2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: 640-hp road-rocket
Taking its total performance index to a new level, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 boasts more of everything that matters to hard-core enthusiasts. Ready for action on the street or at the track, this striking 2+2 coupe and its hot convertible counterpart match bolder style with a potent supercharged V8 and a host of chassis upgrades.
With its stability-enhancing aero details honed by over 1000 hours in the wind tunnel and on the track, there’s no denying the new Camaro ZL1 looks the part of a track-ready car. It starts with a new iteration of the open “flow-tie” logo on the upper grille coupled with a larger, freer-flowing lower grille opening. The ZL1 also features a deeper front splitter and wider front fenders plus a redesigned hood with a carbon fiber insert and an integral air extractor that pulls heat from the engine bay. Rounding out the mix are unique rocker sills and a rear wing. Cabin upgrades on the ZL1 include standard Recaro front buckets and a suede-wrapped flat-bottom multifunction steering wheel and shift knob while the Chevrolet’s Performance Data Recorder is offered as an option.
New 10-speed automatic
The heart of the new Gen VI Camaro ZL1 is a supercharged version of the 6.2-liter LT4 small-block V8 also used in the Corvette Z06. It’s tuned to make a heady 640 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque -- 60 more ponies and 80 additional twist units than the stats turned out by the LSA V8 used in its predecessor. Given this new Camaro ZL1 also is 200 pounds lighter than the car it replaces, expect to see 0-60 mph times in the sub-4.0 second range whether the engine gets paired with the standard 6-speed manual transmission or a 10-speed paddle-shift automatic option. This marks the first appearance of GM’s new 10-speed, which is slated for eight models by the end of 2018. Programmed specifically for this application, Chevy says it delivers lightning quick upshifts and downshifts and the ratio spread ensures the engine remains in an optimal rev range during acceleration which will make the ZL1 even quicker out of corners.
Complementing the ZL1’s power are a host of running gear upgrades that start with its custom-tuned version of the Magnetic Ride Control variable suspension that teams with a Performance Traction Management system and electronic limited-slip differential. A Driver Mode Selector with launch control is part of this exhilarating mix. The new ZL1 employs super sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires – 285/30s up front and 305/30s at the rear wrapped around unique 20-inch forged aluminum wheels and relies on huge Brembo brakes for stopping power.
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