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Camaro Performance Upgrades

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Chevrolet Camaro

Camaro Performance Upgrades

October 12, 2011

Camaros are impressive cars, certainly not the type of vehicle that makes one think immediately of tuning or upgrading it after its purchase. Still, like all vehicles, Camaros fall victim to the same trap that eventually inhibits all cars, and that is aging. Over time, what was once a muscle-laden, punch-packing bad boy on wheels is suddenly just another car drifting along the passing lane of the interstate at 60 miles per hour. If you’re looking to reinvigorate your Camaro with unforeseen horsepower and other advantages, you can’t rely on repairing the vehicle’s stock parts alone. Instead, you’ll have to use various Camaro performance upgrades to unleash the beast inside your vehicle.

For a simple upgrade to your car’s power and efficiency, try installing an ECU chip. Camaro performance chips are designed to regulate various car systems more effectively, closing out performance gaps and thereby reducing reaction time while increasing horsepower and fuel efficiency. Depending on the age of your vehicle and what other add-on components you’ve got installed, you can get up to 60 horsepower added back to your Camaro, as well as record fuel savings up to 4-7 miles per gallon. This upgrade is rather inexpensive compared to most performance parts, but it will only work on Camaros from the early-to-mid 1980s and onward. Before that, most Camaros weren’t equipped with air intake sensors that these chips need to hook onto in order to operate.

If computer chips aren’t quite what you’re looking for, you can always turn to the old guard and resort to installing a turbocharger or supercharger. Camaro turbo kits are pricey, so expect to shell out at least a couple grand in order to get one, and several hundred more if you want it installed professionally for you. Despite the price, however, you can’t ask for bigger power gains. A turbocharger for your Camaro can add anywhere up to 400 horsepower to your car’s performance, and since performance chips work fine with turbos, you can actually install both and see dual benefits as a result. Superchargers and nitrous kits are also used commonly, and if you like to race in your Camaro, you shouldn’t skip out on an NOS upgrade.

There are, of course, always other pieces of performance equipment that can effectively enhance your vehicle, such as turbo timers and voltage stabilizers. For those who want to focus on raw power gains, however, items such as turbochargers and performance chips really provide the most significant horsepower gains and performance boosts, so don’t waste too much time on supplemental upgrades if power is your primary concern. That way, when it comes time to show off your car’s skills, it’s your Camaro that wins the race, not another competitor without the benefit of aftermarket performance upgrades.

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