How to Add Horsepower to a C6 Corvette

by Scott EilersUpdated November 07, 2017

The C6 Corvette is the sixth generation model of the Corvette, a sports/muscle car produced by General Motors under the Chevrolet badge. It was first introduced in 1953 and has been in production every model year since then. The C6 was first introduced in 2005 and remains in production at the time of this writing (2010). There are four engine options for the C6 Corvette, ranging from the 6.0-liter LS2 V8 to the 7.0-liter LS7 V8. All versions of the C6 Corvette can be made more powerful with the addition of performance aftermarket parts.

Add an aftermarket exhaust system to replace the stock Corvette exhaust system. An aftermarket exhaust system will allow air to flow more freely as it is exiting the engine bay, which adds horsepower to the Corvette engine. Note that this will also change the exhaust note of the Corvette, typically to a louder and more aggressive sound. While many Corvette owners find this desirable, be aware that it will increase cabin engine noise.

Replace the Chevrolet factory cold-air induction system with a performance aftermarket system. Performance cold-air intake systems allow more air to flow into the engine and also cool the air more efficiently. This lowers the temperature of the engine and increases horsepower.

Tune your Corvette using a flash tuner. A flash tuner modifies the computer that controls the operation of your Corvette's engine. This can provide a minor horsepower boost even if you have not installed other performance modifications on your Corvette. More important, tuning allows your Corvette to take full advantage of any aftermarket upgrades you have installed, maximizing the horsepower gains you receive from installing other components. You should re-tune your Corvette's engine whenever you add a new performance modifications.


Do not attempt these modifications yourself unless you have substantial experience with automotive upgrades. Even the most basic automotive performance upgrades have the potential to seriously damage your car if they are performed incorrectly.

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