While I had the Coupe on the lift today, we had the chance to remove the front bumper again and explore designs for the AMS Gen Coupe intercooler. The factory intercooler is very small. The core is 4 3/4″ tall, 3 1/2″ thick and 20″ wide. The cross section is very small which generally limits flow and increases pressure drop. The frontal area and volume are both also small which generally limits cooling ability.
AMS has tested many other factory turbocharged vehicles and all have shown substantial gains with more efficient better designed intercoolers. I don’t think it would be out of line to say a better designed core with a larger cross section, volume and frontal area would increase performance in the Gen Coupe…. especially considering the size of the factory one.
The biggest issue with building an intercooler for the Coupe is the lack of space up front. The factory intercooler is sandwiched between the core support and the radiator fan shroud and is just below the radiator. We could get a larger better designed core in that spot but it would be limited. After measuring, we found that we could fit a core that has 44% more cross section, 44% more volume and 26% more frontal area. Not a bad increase. Probably better for the stock turbo and mildly upgraded stock turbos.
If we moved the intercooler forward, and kept the crash beam in place, we could increase volume, cross section and frontal area by approximately 70% which is quite substantial. There will be issues with moving the IC forward though. The power steering loop (cooler) will probably need to be relocated as may the horns and two air temp sensors. This would be necessary for an intercooler of adequate thickness. In additon, the factory intercooler end tanks are support members for the radiator to the core support. Removing the factory intercooler would require brackets be made to keep the radiator in place. The last thing that would need to be addressed would be the fan shroud. With the factory intercooler removed, there would be about a 5″ opening at the bottom of the shroud which would hurt the efficiency of the radiator fan. Some sort of block off plate or air guide would be needed. Probably more than adequate for the factory turbo, probably good enough for any upgraded factory turbo and OK for a full turbo kit upgrade.
If the factory crash beam was removed, we could fit an intercooler that would have 160% more volume and cross section and frontal area. All of the same issues as the last example would be the same and some trimming of the back of the bumper may also be needed. This would be ideal for any turbo / turbo kit you could possibly put on the Gen Coupe.