We’ve been saying for years that enthusiasts should look at upgrades to their car as a package deal. Even if the components are selected individually, how they interact with the entire vehicle will ultimately determine the success of the build.
JDP Motorsports is one company who understands the connectivity of components in a car. Having all the power in the world isn’t going to mean a thing if you can’t get it to the ground or components come apart at regular intervals. It also understands that not every enthusiast is looking to arc-weld their car’s dial to “eleven.” That is why it has the various levels listed on its website, in very understandable terms.
The six different packages JDP lists for the 2015 to 2019 C7 Z06 range from “Fast” to “Unleashed Monstrosity.” Just to put things into reference, on the road between the two points, you’ll notice a little spot on the map called “Ludicrous.” Go two more stops, and you’ll be firmly in the midst of Unleashed Monstrosity.
So, what does it take to bring an already-fast C7 Z06 into a solid, “Unleashed Monstrosity” attitude? The guys at JDP Motorsports just finished building one of their 1200x packages, which is pretty much the part number for the Unleashed Monstrosity moniker. At this level, the customer is offered an à la carte offering of JDP Motorsports’ abilities.
It’s more than simply part numbers and assembly manuals. You’ve got to make so much power that it eclipses all the other options offered, including Ludicrous. But that is only the first step. Next, you’ve got to make it so both car and driver survive any use of that additional horsepower. Thirdly, you’ve got to make sure this Thor’s Hammer-wielding beast also looks good in a suit. Bringing it all together is very much like finding a hockey player able to land a starring role in a toothpaste commercial.
JDP Motorsports found a way to fill the gaps in its Unleashed Monstrosity’s grille and brought forth this other-worldly-performing supercar. It breaks dyno restraining straps and leaps ½-mile speed events with ease; but also knows how to wear cufflinks, and can tie a Bowtie. We checked in with JDP Motorsports’ latest 2017 Z06 build, which comprises one of JDP’s “Monstrosity” upgrades, conveniently marketed as the JDP Motorsports 1200x package.
Double The Fun
When you’re starting with the 6.2-liter (376ci) supercharged and intercooled LT4 V8 engine known as the LT4, the fun-meter is already wound pretty tightly into the high-side of the dial. From there, JDP Motorsports infuses enough hard-parts and reliability dust to effectively double the engine’s output. It won’t share the source for the reliability dust, but we did get a peek at the hardware list.
To make twice the horsepower, you need to increase the engine’s breathing by the same amount. Usually, this is done by supercharging, but the Z06’s engine already uses a supercharger. Increasing the airflow of an already-efficient breather like the LT4 focuses more on the finer points. Reducing turbulence where necessary, and increasing port sizing where applicable, are two ways to put more air on the menu.
Tuning the entire package is also part of the equation. We spoke with JDP’s Jordan Priestley about the change from the Z06’s positive-displacement supercharger to the centrifugal-style ProCharger. “The factory supercharger creates power immediately, like any of the Positive Displacement Superchargers,” he said. “This is great for stoplight to stoplight, or low rpm power and responsiveness. Centrifugal superchargers are basically belt-driven turbochargers and they require rpm to build boost. This makes them a little less responsive at the lower rpm, and honestly, a little more manageable at these power levels verses the positive displacement superchargers. They really start to come alive as you get around 4,000 rpm. The overall drivability is very similar and they are both great systems in their own right. Each style of supercharger has benefits if matched to the entire package. We are testing the new E-Force and Magnuson 2650 superchargers on some of our upcoming builds, so stay tuned!”
A factory 1.7L supercharger is an amazing unit and we make excellent power with it up to 900 horsepower. That is the limit of the 1.7L supercharger. You wouldn’t be able to get to 1,200 horsepower, so we looked at our available options. – Jordan Priestley, JDP Motorsports
Additionally, if you can reduce the temperature of the incoming air, you can free your engine from the restrictions (within reason) of power-robbing, retarded timing. The factory supercharger uses an internal liquid-cooled intercooler located in the valley directly above the engine. The problem is, this area makes the recent heatwave that blanketed most of the U.S. look like a North Canadian toboggan ride.
The factory huffer was scuttled to offer up a more-tasty helping of atmosphere for the 6.2L engine, thanks to a ProCharger F-1X centrifugal supercharger, timed with an ATI 10-percent overdriven damper and pulley. This monster can support up to 1,400 horsepower. Spinning at an astounding 72,000 rpm, the supercharger is capable of moving 2,000 cfm of air into the engine. While the F-1X is capable of 38 pounds of boost, in this 1200x package, the system produces a solid 19-20 pounds of boost with the air filter and 22 psi without the filter.
An external intercooler helps separate the intake charge from the engine’s radiant heat, which aids significantly in keeping the incoming air cooler. Seasoning the incoming charge with an Alky Control methanol-injection system further cools the incoming air at a molecular level. A Late-Model Engines billet-aluminum intake manifold replaces the original supercharger housing. It features a VMAX-ported throttle body to make the most of the available opening.
The LT4’s block is treated to JDP’s billet camshaft and CNC’d cylinder head package to more finely tune the engine to the higher power output. A set of Injector Dynamics 1700X injectors meter out the fuel supplied by the Fore Innovations secondary fuel system. A ProEFI E85 sensor kit with a flex-fuel sensor tells the modified ECU when the engine is sipping (or chugging) corn-squeezins, so it can alter the tune to make use of the flex-fuel’s higher octane. The final result is 1,077 rwhp on 91-octane and 1,136 on E85.
Of course, you can’t get more air in, if you can’t get more air out! That’s why JDP Motorsports improved the outflow with a set of 2-inch American Racing Headers‘ long-tubes and x-pipe that are ceramic coated in Turbine Silver. Beyond that, a Borla S-Type, NPP, axle-back exhaust handles the extra fumes with ease, while whipping up a symphony of power and fury.
The engine is tuned electronically as well as mechanically, with HP Tuners granting access into the necessary tables in the ECU. For further tunability, a ProSpeed ACM controller is joined with the factory ECU, allowing full integration into the vehicle’s on-board data. The ProSpeed ACM can control boost by utilizing a wastegate on the charge pipe and a boost control solenoid. Since the system ties into the vehicle’s CAN bus, it recognizes the gear position of the transmission and gives the ability to run varying boost levels for better traction management.
Beyond The HP Numbers
As previously mentioned, the task wasn’t merely to build horsepower but to envelop it into a complete package, both aesthetically pleasing and enjoyable to drive. We think the team at JDP Motorsports hit the nail on the head in both counts.
Some may say this white steed might be a little too bland for their taste, lacking the fanfare and gee-gaws that scream, “Watch this!” We feel there are plenty of great cues already infused into the build by GM’s design team. We understand there are times when you want to make a statement, and this car surely has the lungs to carry the wildest tune. But, there are times when you need to use your inside voice as well.
The vehicle’s lower demeanor may come directly from JDP’s lowering kit or it may be that tasty blend of Forgeline VX1R wheels in Black Chrome. Just like any fine-tuned athlete, there are several sets of sneakers, depending on the type of exercise planned. There are 19×10 fronts, coupled with a set of 20x12s, for when the car hits the street. For the ultimate workout, there’s a set of 18×12 rears wearing super-sticky Mickey Thompson ET Street tires (325/35R18) for when the suspension is set to party mode.
Speaking of the suspension, it is also breathed-upon by the folks at JDP. It now utilizes a DSC Sport V4 Suspension Controller to enhance the Magna-ride shocks to handle the additional power better. Of course, subtle things like a more track-focused alignment including a rear caster adjustment can make a world of difference, while going totally unnoticed to those not behind the wheel.
For those blessed to spend some time at the rudder of this ride, there are also many upgrades designed to increase their enjoyment and longevity. Since this car is headed for some serious documented speeds, a certified rollbar is a necessity. The folks at JDP Motorsports installed a complete RPM 8-point cage to ensure things don’t accidentally intrude into the passenger compartment. They also installed a set of Safecraft 6-point harnesses to make sure those passengers don’t venture outside of the cockpit.
Greater Than Its Parts
Altogether, this car could be described as both “one option above ludicrous” and “understated.” This shows how fine that line is when trying to tie both ends of the spectrum into one vehicle. We think it does a great job of bringing both together while retaining the ability to go all-out whenever merited. If you’ve got any doubts as to how well this C7Z carries itself, feel free to check out the video. There are dyno sheets and even a ½-mile run, where the car turned a best of 172.9 mph!
As these photos also show, the car looks quite good dressed up as Clark Kent. But lest you forget, it’s able to shred the suit and go full-Superman quicker than you can find a modern-day phone booth! Check out the video above to see the car leap on the rollers as well as fly down the 1/2-mile.