The Z/28 badge started life as just a lowly Regular Production Order (RPO) code, but has since grown into a symbol of handling prowess. First fielded by GM in 1967, it really made a name for itself in 1969 when it threw down hard in Trans-Am racing. Since then, it's always been associated with Camaros that had just "a bit more" in the handling department. Over time, the awesomeness of the Z28 package was diluted, but what the badge stood for was always remembered. How that badge presented itself on the car also changed over time. It started life with a slash, but then lost it with the introduction of the second-generation Camaro. Sadly, the Z28 faded away along with the Camaro in 2002.
Ever since GM re-launched the Camaro in 2010, fans have speculated on when The General would churn out a new batch of Z28s. In fact, Vegas oddsmakers had the ZL1 pegged to be the Z28 replacement, but it wasn't so. GM teased but kept touting the corporate line that the Z28 badge deserved a really special Camaro to earn that bit of heritage. Well, it seems that GM finally decided they had a Camaro worthy of the badge, and this time around it was even going old-school by re-introducing the slash.
Yep, the Z/28 is back, and it's officially the best-handling Camaro ever to pound asphalt on planet Earth. It also further solidifies the Camaro's standing as the best-handling modern muscle car out there.
To achieve this, GM's engineers decided to leave the dragstrip action to the COPO Camaro and instead focus solely on handling capability. They wanted the Z/28 to be a street car but one that was road course ready right out of the gate. As such, they adopted a mantra of, "If it slows down the car, ditch it, and if it lowers the lap time, keep it." Everything in the Z/28 program is about faster lap times, and for the most part, the design team didn't care what it cost. Multimatic DSSV shocks, Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes, Pankl-coated titanium rods, Recaro seats, Pirelli track tires, and Torsen helical differential are just some of the high-end parts that work to make the Z/28 king of the road course. This isn't a car in search of a cushy ride and creature comforts. The front springs are 85 percent stiffer while the rears are 65 percent stiffer than what's offered on an SS. Trailing link and arm bushings are stiffer as well, with the rear upper control arm bushings coming in at 400 percent stiffer. In turn, both the front and rear stabilizer bars are a touch smaller and tuned to match the reduced rebound travel of the new suspension.
Thinner rear glass, a free-flowing exhaust, belly pans, unique aero components, and the list goes on. Over 190 unique parts were used to separate the Z/28 from a 2014 1SS Camaro, and every one of those parts works in concert to make this Camaro more than worthy of the name Z/28.