It’s clear the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 lives up to its name after watching it dominate at the Nürburgring Track this month. The legacy of the Z/28 brand continues to be a staple of American innovation; a 2-door, 4-seater that has lots of horsepower, and few frills. With the return of the Z/28 option marking the redesign of the fifth-gen Camaro, we’ve decided to take a look back at the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 and what the package had to offer.
In 1968, the Chevrolet Camaro offered a Sport Coupe package known as the RPO Z28. Included in the package was a big-bore, short-stroked 302ci small-block that produced a paltry 290hp. A standard, 4-speed transmission harnessed the horses and sent the power to 3.73:1 gears out back. A heavy-duty suspension with multi-leaf in the rear and shock absorbers helped smooth out the ride. Meanwhile, 15x6-inch wheels kept the car planted to the pavement. Other options were available, like positraction for $42.15 and a quick, 17.9:1 steering ratio for $15.80. Standard with the 1968 Chevrolet Z/28 were power front disc brakes and the 4-speed transmission. Distinguishing the Z/28 from other options were a rear spoiler and dual racing stripes.
In a press release, Chevy called the Z/28 “well behaved in ordinary traffic,” expanding on its smooth, comfortable, and maneuverable ride. The car was called “handsome” and “determined” with its bold racing stripes. The 1968 model Z/28 was what Mark Donohue drove to win two TRAN-AM events. An FIA Class 2 racecar, the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 was not meant for anyone looking for a family car.
A stark contrast from the 1968 model, the all-new 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 has certainly stayed true to form with power and handling. The Z/28 that was announced in March is equipped with a high-revving naturally-aspirated LS7 427ci small-block pumping out 505hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, certainly more power than you’ll need to carry kids to a soccer game. With increased grip on the road due to extensive chassis revisions; increased braking due to Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes; and overall lighter curb weight, thanks to lightweight wheels and thinner rear-window glass – the 2014 Chevy Camaro Z/28 is clearly a track oriented vehicle, similar to that of the 1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28.
"As the ultimate track-capable Camaro, this car restores the mission of the original Z/28," Mark Reuss, President of GM North America, said. "The build sheet is the wish list of any racer: lightweight, high-revving, dry-sump LS7 engine; carbon-ceramic brakes; integrated coolers for track use; true aerodynamic down-force, and a significant reduction in curb weight. This car could only be called the Z/28."
We are pleased to see Chevrolet reviving the coveted Z/28 nameplate option once again. Bringing serious horsepower to a light and nimble vehicle is the premise of the road and track-ready Camaro Z/28 legacy. This all-new 2014 Chevrolet Camaro is sure to bring excitement back into the muscle car fan base. The heritage of the Camaro on the race track is about to be back with this faster, lighter, and more efficient fifth-gen Camaro. We can’t wait to see the Z/28 on the streets, expect it to hit sales floors in late 2013.
Here is a comparison between the old and the new Z/28, check-out the stark contrast:
1968 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
- Naturally aspirated 302ci small-block, officially rated at 290 hp
- Cast iron cylinder block and cylinder heads
- Aluminum intake manifold with 800 cfm, 4-barrel carburetor
- Special camshaft and mechanical lifters with 11.0:1 compression
- High capacity oil pump
- Heavy-duty suspension with front and rear springs, multi-leaf in rear
- An even faster steering option (24.4:1) was available over the base option (17.9:1)
- 15x6-inch front/rear wheels with power front disc brakes
- Special rally striping on hood (dual racing stripes)
- 4-speed transmission with 3.73:1 gears (Positraction was available and mandatory when 4.10, 4.56, or 4.88:1 gears were ordered)
2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
- Naturally aspirated 427ci LS7, officially rated at 505 hp
- Aluminum engine block and CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads with Titanium intake valves and connecting rods, and sodium-filled exhaust valves
- Composite intake manifold with electronic fuel injection
- High-lift camshaft with Forged-steel crankshaft with 11.0:1 compression
- 10.5-quart, dry-sump oiling system
- Dynamic Suspensions Spool Valve suspension (DSSV) instead of the ZL1’s Magentic Ride Control
- Stiffer spring rates and suspension bushings for improved cornering response
- 19-inch front/rear wheels with Brembo 6-piston caliper brakes
- Red Hot, Black, Summit White, Silver Ice and Ashen Gray exterior colors with updated Z/28 badging
- Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission