How much horsepower is “enough” horsepower? We’d argue that there really isn’t an answer to that question. The quest for more is never ending, thank goodness and the guys over at Redline Motorsports know this all too well. And while many would consider the ZL1 1LE’s 650 horsepower more than adequate, Redline would beg to differ.
A few weeks back, we brought you a serious 2018 ZL1 1LE build put together by the Florida-based crew. Their package bumped the stock LT4’s numbers up by a whopping 350 horses–eventually making 1,000+ crank horsepower–but of course, that wasn’t enough. After all, making 1,000 horsepower is so 2017 and the Redline team is always upsetting the status quo. So how do you stand out in the age of 1,000-horsepower streetcars? Well, if you’re the guys at Redline, you build a 2018 1LE ZLR which produces an eye-watering 1,300 ponies, which surely makes a statement as well as punishes the pavement.
Talking with Howard Tanner, owner of Redline, we got a better glimpse into their recipe for one of the strongest LT4s we’ve ever seen. “We already had fun building a Whipple Supercharged version of the ZL1 1LE, which yielded some stump-pulling numbers, but we were looking for more top-end power,” Howard explained. “We have worked well with the guys at ProCharger and knew they were close with their new ZL1 setup. After a few delays in their fabrication, we finally got an early kit. We swapped out the F1A head unit for the F1A-94 to further help promote the top end we needed.”
Redline started the process by completely removing the engine–which was installed just 900 short miles previously. The mule car was their own Krypton Blue 2018 ZL1 1LE, which still emanates that new-car smell. “We prefer to modify the LT4 engine only after they have about 600 miles on them,” Tanner stated. “We do this to ensure the rings have time to seat properly, as they are coated from the factory for a reason.”
Once the motor was out, it was torn down leaving only the rotating assembly still swinging. Redline then installed one of their custom bumpsticks that they offer for the new direct-injected engine, with one minor difference; Tanner tells us, for this build, the LT4 received a custom grind that may be offered to customers at a later date as part of their quest for improved power output. The cylinder heads then received some work on the valve seats and the factory exhaust valves were replaced with a set of Manley Performance severe-duty valves. A matching set of Manley valve springs, retainers, locks, and keepers were used to keep the valves in check. “Tom Razzano from Manley and I go back a ways,” Tanner said. “Their engineering department worked with us on a killer set of springs for the LT4 which gave us the control and confidence we needed to really push the valvetrain”.
With the new camshaft installed and the heads secured with ARP head bolts, the motor was ready to sling back into the engine bay. Once back in its home, a set of American Racing Headers 2-inch primary headers were installed and plumbed out to a set of ARH’s new high-flow mufflers.
After removing the LT4’s supercharger, ProCharger’s menacing sheet metal aluminum intake filled its place. “We opted for the race intercooler that ProCharger offers for this kit,” Tanner stated. “They took full advantage of the real-estate behind the massive grille and we most certainly aren’t complaining. People tend not to realize the intercooler can be quite a bottleneck when trying to move the mass of air needed to make big steam.”
Once the head unit had been mounted, and the charge pipes snaked through the compact engine bay, the final connections where made. Since the LT4’s fuel system can be very prohibiting, even when modified, Redline utilized a twin-nozzle methanol system from Alky Control to make up for the deficiency. Tanner tells us they are moving a substantial amount of methanol through the engine; even more than a standard dual-nozzle system, which required some modifications to accomplish–the details of which are proprietary.
For tuning, Tanner worked his magic using HP Tuners Beta software to get the E92 back into shape. The numbers speak for themselves as this is officially the most powerful sixth-gen Camaro ZL1 that we’re aware of. And this ZLR is no dyno queen either, Tanner tells us that the car pulls like a jet preparing to slip the surly bonds of earth.
And for a car this powerful, it’s pretty “tame.” Tanner recently took the car to a big Cars and Coffee in plush South Beach Miami and said the car drives like a dream. “It’s easy to build obnoxiously high-powered vehicles when they’re civilized until you request it.”