photos by: Rick Seitz
Testing the MSD Atomic AirForce Intake Manifold on a 2014 Z/28
The Z/28 is about as track-centric as it gets from the domestic market. When it comes to raw power and the components to utilize it, it’s hard to touch the 5th-generation Z/28. The naturally aspirated LS7 engine throws 505 horsepower to your accelerator pedal for your driving pleasure, and it’s dripping with parts (and lack thereof) to make it zoom around the track out of the box. Does all this stop people from trying to squeeze more out of their Z/28? Absolutely not!
This Z/28 was previously equipped with a pair of aftermarket heads from Trick Flow and custom ground camshaft from Comp Cams. It already cranks out some major power, but there’s no reason to stop there. Today, this Camaro Z/28 is getting one of the hottest intakes on the market today — the MSD Performance Atomic AirForce intake manifold.
Why the MSD AirForce Intake is Taking Over the Market
What’s so great about this new intake that has so many engine builders installing it on Camaros and Corvettes? The short answer is that MSD really outdid themselves when it came time to design the Atomic AirForce intake manifold. They threw everything they had at the Atomic AirForce, and pulled out all of the stops during design and development.
MSD designed the Atomic AirForce intake manifold to offer improved airflow and distribution. The benefit of this is obviously improved performance. With a stock engine vehicle, you’re going to pick up some power, but with a heads/cam build like this one, the whole setup is really going to open up, and it’s going to be felt behind the wheel right away.
This intake uses unique bell-mounted runner entrances which maximize airflow and reduce shrouding, all while maximizing plenum volume so air can flow in an unobstructed path over opposing runners.
The highlights of the MSD Atomic AirForce Intake include:
- Made using Computational Fluid Dynamic Modeling to optimize plenum volume and efficient paths of airflow.
- Two-piece manifold design provides easier access to the runners for porting.
- Direct flow past runners allow for maximum airflow.
- Large throttle bore allows for the use of large throttle bodies.
- Compatible with stock and certain aftermarket fuel rails.
- All this while being able to use factory fuel rails to get the car back up in running right away, and without any other parts needed.
The Installation Process
Now that we’ve covered what the car is about, and what the intake has to offer, it’s time to get this intake on! The crew at Smokey’s Performance and Dyno in Akron, Ohio did all of the dirty work and showed us how it’s done. Take note that this process is going to be pretty much the same for any LS7 engine, minus the firewall hassle for other applications. You can follow along if you’re getting ready for your intake install on nearly any LS7, or even a LS1/2/6 since MSD provides the same instructions for all of those applications as well.
*Start this installation by disconnecting your battery, first!
- Quick disconnect
- O-ring assembly lube
- Blue Loctite
MSD Intake Installation
The Results Are In!
So there you have it! In a matter of a few hours, the Z/28 gained a little over 10 horsepower to the wheels, and a really impressive 20.5 RWTQ. The car’s owner is definitely going to feel the difference in the pedal, and the Camaro will perform better across the board.
These results are pretty consistent with other builds we’ve been seeing. You can check out the previous coverage we’ve done on this intake here to see more dyno results from MSD’s new intake.
Elizabeth is a hardcore horsepower enthusiast with unmatched intensity for making things faster and louder. She wakes up for power and performance and only sleeps to charge up for the next project that’s heading to the track. From autocross to drag racing, Elizabeth is there with you, so stay tuned for her unique perspective on horsepower news, builds, tech info, and installs — with her, it’ll never be boring!