Everyone knew this was coming, but perhaps no one expected it to be this good. The wraps have officially been taken off the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and both the car and its technical specifications are nothing short of stunning. The fantastic dynamics of the sixth-generation Camaro just got a mega steroid shot in the ass…to the tune of 640 horsepower.
On the surface, the formula behind this ZL1 isn’t remarkably different from the previous version of the car. The difference this time isn’t in the formula, but the base car. The sixth-generation Camaro is a fantastic car in terms of performance and handling dynamics thanks to its lighter (higher-end) chassis and significant boost in refinement. The heft of the fifth-gen car is, thankfully, gone for good as this ZL1 is 200 pounds lighter than the old one.
So just like the last ZL1, the new one is sporting a supercharged version of the Camaro SS 6.2-liter V-6. For the Small Block nerds, it’s the new LT4 borrowed from the Corvette Z06 and Cadillac CTS-V. In the ZL1 this beast of a motor is hammering out 640 hp and an equal amount of torque, which should push the awesomeness meter into the “stupid-fast” territory with this car.
The lung-sucking power will flow through the buyer’s choice of a six-speed manual gearbox with active rev-matching or an all-new 10-speed automatic. GM claims the 10-speed has a 7.39 ratio, which means the gears are very close and will keep the LT4 in its sweet spot during acceleration. There’s likely no doubt that the 10-speed will outrun the manual in just about any speed metric and road course.
Once the technical changes are digested one can take in the design changes on the ZL1. A unique front fascia is the highlight with a new hood design that features a carbon fiber hood to cut some weight. Nearly every aspect of the interior was designed to be functional, with the ZL1 spending over 100 hours in wind-tunnel testing. Considering the weight and power, there’s no question this car needed some down-force added to it.
Massive Brembo brakes housed in unique 20-inch forged aluminum wheels round out the ZL1’s exterior. The new wheels are wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires, in which both the rubber compound and construction were developed exclusively for the Camaro.
Basically the best Camaro ever–the sixth-gen–just got insanely better. Chevrolet is, rightfully, quick to point out that every Camaro ZL1 will be “track ready” when the car launches in late 2016.