We Caught The New Camaro Z/28 At The Nuburgring: Can It Crush The GT350R's Lap Time?

Nurburgring / 155 Comments

That wing doe.

When it comes to the muscle car wars, high-end models matter just as much as entry level ones. These cars aren't volume sellers but they do bring eyeballs to the automakers and give fanboys bragging rights. Dodge has its Hellcats, Ford its Mustang Shelby GT350 and GT350R and Chevy has the ZL1 and Z/28. While only the ZL1 has been shown in the metal our spy photographers caught an interesting Camaro covered in camouflage and testing at the Nurburgring. Could it be the new Z/28?

Our thinking, and the thinking of everyone else on the Internet, is that this is indeed the new Z/28 in disguise. It looks like it'll be highly similar to the ZL1 but with a much more aggressive aero package designed to maximize downforce. There's of course that massive wing but also check out those bumper canards and recessed lip spoiler. Those disc brakes also look quite large. Now even though the two cars may share exterior similarities we aren't so sure as to what will sit under the hood of the new Z/28. The last model sported a naturally aspirated 7.0-liter V8 good for 505 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque. The current ZL1 has a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 putting out a nutty 640 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque.

It's likely Chevy will throw purists a bone and keep the Z/28 naturally aspirated. That could mean a trade-off in terms of raw power numbers but the new Camaro is likely to be lighter than the ZL1 and will undoubtedly make more downforce. Of course it may not be as livable as the ZL1 either, but when your goal is to set lap times you're probably not too worried about a lack of air conditioning. Speaking of lap times, the last Z/28 was offered only with a six-speed manual, but could the new ZL1's 10-speed automatic (complete with paddle shifters) be an option as well? We should learn more about the new Z/28 over the next few months. After all, the automaker can't exactly afford to drag the development process out.

Chevy is already playing catch up as Ford got a head start by releasing its new Mustang (and subsequent performance versions) before the sixth-gen Camaro. Still, the fifth-gen Z/28 was incredibly popular and the upcoming sixth-generation version should be as well. The shift from the Zeta to the Alpha platform will ensure that it's a lightweight track monster and if the ZL1 is any indication it should look absolutely gorgeous. We're not trying to fan the flames of the muscle car wars, but all we're saying is that the Z/28 might be able to whoop the GT350Rs ass around the Nurburgring. The GT350R lapped the track in 7:32.19 and the fifth-gen Z/28 did it in 7:37.47. But that Z/28 was on the heavier Zeta Platform and that lap was run in the rain.

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