GM chose the New York Auto Show to introduce the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible

About a week ago, GM has announced it would reveal the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at the New York Auto Show. So it was no surprise to have the super Camaro at the New York stage. But what really made fans enthusiasm go through the roof was the view of the ZL1 Convertible. A car with no roof to contain open air experiences and the chance to hear the new LT4 engine sound loud and clear.


There are no surprises on the technical specifications for the ones that have already read our article on the hardtop ZL1. Instead of 339 kW at 6,000 rpm and 617 Nm at 4,400 rpm, the new LT4 uses a supercharger to reach 477 kW (GM does not inform at which rpm) and 868 Nm. The distinctive characteristics of the ZL1 Convertible, such as weight, have not been revealed. And will not be in a while, since the car will only be sold at the beginning of 2017. Anyway, we can have a vague idea of them.

The Alpha platform ensures the car is 91 kg lighter than the previous ZL1. The new one also uses a 6-speed manual gearbox and, for the ones that prefer an automatic over a manual (in a ZL1? Seriously?), GM will offer its first 10-speed transmission in a car. The carmaker states it has a 7.39 overall ratio, what allow for small steps between gears, keeping the LT4 always at optimal rpm levels. A CVT strong enough to hold so much torque would do the same, if they ever create one. A car like the ZL1 deserves better: it deserves a stick shift.


The Camaro ZL1 is 4.78 m long, 1.90 m wide, 1.35 m tall, has a wheelbase of 2.81 m and touches the ground with 20-inch forged aluminum wheels and 285/30 ZR20 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires at the front axle and 305/30 ZR20 rubbers at the rear axle. The tires were exclusively developed for the new version of the pony car. It stops with the help of Brembo brakes: 390 mm two-piece front rotors bitten by six-piston monobloc calipers. GM does not inform anything about the rear brakes.

Known as one of the most competent Camaro versions ever built, especially in corners, the new ZL1 could not afford to be worst or similar to the SS in what relates to driving dynamics. It also uses the Magnetic Ride suspension and an electronic limited-slip differential, but especially adjusted to the new power. The ZL1 has a Driver Mode Selector, Custom Launch Control (probably only offered in the automatic version), Performance Traction Management and a dual-mode exhaust.

Outside, it presents a lower grille opening than the SS, for greater airflow, a new hood, with a carbon fiber insert and a heat extractor, a larger front splitter, new rockers and rear spoiler and wider front fenders, all of them developed over more than 100 hours on wind-tunnel testing. The aim was better cooling and aerodynamics for the track. Inside, it features Recaro front seats, a sueded flat-bottom steering wheel and the Chevrolet Performance Data Recorder as an option.


Gustavo Henrique Ruffo

I have been an automotive journalist since 1998 and have worked for many important Brazilian newspapers and magazines, such as the local edition of Car and Driver and Quatro Rodas, Brazilian's biggest car magazine. I have also worked for foreign websites, such as World Car Fans and won a few journalism prizes, among them three SAE Journalism Awards and the 2017 IAM RoadSmart Safety Award. I am the author of "The Traffic Cholesterol", a book about bad drivers that you can buy at Hotmart, Google Play, Amazon and Kobo.