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Chevrolet Announces 2017 ZL1 Camaro Track Terror!

A look at the 2017 Camaro ZL1 – the fastest Camaro ever?

Mar 16, 2016
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Well the Camaro news just keeps getting better and better. First we found out that the new 2016 SS Camaro was as fast as the previous generation’s 1LE track version. Then we were hit with a 2017 1LE Camaro which would be even faster. As if that wasn’t enough GM taunted us with a sweet on-track video through what appeared to be a flow-tie emblem. Now the last time we saw one of those was on the 2015 Z/28 Camaro, so needless to say, our interest was piqued. Well, the cat has been launched out of the proverbial bag and a new Mustang-killing track monster has been announced; the 2017 Camaro ZL1! The previous generation of ZL1 was loaded with the best tech Chevrolet had at the time and this 2017 carries on that tradition. Sure, the Z/28 was faster around a track, but the ZL1 was capable everywhere, from the road course to the drag strip while retaining all the creature comforts for street driving.

The 2017 ZL1 is set to take on the most advanced sports cars on planet Earth and is packed with technology. So, what does it do well? “The Camaro ZL1 is designed to excel at everything,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development. “It’s a 2+2 coupe offering incredible performance – acceleration, handling and braking – with the highest levels of technology and perfect chassis damping, making it suitable for everyday driving. It will compare well to any sports coupe, at any price and in any setting.”

Acceleration for the ZL1 is delivered with a new supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine estimated at 640 hp (477 kW), and either a six-speed manual transmission with active rev matching or an all-new 10-speed automatic. Handling capability starts with the lightweight, stiffer structure of the all-new sixth-Gen Camaro, married with Magnetic Ride suspension and an electronic limited-slip differential. Standard technologies include Driver Mode Selector, dual-mode exhaust and advanced connectivity features.

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Designed for Performance

Functionality defines the Camaro ZL1’s form, with the exterior shaped during more than 100 hours of wind-tunnel testing and on-track validation to improve aerodynamics and cooling for track use. Accordingly, its exterior elements all play a part in managing airflow over, under and through the ZL1.

“The design supports the Camaro ZL1’s exceptional performance and does so with compelling style,” said John Mack, Camaro exterior design manager. “From every angle, the elements coalesce to give the car a purposeful, super aggressive attitude.”

The lower grille opening, for example, offers greater airflow compared to the Camaro SS, and the upper grille incorporates a new version of the “flow-tie” open bowtie insignia. There’s also a new hood, with a carbon fiber insert and heat extractor that pulls hot air from the engine compartment. Additional changes include a larger front splitter, unique rockers, a wing-style rear spoiler and wider front fenders – all tuned to improve aerodynamics for greater high-speed stability.

Inside, there are standard Recaro front seats, along with a sueded flat-bottom steering wheel and shift knob. Chevrolet’s Performance Data Recorder is available.

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Fast with finesse

A cohesive suite of performance technologies tailors ZL1’s performance for street and track. Features include an updated Magnetic Ride suspension, Performance Traction Management, electronic limited-slip differential, Custom Launch Control and Driver Mode Selector. It also has a stronger power-to-weight ratio than its predecessor, weighing 200 pounds less, while offering approximately 60 more horsepower and 80 more pound-feet of torque.

The result is a one-of-a-kind driving experience.

“Driving the Camaro ZL1 is best described as ‘fast with finesse,’” said Reuss. “It is beautifully balanced, with perfect damping and isolation for optimal performance and driver confidence in virtually any situation – from the Pacific Coast Highway to Willow Springs to Pomona.”

Additional chassis features include:
• Unique 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with 285/30ZR20 front and 305/30ZR20 rear tires
• Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires with a compound and construction developed exclusively for the Camaro to offer exceptional grip on the track
• Brembo brakes with six-piston monobloc front calipers – featuring the ZL1 logo – and massive, 15.35-inch (390 mm) two-piece front rotors.

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Supercharged performance and new 10-speed automatic

Underhood, the ZL1 features a supercharged LT4 6.2L V-8 Small Block engine, with intake and exhaust systems tailored for Camaro. It is rated at an estimated 640 horsepower (477 kW) and 640 lb-ft of torque (868 Nm).

The LT4 is backed by a standard six-speed manual transmission or all-new, available paddle-shift 10-speed automatic. The 10-speed automatic has 7.39 overall ratio for smaller steps between gears. It enables the LT4 engine to remain at optimal rpm levels during acceleration, particularly when exiting corners, for quicker laps and lightning-quick responses on both up- and down-shifts.

This is the first Chevrolet application of the new quick-shift 10-speed, with unique calibrations and hardware developed exclusively for the ZL1. By the end 2018, GM will introduce the new 10-speed automatic in eight vehicle models.

Finally – and unlike some competitors – there’s no need to purchase an optional package to make the ZL1 track ready. Track capability comes standard, with features including an impressive 11 heat exchangers for optimal powertrain cooling.

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You might also be interested in:

First Look: 2017 1LE Camaro ‘Track Pack’



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