The Super Sport (SS) nomenclature has represented many variants within the Chevrolet lineup, ranging from performance packages to “Lick’em-Stick’em” marketing techniques. Between 2013 and 2017, “The Chevrolet SS” stood for a hot little sedan sent over to the United States from the land down under, where it was known as the Holden Commodore. Although, this BoostDistrict SS is quite a bit more “Red Hot” than when it left the factory.
At the heart of the Chevy SS was the torquey 6.2L V8 known as the LS3, which had been used in Corvettes since 2008 and is considered by many as one of Chevrolet’s best and most versatile engines. In Chevy’s sporty sedan SS, the LS3 was rated at 415 horsepower, which was plenty of power for an aspiring 19-year-old enthusiast such as Roshan Poptani.
While on a trip to visit a friend, Roshan stopped by a local Chevrolet dealership and spotted this 2015 Chevy SS languishing on the lot. The car came in late that year, and the 2016 models soon up-staged the brand new, but not as new car. Roshan admits that he has a soft spot for sedans, and the car’s color, entitled “Some Like It Hot Red Metallic,” describes him perfectly.
Roshan purchased the car with only 300 miles on the odometer and almost instantly began making it more to his liking. At 3,800 miles, Roshan disassembled it in preparation for a cam, full exhaust, and a supercharger before the car had its first oil change! He started the task Friday night after work and had to have it running by Sunday evening so he could go back to work on Monday!
Six years have passed since Poptani drained the OEM oil for the car’s first engine upgrade. Since then, the vehicle has undergone several stages in the progression to its current status. The earliest modifications included the cam, exhaust, and supercharger, which helped the LS3 produce approximately 650 horsepower to the wheels thanks to 10 psi of boost. The next power iteration came from a Gen-I prototype 2650 supercharger that produced 17 psi and around 800 horsepower at the wheels. Then, wanting even more, Roshan built a forged 6.0L to withstand more boost and made over 900 horsepower to the pavement.
Bigger IS Better!
As we all know, there is no replacement for displacement, and even with Roshan’s boost gauge well into the double-digits, he still wanted more. That’s when the boring bar came out, and a 398 cubic-inch (6.5L) engine was prepared to slip under a production-based Gen-I TVS2650 supercharger churning out between 18 and 19 psi. The new engine brought a nice horsepower bump that peaked at 930 ponies to the rear wheels.
As any aspiring power junkie will attest, four-digit dyno numbers are very obtainable from a drivable, boosted LS-based engine. But, as the CEO of BoostDistrict Superchargers, Roshan wanted to see his car fly well beyond the 1,000-horsepower horizon. To do that, the folks at Koza Performance in Elgin, Illinois, assembled a 427 cubic-inch monster motor for Roshan’s SS. A 4.125-inch bore was mated with a DART billet crankshaft using a 4-inch stroke and large-pinned DIAMOND pistons. To cap off those cylinders, Frankenstein Engine Dynamics of Weatherford, Texas, supplied a set of Frankenstein M311 Boost Monster square-port heads to keep the compression right at 11:1. Martin Smallwood of Smallwood Race Development made a camshaft ideally suited to the engine’s new build specs.
Of course, a BoostDistrict Gen-II 2650 supercharger sits atop all that performance goodness, and thanks to a 3-inch upper pulley driven by the crankshaft’s 9.1-inch lower unit, the TVS2650 head unit pumps 18-19 psi into the engine. In addition, a Katech 112 mm throttle body ensures no restriction when the butterfly goes WOT.
It takes a bevy of full-throttle products to keep that many horses appropriately fed. To start, their diet is sorted out via GM’s E38 ECU, tuned in-house by Tim Haines. The electronic brain drives a set of Injector Dynamics 1700cc squirters, which receive fuel that travels through a DeatschWerks surge tank with two Walbro 525 fuel pumps and an additional Walbro 450. A Fore Innovations regulator keeps the pressures within spec no matter how much boost or vacuum the engine receives. Then, to make sure all the air and fuel going in has a clear path out behind the rear bumper, a set of 2-inch American Racing Headers flow into 3-inch tubes that exit a pair of Varex Xforce bimodal mufflers.
It’s seen plenty of driving, and I still take it on 500-mile road trips each year, even at 1210 whp! – Roshan Popti, Owner
All of these components make up the magic combination that allows Roshan’s latest creation to churn out a whopping 1,200 horsepower to the pavement! And if you’re wondering if the Chevy ever sees road duty with that much power on tap, Roshan explains, “It’s seen plenty of driving, and I still take it on 500-mile road trips each year, even at 1,210whp!”
Some Things Old, Some Things New
There are a lot of components between the asphalt and the crankshaft that need to contain all the BoostDistrict power this LS3 is producing. In this Chevy SS’s instance, some things were newly updated in the name of durability, while some of the old components have proven themselves trustworthy.
Such is the case with the 6L80E transmission in the car. Admittedly, a TCI flexplate and GM’s ZL1 converter have replaced the factory units, but everything inside of the transmission came over from Australia on GM’s dime. On the backside of the gearbox is a carbon-fiber driveshaft and a 9-inch differential from The Driveshaft Shop. To firm up the factory mag-ride suspension, a set of Whiteline bushings and King Springs work alongside the OEM components to keep flex at bay and provide that killer stance. A set of HRE wheels (9×20 front and 10×20 rear) fill those wheel openings quite well.
The Chevy SS’s color was already an eye-catcher, so Roshan simply added some carbon highlights and contrasting colors to make things pop. A hood was custom-made by Street Concepts, and a Holden Special Vehicles ClubSport front bumper and Maloo-style side skirts were added by Bell’s Autosport in Huntington Beach, California. Inside Roshan’s ride is a touch of tasty mods in a sea of factory-fresh components. The upholstery is entirely stock with the addition of a single Aeroforce Technology gauge mounted so Roshan can keep an eye on the boost.
So how effectively do all these modifications come together? That has yet to be determined. However, Roshan does have a set of Mickey Thompson 305/45/17 tires and wheels on the shelf for the next time he goes to the drag strip. He reports that the car “handles great for fun pulls on the street, and the TOYO R888R tires stick very well for a street tire.”
Several stages ago, when the car was “only” making just slightly more than 900 horsepower, Roshan ran a best of 10.01 e.t. at 148 mph in the quarter-mile during the middle of summer with temperatures hovering at 118 degrees! We’re sure that if he can make those Mickeys stick, the next runs will be much more impressive. But what would you expect from a repeat offender that comes straight outa’ the BoostDistrict?