The Most Powerful Production Camaro: Meet The 2017 Camaro ZL1
Since the sixth-generation Camaro was released, we have been waiting eagerly on the ...
Since the sixth-generation Camaro was released, we have been waiting eagerly on the new top-of-the-line model to take on the Hellcat Challenger and the Shelby GT350R. These are two precision instruments for two different jobs, but this new Camaro may be able to take the Dodge down in a straight line while out handling the Shelby on the track. Meet Chevrolet’s new 2017 Camaro ZL1.
This is officially the most powerful production Camaro ever sold with the same powerplant as the C7 Z06 and the Cadillac CTS-V; the supercharged LT4. Specific intake and exhaust tuning brings the power numbers in between these two cars at 640 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque. It makes 10 less than the Z06 in both power figures, but has 10 lb-ft more than the CTS-V. After the sixth gen’s over 200-pound diet along with 60 more horsepower and 80 lb-ft extra, it should be significantly quicker than the last ZL1. The standard transmission is the same as many other modern day hot rods, the TR6060 6-speed manual. If you check the automatic trans box, you’ll get Chevy’s new 10-speed automatic. That’s four more gears than the previous ZL1 and two more than the standard SS. Many old-school buyers may be worried about it having “too many gears,” but the new 8-speeds in the Z06 and Hellcat have proved that the extra gearing can keep the car in the peak powerband more often. I look forward to seeing how this 10-speed does in both real-world and track situations.
The suspension is an upgraded version of their Magnetic Ride Control, with an electronic limited-slip differential and performance traction management with multiple modes. The biggest plus on the new ZL1 are the various driver-controlled modes for anything from comfortable street driving to all-out kill mode for track days. These modes change how the traction control limits slip, how the transmission downshifts, and the damping rates in hard cornering to make it ideal for your driving situation.
The new 20″ wheels are stunning, but the real gems are the giant Brembo brakes hiding behind them. In the front, the two-piece rotors measure 15.35″ with 6-piston monobloc Brembo calipers. These forged aluminum wheels are wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires with a special compound designed by Goodyear for the new Camaro. The front’s are 285/30ZR20’s, while the rears come in wider with 305/30ZR20’s. The interior is appointed in proper sports car trim with Recaro seats and a suede flat-bottom steering wheel. The sixth-generation Camaro is leaps and bounds over it’s replacement, but the ZL1 takes it to another level.
Other companies have built weapons of mass performance such as the Hellcat and Shelby GT350R, but they’re focused on one type of racing. The Hellcat is the straight-line king while the GT350R currently has the crown on a road course, but both of these cars were meant to excel in those segments. A Hellcat on a road course is embarrassing because of it’s heft and the GT350R doesn’t have the gusto to impress on the drag strip. This new ZL1 isn’t a one-purpose sports car. It is the ultra-sharp Swiss Army knife of sports cars.
“The Camaro ZL1 is designed to excel at everything. It’s a 2+2 coupe offering incredible performance – acceleration, handling and braking – with the highest levels of technology and perfect chassis damping, making it suitable for everyday driving. It will compare well to any sports coupe, at any price and in any setting.” – Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development
This car should be hitting the showrooms late this year. We can’t wait to see the ZL1 vs. Hellcat videos as Chevrolet’s new lighter, supercharged Camaro takes on the world. Why have a strip car and/or a track car when you can have both in a single car? The 2017 Camaro ZL1 is here to solve your garage space issues. It is all that you could want or need in a modern sports car. Check out the video of this beast on track at Spring Mountain Raceway in Pahrump, NV.