While the rest of the country is buried in snow, we are very fortunate to have sunny Southern California weather nearly year round. We took advantage of the sunshine in early January and had our first track test of 2010 at Willow Springs.
The main focus of the test was to validate our new 2010 Camaro Track Pack suspension system, which includes Sport Lowering Springs, Adjustable Sport Sway Bars and the Chassis Max Subframe Brace. Three new SS Camaros were on-site, all with identical engines, wheels and tires. Two were left stock, one was equipped with the Hotchkis Camaro Track Pack.
All three cars were put through their paces on the road course, the slalom and the skid pad. Once our factory drivers and engineers made their runs, journalists from Autoblog, Car Craft and Super Chevy took turns behind the wheel. The results will be posted soon in a new video, and it’s safe to say that the Track Pack is one of the most incredible bang-for-your-buck mods you can make to a new Camaro.
The other big event of the day was a complete before and after validation test of the new Hotchkis Total Vehicle System for E-Body Mopar. Elana Scherr brought her homebuilt 1970 440 Challenger out to the track, where our test driver Mark Hotchkis ran the car hard through all three tests. Then the team went to work, stripping off the old suspension and installing the Total Vehicle System. By the end of the day, the car was back on the track with new Hotchkis A-Arms, front and rear sway bars, geometry-corrected leaf springs, steering and strut rods. Mark hustled the big block muscle car around the track so quickly our Corvette Z06 chase car had a hard time keeping up!
Other highlights include Carl Casanova and his Hotchkis TVS equipped, supercharged 1968 Camaro screaming around the track at full speed as we tested our latest upper and lower A-Arms, and a 4th Gen Camaro TVS test where the car pulled over .9G on the skid pad. Our C10 pickup Total Vehicle System is coming along nicely, and we secured a clean C10 hot rod for “before” tests. The truck will get a full compliment of the latest Hotchkis underpinnings and will be back on the track in about a month for the “after” numbers.
Steve Wall from Moparts.com and Pro-Touring.com observed the Challenger conversion and track test, and Mopar restoration legend Julius Steuer made some hot laps in both his own Dodge Magnum and in the Hotchkis “E-Max” 1970 Challenger. Rocker Kenny Wayne Shepherd joined us in his new 2010 Challenger SRT8, which is getting Hotchkis springs and sway bars. We also worked with the Super Chevy and Car Craft crews on a few different magazine stories that we can’t reveal quite yet.
Overall it was a fantastic day at the track, and we want to thank the car owners and journalists who made the trip. We feel that thorough and rigorous track testing sets us apart from our competition, and we’re lucky to have the weather to test all year! Stay tuned for some of our most action-packed videos yet!