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Prototype Development – Camaro SS Intake, Part 2

Last time we left you with a detailed breakdown of the massive stock intake system of the 2016 Chevy Camaro. Designing a prototype that will keep this big V8 happy has been quite a task, but our awesome engineering team has come up with a unique design for a prototype. Let’s start by taking a look at our components.

Mass Airflow Sensor Housing

The stock mass airflow (MAF) sensor is sandwiched inside an air straightener. This straightener differs from others because it doesn’t take up the entire length of the tube. Instead, it’s pretty much only as long as the length of the sensor. Based on this, we decided to take that element of Chevy’s design and incorporate it into our housing piece.

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Prototype Camaro SS Parts
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Prototype Camaro SS Parts

Our ability to 3D print many of our prototype components for testing allows us to cut down significantly on R&D costs, production time, and resources. This means we bring you the parts you need in a much shorter timeframe. Unlike most of our straighteners that run the entire length of the housing, we designed this one to run along only a portion of the housing piece.

The filter is also large; the inside diameter measures 4.5 inches. This is the very first time we have used an intake filter that is so big!

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Filter attached to prototype Camaro cold air intake

Intake Tube

The intake tube was a big undertaking. We went through a few iterations of what the tube could look like before we decided on a design. In the previous post, we mentioned how tight the space is between the throttle body opening and the radiator. This wouldn’t be an issue if the intake tubing weren’t so large, but due to its size, some expert craftsmanship and an effective design had to be put in place.

At first we tried the simple approach by making the intake tube as straight as possible after the bend, while still accommodating all the attachments.

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First version of our prototype Camaro cold air intake

What we found in our testing was a massive loss in power that we suspect was due to airflow behavior. When it comes to airflow, the smoothest stream is always the most effective, so the downfall with this design was the deep bend at the throttle body.

When the stream rushes in from the filter, it loses a lot of speed when it hits that bend, entering the engine in a very erratic manner, and causing a loss in power and poor overall engine performance.

We had a bit more success with our next iteration as seen in the photos below.

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Second version of our prototype Camaro cold air intake
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Second revision to our Camaro cold air intake up close

We saw better performance with this design. The working theory behind it is that providing more volume in the tube would have a more positive effect on airflow velocity and density directed into the throttle body. This would be accomplished by increasing the outer radius along the edge of the tube around the bend. So we took this idea and ran with it, designing an even larger tube to fill that space. Check it out below!

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Prototype Camaro SS parts

With the goal of forcing as much air into the engine as possible, we increased the tubes diameter to get more volume in that section and provide the smoothest possible air-stream. Working off our theory, we should see even better engine performance! Check out some shots below.

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Prototype Camaro SS parts
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Prototype Camaro SS parts

Here it is installed on the car.

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Final version of our Camaro cold air intake prototype
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Final version of our Camaro cold air intake prototype

Coming Up!

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Camaro SS on the dyno

We have more testing to do before we can start releasing data, but the good news is, as you can see above, we’ve already started!

Stay tuned, more to come – and thanks for reading.

-Diamaan

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