When Chevrolet introduced the Z/28 at the 2013 New York International Auto Show, no one knew it was coming. Sure, we kinda knew Chevrolet was going to revive the Z/28 name at some point, but no one had expected Chevrolet to introduce a special Camaro of any stripe at the show. When the dust settled, all that was left was waiting. And more waiting.
And now, almost a year later, the waiting is over—check out Motor Trend‘s Z/28 track test with racer Randy Pobst.
Out on location at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama, the crew braved freezing temperatures to get their first taste of the Z. With purposeful tires that are almost more racing slick than street tire, they needed to be warmed up for the Z/28 to come alive. The easiest way to do that? Braking! Once headed and softened, “the tires are amazing,” allowing the Z/28 to pull 1.06 g lateral acceleration.
Pobst had some issues with the stability control. The Z/28’s five-mode system often felt aggressive and intrusive—it gives comfort and assurance, but that’s a double-edged sword for a car on the track with the visceral edge of the Z/28. However, Pobst praised the Z/28’s quick responses in cornering and braking. And those “really powerful brakes?” Consistent sub–100-feet braking is impressive for such a husky animal.
Pobst had no criticism for the 7.0L 427 small-block, which has a broad power band such that “you rev it up and it gets better and better.” But we already knew this considering this motor has already appeared in the Corvette, albeit in C6 form.
Now that Chevrolet has released its holy trinity of performance Camaros—SS, ZL1, and Z/28—the fabled ponycar has its bases covered. While the Z/28 could be thought of as the return volley to the late Mustang Boss 302, the Z is far more capable, being quicker and a better handler while also sporting better braking too, although Pobst felt the Boss put its power down to the ground better. However, let’s not kid ourselves—the Z/28 is a notch above the Boss Mustang every which way, a super-Camaro that will beat a Nissan GT-R around the track.