At the LSX Shootout in Memphis, Tennessee this last October 19, Fastlane’s 2010 Turbo Camaro scooted away with a 10.81 at 129 mph and won the title of the fastest street legal 2010 Camaro in the country.
A few weeks later I was driving the SS/ZL1 to a photo shoot in Humble, Texas, just north of Houston. Rarely do I get the chance to drive the “fastest” in the country of anything. But, the label is true. The body rocked and rolled with the boosted 6.2L LS3 under the hood. Funny thing is, at first I thought the volcano beneath my seat was a natural consequence of a car running a sub-11-second quarter-mile.
Then Nick Field at Fastlane told me about the cam. The owner, Chi West, wanted the sound and feel of a muscle car, in addition to the brute force.
Field said, “The cam is for effect. It really doesn’t add any power.” Field and his partner Rick Ford would know. They dyno tuned the LS3 for peak horsepower. According to Nick, “You sit on the dyno for hours on end until you get it right.”
Somewhere in this world, people install turbocharger kits. They follow directions and end up with X horsepower, just like the instructions said they would.
The young and energetic speed freaks – Nick, Rick and Anthony – at Fastlane take a slightly different approach. They build their own kits. They build fast cars. They are, after all, Fastlane.
In the case of this black 2010 Camaro SS, Chi West counseled with Nick Field for what was initially a fairly conservative build. “We did one round of upgrades with the easy stuff,” Nick recalled.
“Easy” for them may not be possible for most of us. Chi agreed that the car ran well. It was okay, but not fast enough. He wanted more power than “the normal header, exhaust, air intake kind of thing” provided by what Nick called “the first round.”
Chi was ready for something meaner, along with better looking. Nick laughs today and calls the end result “pimp-ready and race-ready,” the former obviously referring to the GM Performance Body kit, lowered suspension with coil-overs, and super tall 24-inch five-spoke MHT rims.
At the strip, the Camaro rode to victory on 20-inch drag radials. The OEM transmission was stock except for a Circle D Specialties Billet torque converter. Since that ride, Fastlane sent the stock six-speed automatic transmission out for blueprinting. The reborn latest generation Camaro is so new, the aftermarket does not yet have gears for the independently hung rear axle. They remain stock.
The GM driveline delivered 596 horsepower to the rear wheels at 5750 rpm. Maximum torque of 580 foot-pounds has already been achieved at 4500 rpm. One thing about automatic muscle cars, the driver can aim and shoot down the quarter mile. I did the same on the street. The car is definitely big-time power.
Jumping and turning into traffic from a parking lot can be a little unnerving when the tires break loose. The cam makes the Camaro SS run like a wild 1960s modified muscle car. My drive took more than an hour in traffic along 1960 FM, punctuated by literally scores of traffic signals. I thought the rocking LS3 was going to stall several times at various red light stops because the loping idle was so low. It stayed running, no problems.
The car attracted the concerned eyes of young drivers everywhere. I’m sure they noticed the big wheels with the ultra low profile tires. Up close, the rough idle is another giveaway of a hot modified Camaro SS.
Black doesn’t hurt the image, either. I thought the body was stock and just looked so much better lowered. The rakish Camaro gets another image boost with the GM Performance Body Kit, slightly modified by Fastlane’s body and paint shop for an even more racy appearance.
To handle the increased airflow on intake, Fastlane custom-built a 3-inch exhaust system. Rick Ford spent a whole day fashioning custom stainless steel exhaust outlets integrating dual Magnaflow mufflers because stock and street legal is a requirement. These outlets integrate into the Body Kit from GM like a trick factory accessory.
Inside, Fastlane “sueded” the headliner and A & B pillars. They installed a state-of-the-art Passport 9500 CI speed detector. This system is hidden. A half dozen or more times on my hour trip I heard a lady’s stern voice announce “K-band” and other warnings. Obviously, the police radar was monitoring my driving. The 9500 CI also monitors the new laser system for speed detection.
I purposely stayed under the speed limits save for short bursts of acceleration. Police would surely give me special attention, I was certain, if I ventured above the legal limits.
Nick showed me a video of the Camaro taking out all competitors in the LSX Shootout down the quarter mile. What the video omits is the sanctioned test drive on the street that each Camaro had to prove before the serious bursts of speed down the quarter mile.
According to Nick, “They had to go on a 30-mile drive and come back and make three back-to-back passes to prove the car was a street car.”
Not every entrant passed this street test, so they fell out of the competition. These cars might have been faster down the 1320, but streetworthy they were not. The final round pitted Fastlane from down south in Houston against Livernois Motorsports from up north in Michigan. Fastlane won with a 10.90 to an 11.02.
Nick said, “It was a killer race.” The margin of a little over a tenth of a second helped make the race a lot more exciting.
The hours in the dyno room paid off. Nick Field and Rick Ford give all the credit to their customer. Nick said, “He’s been a saint.”
Field is a bit tight-lipped about exactly how they achieved the major horsepower. They did not simply install the Borg-Warner, though he credits Borg-Warner with “coming up with the perfect turbo.” Initially, Fastlane decided the 2010 Camaro SS was the “ultimate car to do a turbo kit on.” In other words, the packaging was right. They had the right motor and the right transmission, plus the room under the hood for the big turbo installation without damaging other components.
The job turned into “two months of blood, sweat and tears.” Fastlane went through three or four revisions to tune the turbo and also to have the baddest-looking car in the LSX Shootout. In the end, they fulfilled the company motto: “Everything is faster in Texas.”
To see the car in action for yourself, check out:
Fastlane 2010 Camaro SS/ZL1
6.2L V-8 with Fastlane Turbo Kit and custom camshaft
6-speed automatic with Circle D Specialties Billet Converter and D Specialties blueprint
MHT 24 x 9
Nitto Invo 275/25/ZR24
Front: Independent with struts
Rear: Independent with Pedders coil-overs and BMR trailing arms
Front: 14.0-in. disc
Rear: 14.4-in. disc
GMPP Body Kit modified by Fastlane
Stock with custom suede interior by Stereo EFX, Passport 9500 CI
Fastlane ZL1 Turbo Kit
72mm Borg Warner Air Works Turbo
Fastlane Air-To-Air Intercooler
Tial Wastegate and Blow Off Valve
Stainless Steel Hot Side, Fastlane “Deuce” Twin Fuel Pump System
Ceramic Turbo Blanket
Fastlane 3” Exhaust with Custom Tips to fit GMPP Kit and Magnaflow Mufflers