By Steve Temple/autoMedia.com
|The Roots type of supercharger has been around for nearly a century, used initially to circulate air in mineshafts, and first installed on a Mercedes. Eaton’s latest version is far more advanced, with Twin Vortices Series (TVS) Gen VI rotors, and used on the ZR-1 Corvette and in the highly successful Mustang E-Force Superchargers.|
|In addition to featuring improved efficiency due to more twist in the rotor configuration, the application employed by Edlebrock has an integrated bypass valve and a nested configuration with 12-inch intake runners, which allow the entire assembly to fit under the hood. Both street and competition versions are available, raising the horsepower of the stock LS3 engine from 426 hp to 599 hp (measured at the flywheel).|
|Kenne Bell Blowers|
|Yet another supercharger company that has set its sights on the Camaro is Kenne Bell. While this firm has shipped a great many twin-screw blowers for both Mustangs and Mopars, like so many other aftermarket companies, it sees the Camaro as having even more potential. What’s startling is the system’s ability to crack the 1000-hp ceiling (measured at the wheels, where it really counts). Not everybody needs that much power on tap, though, so a range of power levels is available.|
|Developed in part for Kenne Bell’s new RPO SERIES 2010 Camaro SS Program, it’s being offered in three different editions: 650-hp L/78, 850-hp L/72, and 1000-hp L/88 Edition. As you might expect, going to the latter extreme requires a number of modifications. These include increasing the engine displacement to 7.0 liters (427 ci), handled by TurnKey Engine Supply. This engine builder uses forged rods and 8.5 CR pistons, plus ported heads. For 22 psi, the pulley is only 2.5 inches in diameter, and the fuel has to be high-octane race gas. (Note: Water injection would allow 19 psi on pump gas and make 1060 hp, Kenne Bell says).|
Kenne Bell’s new 3.6-liter, Liquid-Cooled, twin-screw supercharger achieves these levels of output by not only working smarter, but also way cooler—literally. It features a water jacket on the forward end of the blower case, to even out the temperature differential between the front and the back ends of the rotors. Since the twin-screw rotors compress air, which creates friction, they can run more than 100° hotter at the front end of the case, when compared with the back, causing metal expansion and reducing clearances. Kenne Bell latest liquid-cooled technology circulates coolant through a heat-exchanger plate on the front of the case. Paired with an air-to-water intercooler, both components work together to lower the temp of the air intake charge for prodigious outputs of power.
We can speak firsthand here, having driven cars fitted with most of the supercharger systems mentioned here. The experience is akin to riding a ballistic slingshot, with the horizon rushing up at you in a mind-bending instant.
Which one would we choose? The advantage of the Vortech and Edelbrock units is that the stock engine and hood can be retained, and they run on 91-octane gas. On the other hand, with a few more mods and higher-octane fuel, the Kenne Bell hits impressive heights of performance. And for many performance enthusiasts, too much muscle is just about right.