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Video: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Has 580HP

The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has an official output of 580hp and 556 lb-ft of torque, making it the most powerful Camaro ever.

Whoever said the best days of muscle cars are long gone? If anyone is still claiming this, then perhaps this news will change your mind. Chevrolet has just released official details of their 2012 Camaro ZL1, which is rated at 580hp and 556 lb-ft of torque from its all-aluminum supercharged LSA 6.25-liter V-8. Claiming it's the most powerful production Camaro ever, it even surpasses the power of the 1969 Camaro ZL1's 427 cubic-inch big block by more than 150hp.

In addition, the new ZL1 still manages to meet all modern emissions requirements. This latest supercharged V-8 can be mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic that's equipped with Drive, Sport, and Manual modes. The latter has also been strengthened to handle the torque and horsepower produced from the mighty small block. So how does the ZL1 manage to control all of this power without being torn in half? The third generation of Magnetic Ride Control (MRC) is the answer. According to the press release, "MRC employs valve-less damping and Magneto-Rheological fluid technology, which is a suspension of iron particles in a synthetic fluid.

When this system is activated, the particles are magnetized and aligned into fibrous structures, changing flow resistance. In turn, by controlling the current to an electromagnetic coil inside the piston of the damper, the system varies the suspension firmness to match the road and driving conditions." Al Oppenheiser, chief engineer of the Camaro, adds that the "Traditional suspension systems at some point compromise ride quality for road-holding grip and body control. With MRC, we can offer...a comfortable ride that makes the ZL1 a daily driver and the incredibly precise body control that makes it so enjoyable on the track."

To take full advantage of this technology, MRC has three settings: Tour, Sport, and Track. GM has also added their exclusive Performance Traction Management (PTM), which was first introduced on the Corvette ZR1. Basically, this system integrates magnetic ride control, launch control, traction control, and electronic stability control in order to enhance performance on the racetrack and drag strip. PTM also has five performance levels or modes to accommodate everything from daily driving to track duty. Sound technical?

It is, but that's because the 2012 Camaro ZL1 is a state-of-the-art muscle car in every way. But the big question is how exactly will Ford and Dodge respond? Indeed, these are clearly the best of times for muscle cars.

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