The Gen 5 Chevrolet Camaro marked the triumphant return of the Chevy ponycar, rocking an independent rear suspension for the first time and left the old F-Body designation behind for its new Zeta platform chassis.
The Gen 5 Camaro SS can be a very capable performer with the right modifications, and there’s a bit more to getting the most out of these cars than just throwing a couple of “flowmaster 40s” on it and jacking up the leaf springs like you’d do in 1978 – that stuff just doesn’t cut the mustard on today’s musclecars.
In the next few paragraphs we’ll be going over the best basic modifications for any 2010-16 Chevrolet Camaro in terms that even a beginner can understand to help you enjoy your drive to the fullest.
Unless you opted for the ZL1 package or ticked some other sweet option box, the factory Camaro Wheels aren’t the best looking things in the world. Just a set of wheels has a huge impact on the appearance and performance of your Camaro.
A set of strong, lightweight wheels is a great way to add both style and performance to any car. Forgestar Wheels offers several great options in fitments appropriate for the Zeta platform. Each set of Forgestar wheels is manufactured to order in your exact fitment specs, taking into account whether or not you’re lowered, the type of brakes you have etc to ensure an ideal fitment. Forgestar F14 Wheels for Camaro are a very popular option and the concave design looks great with the retro-modern bodylines of the Camaro.
Available in 18in-22in fitments, 20in Forgestar F14 Wheels are a good looking fitment on the car, filling out the massive wheel arches “just enough”.
Available in a variety of fitments and in up to 22in Forgestar F14 wheels and finishes, Forgestar Wheels can be customized to suit nearly any build – just ask one of our Mod Experts.
Forgestar Wheels are strong enough for track use, but if you want a bit different style than the next guy check out a set of Forgestar CF5V Wheels for Camaro, seen here being flogged at VIR wearing a set of Hankook RS3 305/30-19 Tires.
Forgestar is by no means the only horse in the game, either.
HRE Performance Wheels has long been known in the Euro scene for their outstanding wheels, now HRE Flow Form Wheels are available in Camaro fitments, like the HRE FF01 Wheels for Camaro seen here custom powdercoated gold.
The HRE FF01 is also available in Tarmac Black for a blacked out, aggressive look.
If you’re looking for something a bit more budget friendly, check out a set of VMR Wheels, which offers several great styles in fitments appropriate for the Zeta platform.
Rocking a set of gunmetal finished 19in VMR V710 Wheels for Camaro, this SS looks awesome with the mesh style wheels.
VMR Wheels can stand up to power, too, this black beauty is good for 720whp.
Niche Milan wheels are a great looking budget option for the Camaro as well.
These are just a few of the great wheel styles available for your Camaro – if you have questions about a set of wheels or your fitment, consult our Mod Experts for their advice at 714-582-3330.
#2 Drop It and Lose The Body Roll
You don’t need to be a Formula One driver to know that the stock suspension of your Camaro leaves a lot to be desired, the factory suspension has so much roll it could open a Chinese Food restaurant. So dropping your Camaro should be your next order of business after a set of wheels- not only does it enhance the appearance of your Camaro by getting rid of that unsightly wheel gap, it also enhances the handling by lowering the center of gravity and replacing the overly pliant stock springs with a set of stiffer, sport oriented springs.
A great choice for virtually any daily driven Camaro is a set of Eibach Springs for 2010-15 Chevrolet Camaro.
If you’re into drag racing, check out a set of BMR Suspension Lowering Springs for Chevrolet Camaro, offering a 1.4in drop front and rear and spring rates optimized for the platform by NMRA Champion Al Miller, seen installed on the gen 5 above.
If you’re more into canyon carving, consider a Hotchkis TVS system for Chevrolet Camaro, pairing both sway bars and lowering springs for optimal handling performance.
Of course, with any lowering spring, you’re not going to get the best out of it unless you replace the shock absorbers as well – and it takes the same amount of effort (and costs the same to install) a set of coilovers, and when you consider that a set of coilovers includes both a shock absorber and a lowering spring, AND you have control over how high or low the car sits – coilovers become a more economical option than you’d think.
Coilovers aren’t just for the guys who wanna do a trackday at Laguna Seca every weekend, but they’re also a great choice for daily driven street cars as well, because many coilovers feature adjustable damping, allowing you to tailor your handling characteristics to your liking.
Here’s a before and after of a very blacked out Camaro SS riding on H&R Coilovers for Chevrolet Camaro, which gives the car the sexy stance it always deserved. Check out how the H&R coilovers look fitted into the rear suspension. You might also note the Borla ATAK Cat-Back Exhaust for Camaro SS as well.A coilover features a threaded perch for the spring to sit on, which you can turn, causing the car’s suspension to raise and lower accordingly.
A set of BC Racing Coilovers for Camaro SS are an outstanding budget option, coming in at just 10 benjamins, these quality coilovers offer 30-way adjustment and can stand up to the rigors of track use.
This Camaro SS is rocking a set of BC Coilovers as it carves the corner at world famous Virginia Intl Raceway (VIR).
Now, after lowering the car and sorting out the springs, with the Camaro suspension, we’re not quite done yet.
#3 BRACE IT
General Motors isn’t exactly known for outstanding chassis setup- outside of the Corvette of course- and the Gen 5 Camaro was Chevrolet’s first go at a fully independent suspension front and rear, and left the chassis with a few weak points that need to be beefed up for the car to handle and hook up like it should
A BMR 4-Point Strut Tower brace for Gen 5 Camaro is a great idea to firm up the front shock towers and eliminate the deflection in the shock towers during hard cornering.
A Hotchkis ChassisMax brace reinforces the subframe of the car, beefing it up laterally for a generally much better behaved car when you’re pushing it to the limit, and come on, when you’re driving an LS powered Camaro, when can you resist pushing it?
Alternately, a set of SLP Subframe Connectors for Gen 5 Camaro will accomplish the same goal. There are many ways to go about it, but the point is that the car’s chassis really needs to be beefed up in a few key places to make it the solid performer that Chevy’s engineers meant for it to be.
Have questions about how to best set up the suspension of your Camaro? Consult our Mod Experts for their advice at 714-582-3330, chat live at ModBargains.com or stop by the ModAuto showroom in La Habra, CA and talk to our experts in person.
After sorting out the handling of your Camaro so that it will both carve a corner and hook up at the drag strip rather than hop around like peter friggin cottontail on Easter Sunday, the next thing to consider is how your Camaro SOUNDS.
That’s right kids!
#4 A BADASS EXHAUST SYSTEM
Unless you’re a ZL1 with that sick factory quad exhaust set up, the OEM tips look kinda bland, and the stock exhaust is both restrictive, and well, a bit quiet. I know most of you out there want a system that’s got some volume and a good tone to it that’ll intimidate the guy next to you in the staging lanes but won’t drive you insane on the drive home from the track at the end of the night.
The MBRP Cat-Back Exhaust for Chevrolet Camaro SS is a great option, offering a full cat-back exhaust system that delivers more power to the wheels and a deep, rich sound along with tips and mufflers that look great on the car.
The tips of the MBRP system sit nicely within the openings in the valance and don’t protrude, if that’s the look you’re after.
For an muscular, high performance sound different than any of the other guys, scope out the Solo Performance Mach XL Cat-Back Exhaust for Camaro SS, which features a unique chamber to alter the tone and its lightweight construction means significant weight reduction.
Here’s how the Solo Performance tips fit in the Valance.
Of course, you do have your old standby favorites, like the Magnaflow Cat-Back Exhaust for Chevrolet Camaro
Whatever you choose, be sure you listen to lots of sound clips because the best exhaust for you may not be the best one for your buddy who likes things quieter and vice versa. Whatever you choose, an exhaust upgrade will both look and sound better and give your Camaro a bit more muscle.
These are just a few of the many Exhausts for Gen 5 Camaro on the market – click here to scope out our full selection.
So after giving the exhaust gas somewhere to go, how about letting the motor breathe it in a little faster too?
#5 – LET THAT LS BREATHE WITH A COLD AIR INTAKE
An Injen Air Intake for Chevrolet Camaro V8 offers an optimized intake tube and high flow conical filter, paired with a heat shield to keep the hot air out and channel cool air directly into the filter. Cooler air is denser in oxygen, meaning cooler air has more oxygen in it available to burn with your gasoline, creating a better air fuel mix and thereby creates more power at the wheels.
A Roto-Fab Cold Air Intake for Camaro SS, V6 and ZL1 offers greater breathing capacity and a beautifully finished custom heat shield to offer the same sorts of benefits as the Injen setup but with a much prettier look under the hood, and can be customized in a variety of ways to suit your underhood theme.
Of all the intakes on the market, though, my personal favorite is the SLP Blackwing Intake for Chevrolet Camaro SS – this intake features full ABS plastic construction, meaning it doesn’t absorb heat like an aluminum intake would, offering an even cooler air charge, and the custom molded airbox offers precise ducting to ensure it’s only inhaling the COLDEST fresh air, good for a 15whp gain.
And of course, there’s always the old K&N Cold Air Intake for Chevrolet Camaro V8. This one’s a bit of a classic and falls a bit short of some of the other options out there, but is still a big improvement over stock, and many guys are hooked on the K&N brand for life – so if you’re one of those die hards, this one’s for you.
That wraps it up for the 5 best mods for the Gen 5 [Zeta] Camaro – it’s worth noting though that this is a general guideline, for specific recommendations, give us a call at 714-582-3330 and speak with our Modification Experts who can assist you with advice and suggestions for what might be the best fit for your needs. With these 5 Best Mods for Gen 5 Camaro, your Camaro will look better, go faster, corner harder, hook up better and sound sexier every time your fire up your engine.
Of course these are just a few suggestions – check out our full selection of Gen 5 Camaro Parts Here, and if you don’t see what you’re after, ask a Mod Expert, as we can likely get a hold of what you’re after.
Need something installed? Our shop, Mod Auto, offers full service installations – if it’s aftermarket and bolt on, odds are we can install it for you. Call 714-582-3330 or CLICK HERE to Use Our Online Appointment Scheduling System
Story & Photos Nicholas Gregson