It’s not very often that you see one modification give you 80 RWHP! Of course we are not talking about exhausts but about superchargers. There is no denying it, if you want the ultimate power boost, force some cold air into your engine. In this case we are talking about a 1999 Corvette with the addition of a Magnacharger supercharger. Again, what is great about this car is that we have a baseline run with just a Borla cat-back that gave us 300 RWHP. That is exactly where we expect 1999 vettes with just an exhaust. So, now we add a supercharger and bang, 380 RWHP and with only 5 psi. I say only 5 psi because some superchargers use around 7 psi. This Magnacharger typically uses between 4.5 to 5.5 depending on the individual response of the car. Let’s look at the numbers.
It is interesting to note that the 80 RWHP comes at the top end. The average HP gain was 60 HP. Which does not sound very impressive. But, as we have stated in previous articles, horse power is for bragging. Torque wins races. The average torque gain was 80 lb-ft flat through the whole rpm range. That makes an enormous difference. No matter where you are in the RPM band you now have 80 more lb-ft of torque. Just look at the torque curve. It is what everyone wants to have, a flat response vs. rpm.
Now, to be fair, I have to state that a Blackwing air filter was added. But, in my opinion, this is really part of the supercharger installation. You are not going to install a supercharger for $5k and leave the stock air box. You are dealing with forced induction and you have to give it good air flow to work to its potential.
The one good thing about this supercharger company is that they design systems for normal street use. This means there is little additional wear to your engine. That is partly why their design uses around 5 psi rather than the 7 psi. you often find in aftermarket systems. The reason I bring up “aftermarket” in that manner is that Magnuson is the aftermarket division of Eaton Superchargers which supplies many OEM superchargers to companies like Mercedes-Benz and Jaguar. This explains their dedication to engine longevity. There are other systems available with higher boost and power output, but they won’t do you much good if they kill your engine after 1,000 miles. Additionally, this is the supercharger that Lingenfelter uses for his C5 packages and this guy knows how to do forced induction.
There is no question about it. If you have the money, this will give you some serious power, around 440 at the flywheel. The one annoying thing (or beneficial if you want a different look) about this setup though, is that you have to change your hood. With some of the other units this is not necessary. Regardless, this 27% increase in RWHP and TRQ will blow you away, and you can tell everyone that you did it with just one modification!