John Hennessey proves how amazing the ZL1 can be.
When Chevrolet first introduced the 2017 Camaro ZL1, we knew that it was going to be something special. The ZL1 uses the same 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 engine as the Corvette Z06 with the same 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque, but here are a few differences between the two cars. For example, the Camaro comes with a 10-speed automatic, while the Corvette uses an eight-speed slushbox. John Hennessey decided to get these two cars together to see which one was best, and he decided to use two manual transmission cars for fairness.
Like us, Hennessey thought that the Corvette would walk away from the Camaro in a drag race. The drag race was performed from a roll in 2nd gear, so the Corvette's off-the-line advantage almost disappears.
The gap between these two LT4-powered cars ended up being smaller than we could have predicted. According to Hennessey, the Corvette wouldn't start pulling away until around 150 MPH. The ZL1 starts at $61,140 while the Corvette costs $79,450. The Z06 would probably handle better on track, but if you bought the ZL1, you would save around $18,000 and get a car that comes with backseats. We never would have thought that the Camaro ZL1 would be this good. The Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 has gone in a different direction with natural aspiration and a track focus, while the Hellcat is more powerful, but heavier. In other words, the ZL1 may be the perfect mid-point of the ultra-fast muscle cars.