So back in October, I’ve received confirmation that I would be visiting the Milford Proving Grounds in Milford, Michigan to have a go in a pre-production 2014 Z/28. I’ve been there once before, testing the [then new] 2011 Chevy Caprice, Impala, and Tahoe Police Pursuit Vehicles (PPV) for another publication that I worked for at the time. Ever since that visit I’ve always wanted to return, and now, I finally had my shot.
Initially, I was under the impression that I, along with a select group of automotive journalists from other publications, would be able to drive the pre-production Camaro at the famed GM testing facility. As it turned out, that wasn’t the case when we arrived. However, what would follow ended up being just as awesome, because the GM team had a surprise in store for us. Instead of allowing a bunch of yahoos loose on the nicknamed “Lutz Ring,” and potentially hurt themselves in a car that they’ve never experienced before, professional drivers employed by General Motors were to take us around the circuit one by one in pre-production Z/28s – including the very car that clicked off the famous 7:37 [wet] lap time at the Nürburgring.
Before we strapped into our racing seats, they gave us a guided tour of the car in question. They sat us down, fed us some breakfast, and showed us several videos of the car being testing around some of the world’s most famous racetracks. They also explained that the car made absolute mincemeat of the 662hp GT500 and 444hp Mustang BOSS 302 Laguna Seca, around the circuit, too. Upon hearing this, the look on everyone’s face in the crowd was a mix of shock and disbelief.
We were the first to see the car up close and in person, and this was way before they would let anyone outside of GM drive the car, mind you. In fact, the car on display was so pre-production, it didn’t even have the proper steering wheel, but one from a 426hp SS.
Every detail on the car impressed, otherwise from the massive wheels, 305mm Pirelli Trofeo R tires, and 15-inch carbon ceramic Brembo brakes (on all four corners), to the incredibly well engineered DSSV coil-over suspension. LS7 with 505 hp, too, thanks. Of course, none of this is really news now, but the only thing I can tell you that you haven’t heard, or seen, was my personal experience.
Attached above is the V-box video of myself riding shotgun that GM filmed with each journalist, and while you can’t see my expression in the video because of the helmet, trust me when I tell you that I had a massive grin plastered on my face the entire time. Simply put, it was amazing. It handled like no other production car I’ve ever been in. Grip was excellent, the brakes seemed to work more than adequately, and the power and soundtrack was dead on!
While the particular car I rode in wasn’t the silver ‘Ring bomber, it was indeed a camouflaged test mule, and that, to me, is just as cool. Check it out! Oh, and don’t forget to take a minute to view some of the photos I took of the Z/28 components, the car I rode in, and a glimpse of the ’67 RS Z/28 that they had on display.