We began this installation with a completely stock 2014 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray, equipped with the six-speed paddle shifted automatic transmission, and optioned up to the 2LT trim level. The car currently only has a few thousand miles on it, and is truly in mint condition. Like those lucky enough to have driven a new Stingray, all of us at Corvette Online have been more then pleased with the performance, drivability, sound, and handling. That being said, no matter the vehicle, we feel that there is always at least some room for improvement.
The intake system chosen for this installation is the aFe Momentum cold air intake, which we chose for a number of reasons. Part of that decision was based on the quality and ease of serviceability, but Josh Biggers from aFe explains this best, “The intake tube and one-piece housing are roto-molded from black cross-linked polyethylene and designed to eliminate multiple components. The sealed housing features a sight window allowing for filter inspection without removal.”
Secondly we knew that our air intake system would fit any Stingray we chose for installation as Biggers also assured us that, “This kit fits all versions of the C7, including the Z51 package.” While the Z06 will undoubtedly require a different design, it is nice to know this intake kit fits all of the LT1-equipped Stingrays regardless of options or trim package.
Cold Air Intakes
When a gear-head turns down the aftermarket path, the first logical step is often improving the breathability of the motor. Installing a cold air intake and filter into your vehicle has numerous benefits including: horsepower, torque, throttle response, as well as fuel economy–assuming you can keep your foot out of it.
While this gain can really vary from car to car depending on how restrictive the OEM unit is, there is at minimum a decent power gain always achievable. An aftermarket air filter like the aFe can really help to cleanup the engine compartment, and certainly increases the serviceability.
The aFe C7 Momentum Intake was CAD-designed to have the largest air filter possible for maximum performance and airflow. At aFe, we are not limited to standard filter designs on a shelf, we create filters based around what the intake needs, not compromising for what already exists. – Josh Biggers
The installation process on the 2014 Stingray was extremely simple, and it didn’t take much shop time to complete. The install took nothing more then a few simple hand tools, and the included instructions made the whole process a real “no-brainer.”
This install could easily be performed by one person in their garage, with nothing more then a small toolbox; and for an air filter install, that’s all that it should take. Product manufacturers need to recognize that a simple product should be simple to install and only require the resources that the average enduser has at their disposal, aFe clearly continues to keep this in mind.
To begin, we removed the hardware and ducting that moves the air from the radiator through the hood-mounted heat exchanger.
Next, we carefully removed the MAF (Mass Air Flow) sensor as well as the two rubber hoses near the throttle body, connected to the factory intake tube. This was followed by loosening the factory clamp of the intake tube onto the throttle body.
Once we removed the bolts holding the air box into the inner fender, the engine bay was free of any air intake components. If you happen to be a bit of a compulsive detailer as some of us are, this is a great time to wipe clean any spots that are otherwise hard to reach.
Our next step included removing the factory hardware that you will reinstall onto the AFE intake kit. This includes: two nipples for the vacuum hoses, as well as the two bolts and rubber alignment grommet used to refasten the air box to the inner fender.
Next, we fastened our new air filter into the aFe air box with the supplied T-bolt clamp, and then fastened the air box into location with the two bolts and alignment grommet. Our next step on this end was to install the intake tube into the air filter, again secured with an aFe supplied T-bolt clamp.
We then moved the intake tube in place with the throttle body and secured it with the suppled silicone hose coupler and both remaining T-bolt clamps.
After double checking all of our clamps and clearances, we reinstalled the MAF sensor into the intake tube, as well as the two vacuum hoses onto the supplied nipples.
One last sweep of the engine compartment to check for any remaining tools or rags and the install was complete. Now comes the much anticipated time to hit the streets, and feel that increased power. We know that dynos are few and far between. Luckily, we were able to utilize our own in-house DynoJet dyno and confirm the performance improvements promised be aFe.
To start the process, we took our 2014 Stingray and strapped it on the DynoJet dyno (dynamometer) to see just how much power GM’s latest Corvette can put to the ground. Keep in mind, this is utilizing the six-speed automatic transmission, and the car is in 100-percent factory condition.
We were happy to get two consistent pulls with our C7, which produced 384.5 hp at 5,810 rpm and 401.7 lb-ft of torque at 5,570 rpm. Considering these cars have a factory rating of 460 hp and 465 lb-ft of torque, this indicates a drivetrain loss of only about 16.4-percent of hp and 13.6-percent of torque; very reasonable, especially for an automatic transmission.
We are happy to report that aside from all the aforementioned benefits of the aFe cold air intake, we were able to add a decent amount of power to the Stingray on both the horsepower and torque fronts. After the dyno pull shown here, this LT1 cranked out 401.7 hp at 5,570 rpm, which is a gain of 17.2 hp. Really not a bad improvement for a simple intake installation.
Also notice that the peak horsepower point was lowered about 340 rpm, which is great as it’s always nice to bring your peak power down into a more useable driving range. The engine also produced 417.1 lb-ft of torque at 4,740 rpm, which equates to an improvement of 15.3 lb-ft of torque, peaking at only 10 rpm more then the stock configuration.
When comparing two different test cars, on two different dynos, there are several factors that can produce some differences in results. These may include: aFe using a manual transmission equipped car, their motor had a bit more break-in time on it, they conducted the test under better atmospheric conditions, or even a subtle difference due to the dynos themselves.
Should you visit the aFe website for this product, you may notice that they claim an increase of 18 hp and 22 lb-ft of torque over the factory intake system. While we were about right on with the horsepower, we were slightly off of their torque ratings, but considering the horsepower numbers were so close, we consider it to be correct and will turn to aFe again in the future.
The 2014 C7 Stingray is one amazing platform, and it certainly takes some high-level engineering to improve upon it. To say that you could truly feel this gain off the line in a car that already runs from 0-60 mph in 3.8 seconds might be a stretch. However, we definitely felt a difference when the 6.2-liter V8 began pulling through the revs in the taller gears. The motor definitely seemed to breathe better and sound less starved for air. Additionally, we believe the air filter will really show its true colors should the owner decide to install an exhaust system on this car.
Finally, we also noticed a bit more of a crisp throttle response when you give the “go pedal” a stab. Considering that aFe says their system outflows the factory by 42-percent, it makes sense that our perceptions are accurate. The motor has a much higher volume of air available and and can get the air it needs much quicker. In considering the quality of the parts, the installation process, and performance gains, we are extremely satisfied with the Momentum cold air intake system for the Corvette Stingray, and the proud owner of this C7 feels the same.