Lightning Strike: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro

The perfect blend of innovative design and pure power.

I remember back in high school, I wanted blue headlights on my Dodge Aries like the vehicles in the 1986 Chuck Norris flick “The Delta Force.” I suppose that trying to glue stage lighting gels over my lights seems stupid now, but it was worth a try. At least I thought so.

Lightning Strike: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro

Automotive lighting has certainly come a long way since 1986. We've gone from Halogen to High-Intensity Discharge (HID) and, now, it's  performance LEDs turn to take the front stage. Justin Hartenstein, president of AAC Enterprises, is well aware of this fact. Given his company specializes in Oracle vehicle lighting products, he set about creating a showpiece for his products using a 2010 Chevy Camaro as the blank canvas upon. Six months later, he had a car ready to go to SEMA.

Lightning Strike: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro

In order to meet his aggressive timeline, Hartenstein chose a V6-powered Camaro and boosted it with a prototype kit from Squires Turbo Systems that raises power up to a claimed 450 horsepower. The STS kit features a Turbonetics T3/T4 turbo and a front-mount intercooler improves efficiency. An STS/Turbosmart wastegate and blow-off valve keep pressurized air flowing where it should while the STS methanol injection system keeps engine internals happy when the pedal is on the floor. The combination has been tuned by Trifecta Performance for maximum power and drivability with a Pro-Torque stall converter to help get the Camaro off the line fast.

The vehicle is outfitted with GM Performance GFX side skirts and rear valance while the factory front fenders gave way to custom vented ones from Revolution Styling along with a ram air hood and aggressive front chin spoiler. Inferno Orange racing stripes tie in the orange theme from the interior. 

Lightning Strike: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro

Hartenstein raided his own warehouse to hook the Camaro up with all the Oracle lighting he could find. These include a Bi-Xenon headlight conversion kit featuring amber headlight halos, Concept LED side markers and Afterburner taillight halos. The day time running lights (DRT), high-power reverse lights, license plate and turn signals all now feature Oracle LED replacement bulbs and there's even a LED scanner that fits in the smaller opening in the hood.

Under the aggressive body work is a KW Variant 3 coil-over suspension system, including Pfadt Racing sway bars and urethane bushings. A front strut tower bar from BMR Suspension helps keep the body rigid so the suspension can work its magic. Wrapped in massive Falken FK452 tires, two-piece custom made USW Forged Crossover wheels (sized 22-inches in the front and 24-inches in the rear) are in place with 15-inch Stoptech brakes at each corner. The two-piece discs are clamped with six- and four-piston calipers in the front and back, respectively.

The interior of the car has come together as methodically as the exterior thanks to Advanced Audio and Video (AAV) in New Orleans applying a generous helping of suede and carbon fiber to the interior. AAV is also responsible for removing, bleaching and dying the factory carpet Inferno Orange before refitting it along with a host of custom-made pieces, including custom door panels, kick panels, A-pillars, a new rear deck and re-skinned headliner. The seats are custom-reupholstered in two-tone orange and black Katzkin leather. To keep tabs on engine vitals, a new pod in the center console houses Auto Meter gauges and mimics the optional SS gauges

Lightning Strike: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro

There's a JVC head unit in the dash and two Arc Audio XDi sub amps in the trunk that feed two Arc Audio XXD 10-inch subwoofers mounted in an illuminated Plexi/wood enclosure. The trunk lid is now home to a 20-inch LCD TV that, as with the rest of the trunk, is trimmed in suede to match the interior. Another four-channel amp feeds a set of Arc Audio midbass drivers and components that are mounted in the doors and kick panels. The amps, speakers and most of the interior really has been illuminated thanks to Oracle red LED strips. Everything comes to life when the lights go out! Tsunami interconnects, speaker and power wire connects the system components while Odyssey batteries help keep it pounding.

Lightning Strike: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro

Vehicle: 2010 Chevrolet Camaro
Owner: Justin M. Hartenstein
Location: Metairie, Louisiana
Engine Displacement: 3.6L V6
Horsepower: 550 hp
Max Torque: 400 lb-ft

Squires Turbo Systems (STS/Turbonetics T3/4 turbo system, front mount intercooler, 60-1 turbo power adder, methanol injection system, Turbosmart 52 mm blow-off valve, Turbosmart WG38 wastegate)

Revolution Styling (front chin spoiler, fenders, ram air hood, reverse hood kit, side skirts, rear deck spoiler)
GM Performance (rear bumper valance, GFX side skirts)
GM Heritage grill
Custom (functional rear fender brake ducts, front fenders)
ACS “T2” bumper ports
Oracle Lighting Technology (Bi-Xenon headlight conversion, Amber headlight halos, Afterburner taillight halos, Concept SMD side markers; LED DRL/turn signal/reverse lights/license plate bulbs, LED scanner bar)
Cyber Grey and Inferno Orange metallic paint

USW Forged Crossover 2-pc. wheels – 22x9 (F), 24x10 (R)
Falken FK452 tires – 265/30R22 (F), 275/30R24 (R)
Stoptech Brakes – 15-in. rotors, 2-pc. drilled rotors, six-piston calipers, braided lines (F), 15-in. rotors, 2-pc. drilled rotors, four-piston calipers, braided lines (R)

KW Variant 3 coil-overs
Pfadt Racing (sway bars, urethane bushings)
BMR Suspension four-point front strut tower brace

Defender Works shift knob
Auto Meter (boost, wideband, oil temp, methanol gauges)
Custom gauge pod
Katzkin leather custom seats
All plastic parts have been suede covered and/or hydro-dipped

JVC head unit
ARC Audio - XDi 600.1 sub amplifiers (x2), XXD 10 10-in. subwoofers (x2), XDi 804 4-ch. amplifier, XDi 602 component sets (3 sets)
Odyssey Batteries (x2)
Tsunami / Metra Electronics (main power wire, speaker wire, distribution blocks)

Squires Turbo Systems
Revolution Styling
Advanced Automotive Concepts
Pfadt Racing
USW Forged
Arc Audio

More Vehicle Features

Enjuku Racing's 2011 Hyundai Genesis Coupe

Bridging the gap between Japanese and American muscle. Enjuku Racing might be best known for its Nissan 240 and 350Z builds and killer Formula Drift cars, but for the last years' SEMA show, owner Ken Harrison was looking to try…
Read More

Satoshi Kondo's ASI Tetsu GT-R

Having a design background, both in Architectural school and in the professional world, I definitely view custom cars different than the next guy. Probably because getting the latest (insert hot platform here) and then ticking off the checklist of JDM…
Read More

Aught Two: 1974 BMW 2002

It’s no secret that some people have really lost touch with the joy of driving. I mean, look at all these people who are stoked for autonomous cars! With technology advancing at the rate it is, the manual gearbox is…
Read More

The Adrenaline Project: Sony Canada's 2011 Scion tC

Written by Dave MacKinnon / Photography by BP ImagingScion has been in Canada for about a year, and as a brand that is closely tied to the aftermarket, it was an easy and logical decision to choose one of their…
Read More

TranZformer: Ben Abutin's 2003 Nissan 350Z

Southern California has really seen it all. As the hub of the automotive aftermarket over the last half century, they are anywhere from 18-24 months ahead of other urban megacities and anyones guess how far ahead of smalltown USA. So…
Read More