Makin' Our Camaro Purr - Catback R&D, Part 2: Turning Heads
Our recently released catch can for this 2016+ Chevy Camaro 2.0T needed a part two to our "The Making Of" (TMO) video series for the project, and I was tasked with directing it. I wanted to take our Camaro home (Washington D.C.) for the weekend to put some miles on it so our kit would catch real world content inside of the catch can to show in the video. It just so happens that we had a full cat-back exhaust prototype on the car for me to enjoy. Let me tell you something, this car turns heads.
Exhausts can be a tricky modification. If it sounds good, then it's a tasteful part of the car that you and others around you can enjoy, but if it sounds bad - I think you gearheads know the term for that. I can tell you first hand that this car sounds incredible. Even my father, who knows very, very little about cars in general, heard it during a cold start and was impressed. "Why does it sound so different from the blue one [the SS] you brought home?" I said it had a smaller engine in it with prototype exhaust parts on it - and that I'm now interested in an early birthday present. We shared a quick laugh. Unfortunately, I was being kind of serious, but I had to put my eagerness in check - we're still in the middle stages of R&D.
The exhaust prototype arrived at our warehouse a couple weeks before with top-notch manufacturing quality and a nice raw finish. We saved about 10 pounds overall, making installation that much easier with perfect fitment. If you remember our review of the stock system, it wasn't too pleasing to look at and carried a lot of weight, much of it coming from the "suitcase" stock muffler.
The bulky stock system is gone, though, making room for the new exhaust that enhances how the Camaro sounds. While it didn't end up making any power gains during dyno testing, it has been a while since I've been behind the wheel of a four-cylinder car that sounds this mean. The car now gurgles, loudly pops and wakes up the sound of the turbo. Try to imagine how much fun downshifting and rev-matching is with this car now. I also could not detect a lot of highway drone as it is surprisingly quiet when at higher speeds and low RPMs. The overall tone is deeper, raspier and leagues over stock in terms of aggressiveness, giving a surprised and impressed "Wow, now that sounds like a modified car" look on the faces of bystanders within earshot. The tips were also painted a flat black to match with the rear valence, resulting in a subtle, yet clearly modified look upon a closer glance.
It'd be easy to fall into the infomercial-like sales pitch category when talking about the difference the exhaust brings to the Camaro because it's everything you'd want. It redefines how you drive the car; and that's not overselling jargon. You're going to want this exhaust when it comes out, which is all I could think about whenever I touched the gas pedal. I've driven this car around both completely stock and with our prototype parts on it, and I'm telling you what I thought of the experience - it's all positive, all the way to its core attributes.
This exhaust is constructed with stainless steel and is a full three inches from the exhaust tips all the way to the catalytic converter. Speaking of the tips, if you feel something is a bit left to be desired, we will also offer the option of quad tips - just like the SS. To use the quad tip option, you will need the valence that accommodates them, and the SS valence is a direct fit for the LTG Camaro RS body. In the next update, I'll show what that looks like and have some awesome recordings and video of our exhaust in action as well as give you guys an idea of when it will be available for presale.