GM has finally revealed the Camaro ZL1. Built over the celebrated Alpha platform, the hottest version of the pony car counts on a 6.2 V8 that resembles the LT1 used by the SS, but is more powerful. 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. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, the ZL1 is back. And in great style.
GM says the new car will be put for sale later this year, but it is sure to be the main attraction of the company at the New York Auto Show.
The stronger engine is just the beginning of an incredible recipe of fast driving. 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. We think it is just a heresy. Save the manuals!
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.