2014 SLP Panther Camaro: Dyno Tested
April 10, 2014
You can't miss it. Right there on our long-term 2014 SLP Panther Camaro's hood are one inch-tall letters smacking your ocular nerves with what lurks beneath: "600HP Supercharged". For good measure, it's printed on both sides of the hood bulge.
Challenge accepted. We rolled on down to MD Automotive's Dynojet chassis dyno to see if the bulge delivers on its promise.
To recap, the Panther's 6.2-liter LS3 lungs have been swollen by the SLP gang with an Eaton TVS 2300 blower, liquid-to-air intercooling, a reworked valvetrain that facilitates a higher rev limit, a cold-air intake and a bigger-bore exhaust. This power plant propelled the big coupe through the quarter mile in 12.5 seconds at 116.0 mph in our testing.
Here's what we measured at the wheels:
That's a suitably broad plateau of torque that, over a wide span of engine speed, barely deviates from its peak value of 449 lb-ft as measured at the wheels. It's a big, flexible power delivery that maintains its goods even as the 6,600-rpm fuel cut looms large. Power peaks at 6,000 rpm at 479 horsepower (again, as measured at the wheels).
It turns out we dyno-tested the 600-hp Panther on the very same day as the 604-hp CL65 AMG. Check out our dyno test of the CL65 here. It's an ideal situation: same day, same dyno, same operator, and roughly the same factory power ratings. If both cars' ratings are accurate, then we should expect similar peak power at the wheels.
Here's the overlay of the Panther and the CL65 AMG dyno results:
Both engines were subjected to numerous runs on the dyno. This is to allow the engines to fully acclimate their engine control systems to the 91-octane fuel in order to establish their stabilized outputs.
Putting aside the obvious differences in torque output and character of these two engines, we see a discrepancy in peak power. The CL65 churned out 528 hp to the Panther's 479, a difference of about fifty horsepower.
It could be argued that the CL65's power is underrated by the factory. Conversely, it could be countered that the Panther is fresher than the 60,000-mile German coupe, and that its manual gearbox saps less power than the Benz's slushbox, factors in its favor. Isn't this fun?
In any case, 50-ish horsepower is a large spread among two cars that both ostensibly make 600 hp (or thereabouts) at the engine. For sure, the Panther delivers its punch over an impressively wide rev band, even if its 600 horsepower appear to be smaller foals than those of the German. Factoring in driveline loss, its 600 horsepower claim appears a touch optimistic.
SLP tells us that the Panther's 600 horsepower designation is determined on their SuperFlow dyno using the 92 or 93 octane fuel common in their region (New Jersey). Certainly the craptacular 91 octane premium fuel indigenous to California is feeble stuff when it comes to supporting power. And since Edmunds is based in Los Angeles, 91 octane is what we feed our Panther.
Higher octane would raise the knock threshold, allowing for more ignition advance which unlocks more power (and reduces exhaust gas temperatures, making life easier for exhaust valves and seats).
That sound you hear is Oldham rolling out a drum of 100 octane for a repeat dyno test.
Jason Kavanagh, Engineering Editor @ 4,919 miles