Performance Upgrades for a 2003 Chevy 3.8 Litre V6

by Dan Boone
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In 2003 Chevy offered a few models with a 3.8 liter V-6 engine. These included the Chevy Impala, Monte Carlo SS and the Camaro. Each came with standard factory installed equipment, with options for upgrades. Since 2003 many car owners have taken advantage of newer parts to boost performance. In some instances this results in a "new" customized car.

Chevy Impala

The Impala, named after the South African Impala antelope, was introduced in 1958. It has become Chevrolet's best selling full-sized sedan with a 3.8 litre V-6 engine. In 2000 the Impala came in two trim levels, the LS and a base model. Both trims housed 3.4 liter V-8 engines with a three gauge instrument cluster. By 2003 the LS had been upgraded to a 3.8 liter V-6 with 200 horsepower. In 2004 Chevy offered a new version of this 3.8 liter V-6 which ramped up the horsepower to 240. This supercharged model became the SS trim. Some die hard Impala enthusiasts converted the 2003 Impala to the SS trim, with aftermarket additions, which included spoiler, mirrors and HID foglights.

Monte Carlo

The Monte Carlo has always been about performance, and the 2003 edition was not a disappointment. In fact, the 2003 Monte Carlo SS was the subject of a custom upgrade by Rytek. It upgraded the 2003 Monte Carlo dubbing it "The Full Monte." The engineers at Rytek went to great lengths to upgrade the car's performance, look and handling, calling their concept, "Total Performance Tuning." Performance upgrades included 14-inch, six-piston caliper brakes, an aerodynamic body kit, a set of blacked-out center 20-inch wheels wrapped in Toyo Proxes 245/35 rubber. Added to the package were headers, a free-flowing catalytic converter, cold air intake package and a dual outlet stainless steel exhaust system. Internal engine upgrades included rocker arms and pushrods for better maneuverability.


Chevrolet's 2003 RS 3.8L V-6 automatic Camaro was a three-door coupe with an automatic four-speed transmission and 204 horsepower. A popular upgrade for the 2003 Camaro is a replacement air filter, designed to increase horsepower and acceleration while providing top-notch air filtration. Some air filters have a drop-in design, which easily fits into the Camaro's exsiting factory installed air box.

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