always took performance to a higher level. I’ve also driven a few prototypes including a special V10 Mustang that you may have not heard about, the supercharged Super Stallion, the big-block Shotgun 1994 Boss and the current crop of Cobra Jets.

Most recently, I slipped into the new Shelby GT350 and the GT350R and I was fortunate enough to makes laps at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca, known for its all-mightly corkscrew corner. The corkscrew is one of the most challenging in all of racing, but the GT350R ate it up.

I was mesmerized by the sound of the 526 horsepower flat-plane crankshaft V8 engine. Its noise was euphoric as it poured its guts out emitting a wicked howl. The GT350 is also nimble and athletic. After a few laps at the I press launch, I realized this “taste” of the GT350 wasn’t going to fulfill my desires.

 

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To be honest, I’d never been so in tune with a Mustang, at least not since purchasing my original 1987 5.0 LX. Sure, the 662 horsepower of the 2014 Shelby GT500 had my attention, but I’ve always been a bigger fan of naturally aspirated engines, and Ford simply nailed with this one. The GT350 is refined and plenty fast. Frankly, I had to have one.

My chance came months later, when I ordered my 2016 Shelby GT350 from Buhler Ford in Eatontown, New Jersey. The price was right, so I began on ford.com, building the car “my” way. There’s not a ton of options to select from: you can choose between the base car, a Technology Pack, Track Pack or the R version.

Knowing I would drive my Mustang often and hit the track, I went with the GT350 with the Track Pack. This would give me the desired on-track performance thanks to the engine, transmission and rear-end coolers, plus the awesome Recaro seats and Magneride suspension would add to the raciness. As for colors, I selected Deep Impact Blue with black stripes.

 

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As luck would have it, I was in Detroit the week my Ford rolled down the line, so I even had the chance rare to watch my Mustang being built at the Flat Rock Assembly Plant. But nothing compared to the day I arrived at the dealer to pick it up. I was thrilled to see the car, finally complete. It didn’t seem real, until I signed on the dotted line and drove it away. I was ready to drive this Mustang, so I hopped it, picked up my buddy Mike Ficcaci and headed home to Florida.

My GT350 now has 1,300 miles on it and I plan to keep it rolling. Next stop is the NMRA event in Bradenton on the first weekend in March and I plant to hit all the local shows—you may even see me at Brothers Performance for dyno days and the spring car show.

 

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