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“The TurboChevy” – Intake R&D, Part 1: The Stock System

Chevy really decided to make history with this brand-new Camaro. It has the smallest motor ever offered in a Camaro and also marks the first Camaro with a four-cylinder power-plant since the third generation. This is also the first time any Camaro has been offered with a factory-installed turbocharger. To put that in perspective, the last time any Chevy even offered a factory-turbocharged, rear wheel drive vehicle with a manual transmission was back in the 1960’s with the Corvair! My parents weren’t even out of grade school yet!

This 2.0L turbocharged LTG Ecotec motor puts out a factory-rated 275hp with 295ft-lbs of torque at the crank. If you haven’t already, see below for a quick clip of the stock dyno pulls we made on this car to see what numbers we were able to get!

This Camaro has an interesting stock intake system under the hood. The airbox has a few visual similarities to the 2016+ Camaro SS intake airbox. There is a unique way that this TurboChevy draws air into the system. Let’s jump right into it.

Complete stock intake taken apart
Complete stock intake taken apart

Pictured above is the complete stock intake setup. The rubber elbow has a fairly sharp bend radius, but we plan to eliminate that in our design – the straighter the airflow, the better! Let’s take a closer look at the airbox.

MAF housing with built-in straightener
MAF housing with built-in straightener
Stock airbox
Stock airbox

As you can see, the airbox is fairly standard. There is a mass airflow (MAF) straightener built into the housing, similar to the design for the Camaro SS intake airbox. The bottom half has the scoop that directs air into the intake. Let’s move on to the intake tube.

Top view of the intake elbow
Top view of the intake elbow
Side view of the intake elbow
Side view of the intake elbow

This tube is unique not only because of the sharp bend, but also for what is inside. This is a two-part intake tube, and separating it reveals a distinctive feature that Chevy opted to include in this application.

Rubber, accordion style tube
Rubber, accordion style tube

This elbow reduces from a 3.5 inch inlet down to 2 inches, which is the diameter of the turbo compressor wheel opening. Look at the side-by-side comparison below.

Example of the reduced diameter at the turbo opening
Example of the reduced diameter at the turbo opening

You may now be wondering “What’s with all the restriction?” It has to do with the second part of this intake tube assembly.

Turbo muffler piece in the housing
Turbo muffler piece in the housing
Turbo muffler piece by itself
Turbo muffler piece by itself

That beige plastic piece in the intake muffles the sound of the turbo induction to help quiet things down a bit. Even though it is removable, however, it’s still a pretty restrictive piece. When we took it out, it gave off the wonderful aroma of oil and fuel – the two things you don’t want to be smelling in your intake system. We plan to have a fix for that later down the road. Speaking of which, look at the residue left inside the housing.

Oil residue inside the housing
Oil residue inside the housing

The shiny material along part of the interior pictured above is a very thin but clearly noticeable coating of oil. Our TurboChevy has only a few hundred miles on it, and to see this already is a bit of an issue; we have dedicated an entire technical article as to why. Can you say “catch can”?! But I digress – this is an intake post!

What’s Next?

It’s dyno time!
It’s dyno time!

Without giving too much away yet, we already have a few design ideas in the works and we have begun testing as well. Stay tuned for the next post as we dive right into some prototype designs!

Thanks for reading!

-Diamaan

4 thoughts on ““The TurboChevy” – Intake R&D, Part 1: The Stock System”

  1. It is awesome that you are developing upgrades for the LTG 2.0 Turbo. Make sure they fit on the Cadillac ATS. Am curious how much HP / Torque improves when you remove the intake turbo muffler.

    Also, consider developing a Titanium Aluminide (TA) turbo upgrade kit to reduce rotational inertia for significantly reduced turbo lag. Perhaps you can use the same units that GM did on the ATS-V. Count me in for an upgrade kit with improved intake, ECM tune & TA turbo on my ATS.

    1. Thanks Daniel! We are not entirely done with testing quite yet, but once we are that information will be readily available here on the blog. And that is definitely an interesting idea, you’d have a pretty awesome build for a such a brand new car! Stay tuned to the blog for more updates and thanks for the comment!

      -Diamaan

  2. In the early 80’s the Monte Carlo had a factory turbo on a V6. I’m very glad that many of the new manufacturers are including a turbo option these days. They are the best way too get efficiency and power if done properly.

    1. Hey Justin,

      Great catch! Looks like you have some extensive Chevy knowledge, and I’ll have to make a quick edit! Those are some rare Monte Carlos. It sure does look like turbos are making an interesting factory comeback to sports cars nowadays. We aren’t complaining!

      -Diamaan

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