by Hib Halverson
Imagery by Sharkcom
©2005 Shark Communications
No use without permission
In the last 12-months, I've driven two different supercharged C5s. One with a Vortec centrifugal supercharger, and this road test car with a Magna Charger Roots-type blower. At the top-end, no question: the centrifugally-blown engine makes a ton of boost and a lot of power, but down low, it seems not a great deal more powerful than a stock engine. Magnuson's blower offers high-rpm performance enhancement equivalent to some centrifugal superchargers but, also, offers big torque increases from just off-idle through the mid-range which some centrifugals can't do. In addition I found the Magna Charged engine very nice to drive. Two successive experiences different Magna Charged vehicles (this C5 and a Tom Henry Racing Supercharged Silverado pickup), both with drivability that matches that of stock engines, has me believing Magnuson Products' engine controls calibration work is darn good. Lastly, that the Magna Charger intercooled system for C5 Vettes, with either LS1 or LS6 engines, is street-legal in all 50-states is a definite plus. Not all Corvette blower kits have that certification.
In his landmark book about the development of the C5, All Corvettes are Red, the late Jim Shifter tells a great story about Earl Werner, Corvette Assistant Chief Engineer in the early-'90s and who became Vice President of Engineering at Harley-Davidson after GM passed him over for the top Corvette job in favor of David Hill. Werner is a devout believer of both great American vehicular icons, the Vette and the Harley. Shifter wrote that Werner was once asked which he believed was the greater icon. Earl replied, "I have to say that the Harley-Davidson is the greater icon, but only for one reason: I never heard of a Corvette fanatic with the logo tattooed on his dick."
No doubt, the Corvette fanatics Earl was talking about didn't have supercharged engines in their cars.
2002 Chevrolet Corvette Convertible
General: front-engine, rear-transmission, rear-drive, 2-passenger, 2-door convertible. EPA vehicle class: sports car. Manufacturing location: Bowling Green KY, USA.
Significant Standard Equipment: 1YY67 Corvette Convertible. LS1 engine, 4L60E automatic transmission. Power steering, brakes, windows, mirrors and locks. 6-way pwr. driver seat. Tilt wheel. "Active Handling" stability enhancement system. Traction control. Antilock braking system. Security system. Active keyless entry. AM-FM Stereo w. CD player. Base price (2002 dollars): Corvette Convertible $47,975. Destination charge $800.
Significant Optional Equipment: Option package 1SC, consisting of: sport seats, 6-way pwr. pass. seat, dual zone air cond., fog lamps, memory package, head-up display, twilight sentinel, electrochromatic mirrors, power telescoping steering column, $2600. Delco-Bose stereo w. cassette player, -$100.00. Remote mounted, 12-disk CD changer, $600. Polished aluminum wheels $1200. Front license plate mount, $15
Aftermarket modifications: Magnuson Products Magna Charger intercooled supercharger system: $5995.00. Caravaggio carbon-fiber composite hood: $1295.00. VaraRam air system, $369. LPE cylinder heads $1595 (exchange), LPE GT2-3 camshaft package, $388. 3.42 axle ratio, $895.00 (exchange)
Price as tested: $63,631* *All GM prices in 2002 dollars. All aftermarket equipment prices are current. Labor not included.
Engine: 90° V-8, aluminum block and heads. Composite intake. Cast iron exhaust manifolds.
Bore x stroke: 3.90 x 3.62-in/99x92-mm
Displacement: 346 cubic inches/5.66-liters
Compression ratio and recommended fuel: 10.1:1, 93-octane (R+M/2)
Valve gear: roller hydraulic cam, pushrods, roller rocker arms, 2.00-in intake, 1.55-in exhaust valves with potassium/sodium-filled stems.
Ignition: Inductive, crank-triggered, distributorless, individual coils, platinum-tipped spark plugs.
Engine and emissions controls: General Motors Powertrain/Delphi sequential electronic port fuel injection with electronic throttle control, feedback spark and air/fuel ratio control, dual 3-way main catalysts and dual pre-catalysts. Air injection upon startup and OBD2 emissions controls diagnostics.
Mfg. rated SAE net horsepower: 350 @ 5200 rpm
Estimated SAE net horsepower, as tested: 540 @ 6500 rpm
Observed SAE-corrected rear wheel horsepower, as tested: 459 @ 6500 rpm.
Mfg. rated SAE net torque: 360 lb/ft. @ 4400 rpm
Estimated SAE net torque, as tested: 481 lb/ft. @ 4750 rpm
Observed SAE-corrected rear wheel torque, as tested: 409 lb/ft @ 4750 rpm
O.E. rev limit: 6200 rpm.
Rev limit, as tested: 6600 rpm
Max. supercharger boost: 7.96-psi.@4900-rpm.
Torque converter with lockup clutch, flexible prop. shaft inside rigid, aluminum torque tube.
Rear-mounted, Hydra-matic 4L60-E four-speed automatic transmission, aluminum case w. mostly steel internals.
Chassis-mounted rear axle assy. w. clutch-type, limited-slip differential.
Mfg. Final drive ratio: 2.73:1
Final drive ratio, as tested: 3.42:1.
Structure: steel perimeter frame, closed structural tunnel, and steel/aluminum/magnesium cockpit structure.
Exterior: All panels of sheet molded compound.
Ft: aluminum short/long arms, aluminum knuckle, transverse composite monoleaf spring and steel anti-roll bar, monotube, fixed-valve hyd. shock.
Rr: aluminum short/long arms, aluminum knuckle, toe control link, transverse composite monoleaf spring and steel anti-roll bar. monotube, fixed-valve hyd. shock. Hyd. power-assisted, speed-sensitive variable effort, rack-and-pinion steering.
Type: four-wheel disc with vacuum power assist and antilock system.
Ft: 12.6x1.26-in rotors, 263-sqin. swept area.
Rr: 11.8x1.0-in. rotors, 158-sqin. swept area.
Type: Spun-cast aluminum
Tires: Goodyear Eagle F1-GS EMT, steel belted, directional-tread, ultra-performance, run flat radial.
Tires as tested: Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar, steel-belted, directional, asymmetrical-tread, ultra-performance radial.
SAE volume 52 cu.ft.
Cargo volume: 13.9 cu.ft.
Bucket seats, driver and passenger 6-way power adjustable. 3-point, manual, shoulder/lap belts. Dual air bags.
Entertainment: Delco-Bose AM/FM stereo radio w. cassette player, 6 speakers and remote-mounted 12-disk CD changer.
Weights and measures:
Ft. track: 62.4-in.
Rr. track: 62.6-in.
Ground clearance: 3.9-in.
Frontal area: 21.3 sq.ft.
Curb weight: 3248 lbs.
Ft/rr. weight distribution: 51/49%
Cooling system: 11.8-qt.
Fuel tanks: 18-gal.
Engine Hp/cu.in: 1.56
Vehicle Power/weight ratio: 6.01
Vehicle Weight/displacement ratio: 9.39
Performance (conditions: 75-ft. elevation, cool, damp, poor traction)
Standing 1/4-mi: 12.21-sec./122.2-mph. (observed)
Braking from 70-mph: 175-ft.
Top speed: 151-mph (rev. limited in 3rd gear)
EPA ratings: 19 city, 28 highway, 23 combined
Observed fuel economy: 14.8-mpg*
*includes performance testing.
Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co.
1144 E. Market St.
Akron, OH 44316
Lingenfelter Performance Engineering
1557 Winchester Rd.
Decatur, IN 46733
3172 Bunsen Av.
Ventura CA 93003
805 642 8833
Red Line Synthetic Oil Corporation
6100 Egret Court
Benicia CA 94510
800 624 7958
1420 Preston Street Suite E
Pasadena, TX 77503
14320 James Rd
Rogers, MN 55374 USA