Subscribe to the Free

2012 Camaro ZL1 Update

Dale Amy Sep 9, 2011
View Full Gallery

Ever so slowly, Chevrolet is filling in the information blanks on the eagerly anticipated ZL1. On September 8th, we were invited to GM's rain-soaked Milford Proving Grounds where we learned a bit more - including official power figures - about this upcoming flagship Camaro.

Sucp 1109w Chevy Camaro Zl1 Manual Tranny 2/5

We won't keep you waiting: The ZL1 will get 580 hp and 556 lb-ft of torque from its Eaton-supercharged 6.2L LSA powerplant. The Chevy crew were happy to point out that these numbers handily trump its direct competition - Ford's GT500. Track testing is still ongoing, so no 0-60 or 1/4-mile times were given, nor were fuel economy predictions. Or pricing.

The LSA features a unique induction system, with a lower-restriction air filter, dual inlet paths, and improved airflow through the supercharger housing. Other changes include a higher-efficiency supercharger intercooler and electric power steering system, which consumes less engine power than hydraulic-steering systems.

The ZL1 will get the Performance Traction Management system first seen on the mighty ZR1 Corvette, as well as third-generation Magnetic Ride Control, and will be offered with either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The Tremec TR-6060 "MG9" manual features 30 percent more torque capacity than in the Camaro SS. The higher torque capacity results from a strengthened output shaft, high-strength rear housing, and additional roller bearing. The MG9 has also been tuned for improved shift feel, with a dual-mass flywheel, twin-disc clutch, and triple synchros for smooth, precise shifts.

Sucp 1109w Chevy Camaro Zl1 Trunk Instrumentation 3/5

Similarly, the Hydra-Matic 6L90 automatic has been strengthened to handle the torque and horsepower produced by the 6.2L supercharged small block. The 6L90 features a strengthened input gearset with two additional pinion gears, additional clutch plate, and a strengthened output shaft and gearset. To make the ZL1 perform equally well on street and track, the 6L90 features three distinct drive modes:

Sucp 1109w Chevy Camaro Zl1 Manual Interior 4/5

Drive: The shift pattern is calibrated for optimal fuel economy, including second-gear starts, while the shift feel is tuned for a smooth driving experience. Engaging the tap-shift feature on the steering wheel or shift lever engages temporary manual mode.

Sport: The shift pattern is calibrated for more aggressing driving, including first-gear starts for maximum performance. The shift feel is also more aggressive, with a performance algorithm that holds the transmission in lower gears during aggressive driving.

Manual: Here, the 6L90 offers the driver true manual control, with no automatic up shifts, and staged upshifts for incredibly fast shifts and maximum performance.

Sucp 1109w Chevy Camaro Zl1 Auto 5/5

Other track-ready features of the ZL1 include:

An engine-oil cooler, identical to the system on the Corvette ZR1. The integral liquid-to-liquid system is so effective that both the manual and automatic transmissions are deemed to be fully track-capable with the standard factory-installed cooling package.

A rear-differential cooler, which pumps transmission fluid to a heat exchanger, reduces temperatures in the differential by more than 100 F.

A high-performance fuel system delivers fuel to the LSA engine under any performance driving condition. For example, the system features additional fuel pickups on the primary side, and the secondary fuel pickup is moved outboard for continuous fuel access during high-g cornering under low fuel conditions.



Connect With Us

Get Latest News and Articles. Newsletter Sign Up

sponsored links

subscribe to the magazine

get digital get print