For the last six years, GM has cut back on V-8 rear-wheel-drive platforms. With the extinction of the Camaro and Firebird, the cupboard of affordable RWD V-8 performance has been pretty bare at GM. They didn't completely forget about us, however. The forthcoming Camaro and the new Pontiac G8 (which is built on the same platform) renew GM's dedication to true performance.

This wasn't Pontiac's first attempt at a post-Camaro RWD car. Pontiac reintroduced the GTO in 2004 to the United States after its Holden division was so successful with the Monaro (of which the GTO is a derivative) in Australia. This coupe had some followers, but not enough to support the high cost of importing, so GM pulled out of the project in 2006. Enthusiasts also accused GM of building a car that was lacking in style.

With massively improved styling and four doors, Pontiac introduced the G8 in the spring of 2008 on the new RWD Zeta platform. From the factory, the GT edition comes with a 6L V-8 producing 361 hp and 385 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful sedan under $30,000. Its charm is not only based on horsepower, but also on its handling, which is surprisingly nimble for its two-ton curb weight.

Magna Charger dove right in and began work on the G8 supercharger kit almost immediately. Just for you, we got the inside scoop on how these kits are developed for new models. Since Magna Charger was bound by the interior space of the engine bay, a unit that does not interfere with the hood would be used. In this case, the Twin Vortices Series (TVS) 1900 supercharger was chosen. The G8 is the first Magna Charger application to use the TVS, although development work still continues on the C6 Corvette version, too. This blower features a four-lobe design with a 160-degree twist. Its older brother, the fifth generation, uses three lobes with a 60-degree twist. The TVS has a lot of perks that make it a great fit for this G8 project. It supports a higher operating pressure with greater efficiency. It also has a bypass valve that reduces parasitic pumping losses. One thing that can be viewed as either a positive or a negative is its reduced noise production. A lot of enthusiasts love that blower whine, while a lot of guys like the sleepy sound. Being a four door, maybe they don't want everyone trying to race them when their kids are aboard.

For comparison, Magna Charger has produced a kit for the '04-06 GTO that adds 110 hp and 120 lb-ft of torque to its LS-based plant. Based on those improvements, this kit should give the G8 about 475 hp (measured by a conservative Mustang dyno) at the rear wheels. This translates to a 550-plus flywheel horsepower rating, which is an improvement you can really feel. If this isn't enough, the TVS 1900 can support 800 hp, though other parts of the car may not.

The parts for this kit have been tested separately and proven; however, the complete ensemble awaits final testing and calibration. (We did get preliminary dyno numbers to give you an idea of what the kit will produce.) To obtain the target power level while fitting within the confines of the engine bay, it was necessary to employ an efficient charge cooler system. In this case, the Bosch water pump and reservoir from the Ford Lightning truck were employed. The heat exchanger, blower housing, idlers, brackets, and manifolds, on the other hand, are made by Magna Charger.

Don't think this will be a one-trick pony. Since the new Camaro will share the same platform and engine as the G8, this kit will be a direct bolt-on for Chevy's pony variant when it hits the streets in 2010. Regarding the Camaro, Magna Charger is fairly certain that most of the kit pieces will interchange. This is good news for future Camaro owners. It's safe to say the supercharger kit will be available very soon after the Camaro's release, since development time will be significantly reduced because of the work done to produce the G8 system.

Development ProcessWhen a new vehicle is released to the public that shows promise in the aftermarket world, Magna Charger gets one. The G8 has only been on showroom floors since early March, and just over a month later, Magna Charger already had a running supercharged vehicle.

The procedure begins with the obligatory business analysis, then when research and development gets the OK, the fun starts. They dig right in, removing the factory intake manifold, intake assembly, and sensors. The first piece made is the lower intake manifold, called the tub. It is shaped to take the place of the factory lower manifold, covering up the oil galley (GM calls this the lifter oil manifold assembly, or LOMA for short), and the tub's function is to match up to the intake ports. This casting will also be used for the L98 and LS3 engines, in addition to the G8's 6-liter L76. The upper intake manifold section, called the lid, bolts to the lower piece, and orients the blower housing to the location specified by designers. The lid and tub are first handmade out of wood and foam, then a match plate tool (used for mold making) is produced to copy it. This match plate for the lid is designed to accept a number of different blower housings and positions. To fit a specific application, the lid is machined for the blower housing location and for where the coolant hoses pass through. Between the two intake manifold components, Magna Charger places an air-to-liquid charge cooler, which operates independently of the engine's cooling system.

With the blower bolted to the intake manifold, the next step is to create a drive system. In order to add the blower, Magna Charger fabricated an idler/pulley assembly to insure proper belt tension and pulley rotation. After the pulley location is determined, the supercharger driveshaft is fabricated to link the drive mechanism on the back of the supercharger to the pulley. The driveshaft used here is made out of carbon fiber (to reduce damaging resonance), with steel ends that bolt to the pulleys.

The last step is to join the factory air cleaner to the throttle body. Magna Charger uses a simple plastic tube in an elbow shape to carry the air-an arrangement that has proven far more effective than the tortured path of the factory intake.

Once all the pieces were in place, it was time to turn the key. Jason Edelman, Magna Charger's lead engineering tech on the G8 kit, got the first ride in this car with the added power under the hood. "The Magna Charger G8 is fast and very comfortable at the same time," he stated after repeating the word "wow" and other expletives several times.