2012 Camaro ZL1 Performance By The Numbers

Chevy announces ZL1 pricing, performance figures, options.

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Chevrolet announced today that the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupe accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in 3.9 seconds, and can reach a top speed of 184 mph. Pricing starts at $54,095, which includes Performance Traction Management and Magnetic Ride suspension.

"From the original Camaro to the current Corvette ZR1, Chevrolet has a long history of delivering world-class cars that outperformed competitors at several times the price," said Chris Perry, vice president, global Chevrolet marketing and strategy. "The ZL1 is no exception. There are very few cars at any price that can match the power, features, and track-capability of the Camaro ZL1."

Today's announcement follows on the heels of Ford's revealing that the 2013 Shelby GT500 will have 650 horsepower and top 200 mph in maximum velocity. Obviously, the 21st century ponycar wars are in full swing.

The Camaro ZL1 coupe features a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $54,095, excluding delivery fees and taxes. That includes such standard features as a differential cooler and brake cooling ducts--proof that Chevy is serious about this car's on-track capabilities.

If you've been following superchevy.com for any time, you know the Camaro ZL1 is powered by a supercharged 6.2L engine that is SAE-rated at 580 horsepower and 556 lb-ft of torque. The LSA engine features a Roots-style blower with an efficient four-lobe rotor set and compact intercooler Taking a cue from the Corvette, the ZL1 also features a standard dual-mode exhaust system, with vacuum-actuated valves in the exhaust pipes for a refined exhaust note at low speeds as well as a free-flowing system for peak performance.

A big advantage for the ZL1 over the GT500 is that it will be available with an automatic transmission, while the Shelby is manual-only. Power is delivered to the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. With either transmission, the Camaro ZL1 delivers performance that rivals some of the world's fastest supercar, but Chevy is claiming the automatic-equipped versions will be quicker and faster than the sticks:

ManualAutomatic
0 - 60 mph (from rolling start)4.0 seconds3.9 seconds
1/4-mile (from a rolling start)12.1 sec at 119 mph12.0 sec at 119 mph
Top speed180 mph184 mph
Max lateral grip1.0 g1.0 g

"With 0 to 60 taking less than four seconds, the acceleration of the ZL1 is just awesome," said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, "but horsepower is only half of the story. The ZL1's most significant measurement of performance is lapping the Nurburgring in 7:41.27. That's astounding for a 2+2 coupe, and a great testament to the acceleration, braking, grip, and balance of the Camaro ZL1. It is the well-rounded performance of the Camaro ZL1 that will set the bar for the sports-car segment."

Power With Control There's nothing worse than having a bunch of power, but no way to harness it and Chevy's engineers have gone to great lengths to improve the basic Camaro suspension to cope with the extra 156 horsepower of the LSA engine. The ZL1 comes standard with several track-capable technologies that are exclusive to the Camaro. According to GM, the Camaro ZL1 is the first sports car to feature the third-generation of Magnetic Ride. This advanced suspension system employs valve-less damping and Magneto-Rheological (MR) fluid technology to varies the suspension firmness to match the road and driving conditions.

"Traditional suspension systems at some point compromise ride quality for road-holding grip and body control," said Oppenheiser. "With Magnetic Ride Control, we can offer customers the best of both worlds: A comfortable ride that makes the ZL1 appropriate as a daily driver and the incredibly precise body control that makes the ZL1 so enjoyable on the track."

Also standard on the Camaro ZL1 is Performance Traction Management (PTM), which is exclusive to General Motors. First introduced on the Corvette ZR1, PTM is an advanced system that integrates magnetic ride control, launch control, traction control, electronic stability control and electric power steering response to enhance performance. For example, the launch control feature (manual transmission only) automatically modulates engine torque for the best-possible acceleration without excessive wheel spin. When the driver pushes the throttle to the floor, the system holds a predetermined engine speed until the driver releases the clutch. Then, the system modulates engine torque 100 times per second to maximize the available traction. Similarly, on a road course, the driver can apply full throttle when exiting a corner and PTM will automatically manage acceleration dynamics to maximize exit speed based on available traction.

In addition, the Camaro ZL1 has been engineered to be track-capable from the factory, including a rear-differential cooler, an integrated engine- and transmission-oil cooler, and brake cooling ducts as standard equipment. As such, the ZL1 offers many technologies and features not available on the GT500.

Additional features and options
The interior of the Camaro ZL1 features standard leather seating surfaces with suede-like microfiber inserts, and heated, powered-adjustable front seats. Standard technologies include a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics audio system; USB and Bluetooth connectivity; and rear-park assist with a rear-view camera display integrated in the center rear-view mirror.

The Camaro ZL1 is available with six options:

  • Six-speed automatic transmission with TapShift controls is $1,185
  • 20-inch, bright aluminum wheel package is $470
  • Power sunroof is $900
  • Stripe package is $470
  • Exposed-weave carbon fiber hood insert is $600
  • The suede package, including suede-like microfiber accents on the steering wheel, shift knob, and shift boot is $500

Add up all the options and it comes to $58,200 for a full-boat, automatic-equipped ZL1. Delete the slushbox and it's a hair over $57,015. The Camaro ZL1 Coupe will go on sale in the spring of 2012, as a 2012 model, to be followed by the ZL1 convertible in the summer of 2012, as a 2013 model.

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