photo by: the author
JDP’s Latest Test Bed Proves that 6th-Gens are the New Weapon of Choice
When the Camaro first hit the streets back in 2010 after an extended hiatus, the Chevy pony car had achieved overall popularity and production numbers not seen since the late ’70s. Enthusiasts lined up outside and around the deleaerships to take home their own copy, and the Transformers movie tie-in just sealed the deal for Gen-X’ers and Millennials nostalgic for their childhood. Car clubs, websites and even a dedicated magazine popped up to showcase the rebirth of the Camaro, and it attracted buyers and demographics that it hadn’t since the Carter Administration.
Well as with any car, things only remain “new” for so long and it was time for a replacement after 2015. Armed with new technology, more power, less weight and the potential for a building a superior pony car to those from Ford and Dodge, the best Camaro ever made had finally arrived.
In recent months, we’ve seen even the most devout 5th-gen owners swapping in their pride and joy for updated 6th-gen examples in drives and the list just keeps growing.
One of those individuals include JDP Motorsports founder, Jordan Priestley, and his new pro-touring weapon of choice, “Evilynn.” Starting out in life as a 2016 Camaro SS coupe with a manually-shifted 6-speed gearbox, Evilynn picks up where Jordan’s 5th-gen SS, Frankey, leaves off as a rolling testbed for JDP parts and services, as well as functionality out in the real world.
But turning our attention back to the what’s happening today, this 2016 SS serves as a model for the next generation of late-model performance; both in terms of mechanical attributes and in trackability. It’s already hit the autocross circuits and road courses hard over the last year, from LS Fest and OUSCI, to various other events all over the country and by this time next year, we expect it to be a completely different vehicle than what you’re looking at right now. It has even served as the development car for Detroit Speed, to help them develop the mounting positions for their 6th-gen line of suspension hardware.
As it stands, it’s largely a bolt-on 6th-gen Camaro with a careful selection of parts utilizing a cylinder head and camshaft upgrade that helps bring in the power and torque exactly where Jordan wants it on the road course. The 6.2L LT1 has been modified with a set of CNC-ported VVT Land Speed heads and a custom-ground JDP camshaft. The bottom-end is standard-issue LT1; the crank, rods, pistons, etc. all have been left alone. The compression ratio is also left untouched, remaining at the 11.5:1 that it had left the factory with late last year.
Forcing air into the pumped-up LT1, is a prototype AIRAID cold-air induction system, VMAX 87mm throttle body and an MSD Atomic AirForce intake manifold. Of course, with forcing all of this air into what’s essentially a 376 cubic-inch air pump, it only makes sense to balance out that high-flowing induction system with a set of American Racing long-tube headers in 1-7/8 inch diameter primaries, X-pipe and 2.5-inch dual exhaust pipes.
A pair of Borla mufflers do everything they can to quell the immense sound emitting from the ARH collectors, while lending a killer soundtrack that leaves the factory audio system redundant. The last we’ve checked, the oiling and fuel systems were left unmolested, though Jordan uses Driven Racing synthetic LS30 motor oil in the crankcase of all of his LS/LT-based vehicles.
The end result, with the help of Jordan’s wizardry behind HP Tuners software, is a rather impressive 500 hp and 480-lb ft. of torque to the rear wheels on his in-house Dynojet. For a simple head/cam/intake upgrade with a tune, those are really impressive numbers. We think with some additional tuning and a few more tweaks, we could see nearly 600 hp out of this car in a very short amount of time.
Backing the potent mill is a standard-issue TREMEC TR6060 gearbox with a Centerforce DYAD clutch and flywheel, connected to the Driveshaft Shop one-piece driveshaft and stock IRS rearend with 3.73 gears. With the suspension utilizing Detroit Speed sway bars and JRi coil-over shocks, the Camaro is capable of going toe-to-toe with the more purpose-built pro-touring machines that have been dominating the field for years.
Suspension is one thing, but you also need to remember that it comes down to rolling stock and braking, too. A set of Forgeline GA1R rollers in 18×10.5 up front and 18×11 in the rear, wrapped in BFG R18 Rivals measuring 315/30/18 at all four corners keep Evilynn planted to the pavement. JDP-developed Brembo brakes bring the screaming Camaro to a halt in a hurry, and fill in the Forgelines quite nicely.
During an impromptu run at Bowling Green, Kentucky’s Beech Bend Raceway at the 2016 Holley LS Fest, Jordan managed an 11.98 time with a suspension system that was in no way dialed in for the 1320.’ However, he did manage a 2.33-minte lap around the Circuit of Americas 3.427-mile road course, which is incredibly impressive for a car in its class.
Adding some custom touches to the exterior of the car, and you’ll see plenty of sponsor logos and JDP striping that was done in-house, while Jordan credits the dealership with the blacked-out hood wrap. On the inside, it’s basically all stock save for the “JDP headrest embroidery and safety harnesses. Unlike Frankey, there wasn’t a safety cage or a roll bar installed at the time of our shoot, but give it enough time, and I’m sure there will be one when we next see Evilynn.
Not one to leave things alone, Jordan continues to modify Evilynn and pursue a high-ranking spot in the fraternity of the road racing and autocross set. Frankey was a killer on the track. With all of the improved attributes that automatically come with a 6th-gen, in addition to what the hardworking and intelligible crew over at JDP Motorsports are capable of, we have the distinct feeling that Evilynn will help elevate Jordan to the top of the totem pole that he’s already quickly earning.
- CAR: 2016 Camaro SS
- OWNER: Jordan Priestley
- ENGINE BLOCK: GM LT1
- DISPLACEMENT: 376 cubic inches (6.2L)
- CRANKSHAFT: Stock; GM LT1
- PISTONS: Stock; GM LT1
- CAMSHAFT: JDP; Hydraulic VVT (unspecified specs)
- CONNECTING RODS: Stock; GM LT1
- CYLINDER HEADS: Land Speed; CNC-ported LT1 castings
- COMPRESSION RATIO: 11.5:1
- INDUCTION: MSD Atomic AirForce intake manifold, AIRAID cold-air intake, VMAX 87mm throttle body and stock MAF sensor
- OILING: Stock; Driven LS30 5w30
- EXHAUST: American Racing Headers 1-7/8 long-tube headers, X-pipe, 2.75-inch diameter piping and Borla mufflers
- FUEL DELIVERY: Stock
- TUNING: Jordan at JDP Motorsports; HP Tuners software
- TRANSMISSION: Stock; TREMEC TR6060
- CLUTCH: Centerforce DYAD
- DRIVESHAFT: Driveshaft Shop; one-piece
- REAREND: Stock
- SUSPENSION: Detroit Speed front/rear sway bars, JRi double-adjustable coil-overs
- BRAKES: JDP/Brembo
- WHEELS: Forgeline; GA1R (18×10.5, rear/ 18×11, rear)
- TIRES: BFG; R18 Rivals (315/30/18 front and rear)
- HP/TQ.: 500/480
- BEST E.T.: 11.98
Being infatuated with cars since he was a toddler, AutoCentric Media Founder and Editor, Rick Seitz, has a true love and passion for all vehicles. When he isn’t tuning, testing, or competing with the brand’s current crop of project vehicles, he’s busy tinkering and planning the next modifications for his own cars.