Who says muscle cars are dead?
Chevrolet has taken the wraps off the 2017 Camaro ZL1, and at the heart of the beast is a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 packing 640 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque. While that’s 10 hp and 10 lb-ft short of Chevy’s top dog, the Corvette Z06, it’s still a 60 hp and 84 lb-ft gain over its predecessor. And thanks to the Camaro’s new lightweight Alpha platform, the new ZL1 is also 200 pounds trimmer – which should give it some serious performance.
We’re expecting Chevy to fill us in on top speed and quarter-mile sprint times when the ZL1 debuts at the New York Auto Show later this month. A six-speed manual comes standard with active rev-matching, but the big news is that the ZL1 will be offered with GM’s brand spanking new 10-speed automatic! “Eight new GM models” will come packing the double-digit shifter by 2018, so says the General. Paddle shifters come standard with the 10-speed that has 7.39 overall ratio; the smaller steps between gears enables the LT4 small block to be perfectly revved during acceleration and when exiting corners.
Magnetic Ride suspension, electronic limited-slip differential, launch control, and Performance Traction Management, essentially all the Z06’s best bits, have made it to the ZL1, while the chassis also gets 20-inch alloys wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires, and Brembo brakes with ZL1-branded calipers.
“Unlike some competitors” (an unsubtle dig at the Ford GT350 and GT350R), Chevy says the Camaro ZL1 is ready for track duty without the need for an optional package. In addition to 11 heat exchangers to keep the powertrain properly cooled, the 2017 Camaro ZL1 has been designed to look super aggressive while stomping around a track. Improving aerodynamics for enhanced high-speed stability has dictated the exterior design, with a new hollowed-out ‘flow-tie” open bowtie, a new hood with carbon-fiber insert and heat extractor, a massive front splitter, unique rockers, a wing-style rear spoiler and wider front fenders.
The interior boasts Recaro front seats with ZL1 badging and red stitching, and microsuede flat-bottomed steering wheel and shifter. An available Performance Data Recorder comes with an in-built camera and GPS receiver. When the ZL1 arrives in the summer, expect a price tag north of $60,000.