The Blue Mule, previously introduced within the pages of Fastest Street Car, is the brainchild of Doug and Andy Cook at Motion Raceworks in Davenport, Iowa. If you’re having trouble recalling this monster of a build, allow us to refresh your memory. This street-legal, 7-second 2018 Camaro SS was built with a simple mission in mind — showcasing the new Gen V LT’s capabilities and eliminating confusion surrounding its direct-injection technology.
With project partners like Chevrolet Performance, HP Tuners, and Precision Turbo, Motion Raceworks’ Andy and Doug Cook planned and prepared for the Blue Mule with some of the best names in the business. The Camaro features relatively limited, albeit badass, upgrades in an effort to test the OE parts’ true potential by pushing them to the limit.
Setting out to build the fastest sixth-generation Camaro in the world, Motion Raceworks also wanted to locate the absolute threshold of individual stock parts to better assist customers with their own builds.
“We’re trying not to jump to replacing every part, which is usually what people do when they build a car,” Doug Cook, co-owner of Motion Raceworks, explained. “We want to push the stock parts to the extreme to be able to gauge their capacity, and report back to our customers. This is not a build that will ever be ‘done.’ It’s an ongoing project.”
While the Blue Mule retains its stock transmission, part of that ongoing development is pushing the limits of a largely stock drivetrain. The way Doug explains it, “Chevy Performance wanted to see how far we could take the Camaro with the ZL1 billet torque converter, a Circle D flexplate, and otherwise stock parts.
For this reason, the transmission remains “bone-stock.” After a consultation with Rodney from RPM Transmissions, who told Doug there were not a lot of changes that could be made, the team decided to run with it, and see “what they could break.”
According to Chevy Performance, the high-stall converter provides up to a 45-percent increase in stall speed over the standard unit, resulting in consistent lower 60-foot times and quicker overall ETs. Of course, the ultimate stall speed achieved depends entirely on the modifications, torque management, tires, and track surface, so individual results may vary.
With that in mind, we dive headfirst into what it takes to tune a build like The Blue Mule, and break down the differences in tuning a direct-injection engine versus port fuel injection, why they are necessary, and how Motion Raceworks ensures this Camaro is performing at a high level.