By on November 1, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Camaro SS yellow

Forget about your tame, hand-me-down Celebrity Eurosport or Lumina Euro of yesteryear, Chevrolet wants you, yes you, to go further in gussying up what could be a very mild vehicle.

The automaker has launched its 2017 Chevrolet Performance catalog, which now boasts added heat for almost every model in the lineup. For some vehicles, the new offerings could be the makings of a performance monster. For others (such as the Malibu), you’ll want to give those factory-backed add-ons some sober second thought.

The biggest news from Chevy Performance is a much hotter LT1 crate engine based on the 6.2-liter V8 found in the Corvette Stingray and Camaro SS. While similar in design, the LT376/535 sports a unique block casting and cylinder head design. Output rises to 535 horsepower — 75 more than the previous LT1 crate engine.

The classic 350 cubic inch V8 crate engine adopts a new hydraulic roller camshaft, new intake manifold and high-flow cylinder heads, pushing output to 357 hp and 407 pounds-feet of torque.

Also in the catalog is Chevy’s latest attempt to thumb its nose at emissions regulations. The 8L90-E eight-speed automatic transmission can now mate with the LT1 and LT4 crate engines, with a full drivetrain available to make peace with the California Air Resources Board. Compliant with CARB emissions restrictions on pre-1996 vehicles, the Connect & Cruise E-ROD system connects a 455 hp LT1 6.2-liter crate engine and eight-speed auto with a catalytic converter and other emissions equipment.

You don’t need to fear California any more.

Handling and appearance kits for the Corvette and Camaro are exactly what you’d expect, but Chevy’s lesser models aren’t left out of the fun. A performance exhaust kit for the Silverado 1500 adds 10 hp and 6 lb-ft to 5.3-liter models, while 6.2-liter variants gain 7 hp and 5 lb-ft. The Colorado also gains performance exhaust and air intake kits.

You’d have to be big into the bowtie to tart up a Cruze, Sonic or Malibu, but we all know they’re out there. These people exist, and nothing would please them more than lowering their Malibu and adding a ground effects kit. Do it, says Chevy, and add a performance exhaust and intake to your Cruze — yes, the one you drive your kids to school in — while you’re at it. Do the same for your sister’s Sonic.

Louis Chevrolet turns 138 on Christmas, and he wants to know that this dream of compact cars that corner with slightly less body lean is being kept alive.

[Image: General Motors]

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16 Comments on “Chevrolet to Owners: Take this Catalog and Make Your Commuter Car Sexier...”

  • avatar

    I’m surprised that they bother making performance parts for Malibus and Cruzes, but look forward to enough of an aftermarket developing that teenagers can hop up their hand-me-down Chevys with mad tyte fast and furious style garbage like people did to their mom’s Accord back in the late Nineties.

  • avatar

    Gee, all the roads look just like that where I live. They make me want something low-slung and sexxy to drive on them!

  • avatar

    Performance parts for the Cruze isn’t a bad idea, 155 hp isn’t particularly impressive when Honda offers 174.

  • avatar

    Call me when you can put the LT1 in the Sonic.

    • 0 avatar

      If it were still the Shitvette, I mean Chevette, you could. But even the W body wasn’t a suitable application for FWD V-8 power in a mainstream car. I know outrageously bad torque steer, and it can still be fun but a serious workout while you could probably drive a RWD car with the same power with one hand in the same situation.

      Even the Aurora, my what a wonderful car (1st gen) btw, was a handful when you stomped on it. But, boy would it go. And it looked like a spaceship!

      Your best bet is a Flyin’ Miata. Or if GM is a must, a Soltice/Sky swap is a possibility.

      • 0 avatar

        Yeah, I’m familiar with the Flyin’ Miata guys as we run a Miata in Chump. Have thought about the Ecotec Miata option – there are some other guys running one and it’s seriously fast.

  • avatar

    Performance exhaust from GMPP has been available on the Sonic for at least a couple of years. You could add it as an option in the online configurator.

    Personally I think the Sonic would be a barrel of monkeys with 200 HP under the right foot and the suspension and brake tweaks to deal with it.

  • avatar

    I like that the 8 speed and engine combo is now an option. I bet it would rock in an 80s/90s C1500 step side reg cab.

    As to the Malibu, Cruze, etc, I see nothing wrong with this. Just because you drive what “enthusiasts” have deemed boring and terrible doesn’t mean you can’t like it, and modify it to like it even more with (presumably) OEM quality parts.

    Modern Chevys are genuinely good, for the first time in a long time, their products are all competitive with other mainstream cars. You wouldn’t see that with a Lumina Euro vs a Taurus SHO or Maxima of the era. I would take a loaded Impala over a Maxipad today. Maybe not an SHO, but between it and a manual Chevy SS, its no comparison. My current Taurus would have a bowtie big brother with an Australian accent instead of a fat sister from up north (I say that with love and respect to my parent’s 2012 SEL, its a good car for what it is, and IMO preferable to a W-body).

    That being said, Ford is currently the only one fielding a genuinely fast and sporty midsize in the Fusion Sport offering a twin-turbo V-6 and AWD.

  • avatar

    Are they going to sell a Vette/Camaro with that new engine?

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