What is it? The Camaro ZL1 is a modern rendition of a legendary, high-performance Camaro sold in 1969. Like that rare collectible, the new Camaro ZL1 boasts a suite of distinguishing upgrades, with the most significant being under the dramatic aluminum hood. The all-aluminum, small-block engine is topped with an Eaton supercharger to produce 580-hp and 556 lb.-ft. of torque from a supercharged 6.2-liter V8. Aimed at strictly performance purists, the gears are rowed with a Tremec six-speed manual transmission.
The chassis features Magnetic Ride Control, a driver-selectable suspension system that uses magneto-rheological fluid to adjust the shocks and enable them to react quickly to road feedback. This technology has been used on Cadillac models and the Corvette for years. The ZL1 also borrows a dual-model exhaust system technology from the ‘Vette, enabling the sound levels to adjust in response to engine rpm.
Coupe pricing will start at $54,995, with destination charges and bravado included.
What is new or notable? Assuming the driver can deftly apply that power to the ground, Chevrolet claims the automatic version will achieve 0-60 mph 3.9 seconds from a rolling start and traverse the quarter mile in 12 seconds at 119 mph. Of course, from a stand still, the car may sit and spin a bit, hurting those figures.
Top speed is claimed at 184 mph and maximum later grip is a magic 1.0 g.
CR’s take: Everybody likes more power… including us. But if there’s one thing the Camaro needed, it wasn’t more power. Better visibility, improved interior, and increase cargo space would do more for the Camaro than a bigger engine.
When will it be available? Spring 2012.