The V6 Camaro, as it comes from the factory, is a well balanced and fun to drive car. Like Camaros of previous generations, this latest offering provides enthusiasts with numerous opportunities to enhance or personalize their rides. So when John Stachlewicz purchased his Victory Red 2010 V6 Camaro RS with 304 horsepower, he had some ideas to personalize it. To start, he wanted a performance exhaust system that provided a throaty exhaust note, looked good and saved weight.
John, known as V6 John on the web, looked around for performance exhaust products and was impressed by what he found at MRT Performance in Plymouth, Michigan. MRT was founded in 2003 by Scott Hoag, a graduate engineer who just happens to be an enthusiast, and who has over 17 years of experience in the automotive industry.
MRT Performance designs, engineers and manufactures its own performance exhaust systems. The MRT engineers take factory experience and test track knowledge to design, test and develop exhaust systems that can be installed without unnecessary modifications to the vehicle. The company has a mandrel tube bender, which is a key component in the manufacture of a performance exhaust system. “When designing an exhaust system, the tube diameter should remain constant through the bend to ensure the exhaust gases pass through the piping with as little effort as possible,” Hoag explained. “CNC (Computer Numerical Control) bending – the most precise bending method – produces the cleanest, most uniform bends for the final exhaust piping,” Scott concluded. All MRT exhaust systems are manufactured with 304 stainless steel, which provides the highest quality and most longevity.
Attaining the signature sound is one of the main reasons people choose to upgrade their exhaust system; this was a primary desire of John’s when he met with Scott Hoag to discuss what he needed to improve the system on his Camaro RS.
MRT offers different versions of their axle-back exhaust systems for the 2010 Camaro. Version 1.0 offers enhanced presence and tasteful performance sound. The Version 1.0 exhaust note sounds louder and more aggressive at idle than the stock system. There is more crackle in the exhaust note. At high RPM, the system provides a true high performance sound.
The Version 2.0 axle-back system exhaust note is smoother, deeper and slightly quieter at idle than Version 1.0. The result is a classic, muscular sound. At high RPM, both versions provide the same high performance exhaust note.
Both Version 2.0 and 1.0 are constructed of 304 stainless steel with 3.5-inch polished stainless steel exhaust tips welded to the axle-back system.
After checking out both systems, V6 John selected the Version 2.0 axle-back system. “I really like the price-value relationship of the MRT product,” John stated. “The Version 2.0 also had the sound I was looking for all through the RPM range from idle to full song. I was really impressed and pleased with the exhaust note in the 1,500-2,000 RPM range. There was not any droning or body boom, even though I also added JBA Shorty headers, like you get with some systems.” Another bonus with the MRT axle-back system is a reduction in weight. “Weight is the enemy of performance and the Version 2.0 system weighs only 8 pounds compared with 24 for the stock system,” John explained. “I really like the look of the polished exhaust tips; they add a more aggressive look to the rear of my Camaro.”
Heat soak problem solved
John enjoyed his Camaro RS upon taking delivery. Soon after, the car started to suffer from heat soak after being driven and parked for as little as 10 minutes. Because the mass air meter was located over the radiator, temps would soar to 120 degrees on a 75-degree day, causing all sorts of starting and performance problems.
To remedy the heat soak problem, John took his RS to MRT Performance. After studying the problem, the MRT solution was to redesign the cold air intake system.
In the factory system, the mass air meter’s location was the main cause of the heat soak problem. Hoag designed a new cold air system, engineering the Injen Technology system to not only eliminate the heat soak, but add improved performance. The mass air meter was relocated away from the radiator in the Injen system. A new window washer fluid reservoir is included, allowing the intake to be located in a position for maximum outside air intake. The Injen Hydr Shield protects the intake filer from water and the elements.
The Injen cold air intake system provided not only a solution to the V6 3.6L engine’s heat soak problem, but also increased the Camaro’s low end torque. The new system did not require any recalibrations to the engine computer or tuner adjustments.
Since the installation of the new system, John has not experienced any heat soak problems and enjoys driving his 2010 V6 Camaro RS in any kind of weather.
More Performance Enhancements
In addition to the exhaust system and cold air intake updates, John wanted to personalize his 2010 V6 Camaro RS even more. He wanted a more aggressive stance for his car and decided to upgrade the wheel, tire, and suspension package. After conducting extensive research, John chose BOSS Motorsports 338 wheels in Super finish black from American Eagle Wheel Corporation. The new 20”x 8.5” fronts and 20”x10” rears replaced the stock 19” wheels from the factory. Mounted on the BOSS Motorsports wheels are 245/45/20 Pirelli P Zero performance radials on the front, with 305/35/20 Nitto WT355R radials on the rear.
John wanted to create a lower center of gravity to improve the car’s handling and give his Camaro a more aggressive look to go along with the new wheel and tire package. With this in mind, MRT installed a set of H&R Sport Springs that provide a nice balance between performance and comfort.
The Sports Springs lowered the Camaro 1.4 inches in the front and 1.3 inches in the rear. Sport Springs feature a spring rate that is firmer than the OEM springs, but still comfortable enough for daily use. Since he drives his Camaro RS mostly on the street, but also likes run his car at track events, Scott Hoag felt the H&R Sport Springs would meet both of V6 John’s criteria.
To complete his enhancements, John installed a Barton shifter with the RS lettering on the larger than stock handle. The new handle makes it easy for John when he wants to powershift the six-speed transmission.
John drives his 2010 V6 Camaro RS every day and feels that all the enhancements not only solved the heat soak problem, but have greatly added to his enjoyment of the car.
MRT Performance offers three versions of their axle-back exhaust for the 2010 V6 Camaro. Left to right, Version 1.0 offers robust performance exhaust note, Version 2.0 sounds smoother, deeper and slightly quieter at idle, and Version 1.0 GFX is designed to fit Camaros equipped with a Ground Effects Kit.
The stock axle-back system for one side of the 2010 V6 Camaro. In addition to being more restrictive, the axle-back unit weighs 30 pounds more than the MRT axle-back exhaust system.
The MRT axle back system features 304 stainless steel construction, making it lightweight and durable.
The MRT Version 2.0 axle-back system clamps on directly in place of the OEM system.
The V6 Camaro RS with the factory axle-back exhaust.
A Camaro with the MRT Version 2.0 provides a much more aggressive look, as well as a performance exhaust note.
V6 John points out the new location of the mass air meter on the Injen cold air intake system. The stock location is directly over the radiator, causing heat soak problems.
The Injen Technology cold air intake system is designed with the mass air meter located away from heat sources.
The Injen Technology cold air system position necessitates the moving of the window washer reservoir. Inject provides a unit that fits perfectly with the system.
To protect the Injen cold air intake filter from water and the elements, a Hydr Shield is provided.
The new Injen cold air intake system installed. Note the MRT Hydrographic on the engine cover, which adds a high-tech look to the engine compartment.
The Camaro with stock wheels and tires at stock ride height can’t hold a candle to the Camaro in our lead shot, where the addition of 20x8.5/20x10 BOSS Motorsports wheels fitted with Pirelli P Zero 245/45/20 fronts and 305/35/20 Nitto WT355R rears and H&R Sport Springs make this Camaro’s look downright mean.