We may sound like broken records over here, but the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro was pretty dominating. It dominated sales, it dominated in variety of product offerings, it dominated in accessory offerings, and it dominated on the track. For many, it completely eclipsed the legacy left behind by the F-body, and shaped itself into a world-class performance car family in doing so. We may be waxing poetic right now, but anybody who has driven the fifth-generation SCCA-certified Camaro SS 1LE, 580 hp Camaro ZL1 or race-ready Camaro Z/28 knows how capable these cars are — despite being heavy in weight, big in size and somewhat crude on the inside.
The bar is indeed set high for the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro. And it would be foolish to think that the engineers behind the car will set out to disappoint us. We’ve already driven the 2016 Camaro V6, and it was impressive to feel how much more dialed-in the car is compared to its respective predecessor. It’s smaller, lighter, faster and tighter, while being packed with more creature comforts and technology for day-to-day usability. All of that said, we’re itching to drive the LT1-powered 2016 Camaro SS, as well looking forward to seeing which Camaro variant is up next to be revealed.
Here at GM Authority, we believe it could be the sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. And based on recent spy photos, it looks to be training for one epic barnburner against the Dodge Challenger Hellcat. Pictured above is what we think it could look like.
The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 should have the supercharged LT4 V8 engine, as seen in the 2016 Cadillac CTS-V and C7 Corvette Z06. This should give the high-performance Chevy an output of 640-650 horsepower, which is a huge jump from the old ZL1. Still short of the Hellcat, yes, but we also expect the gen-six Camaro ZL1 to be lighter and to handle better than everybody’s favorite Motor City kitty. And as observed with the fifth-generation model, the 2017 Camaro ZL1 could be the have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too member of the sixth-gen family, with grand touring creature comforts abound. We could also see some cross-pollination between the ZL1 and the new CTS-V, such as the 8L90 eight-speed transmission and a huge Brembo brake kit. But we may also see a six- or seven-speed manual, as well.
Lastly, we anticipate that the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 could offer an optional aerodynamics downforce kit, again, based on spy photos. GM is already offering carbon fiber aero packages for Corvette Z06, Cadillac ATS-V and Cadillac CTS-V, so the educated guess is that the same strategy will be implemented with the Camaro. That said, the rendering represents what we think the new ZL1 will look like without the aerodynamics kit. For those that wonder what a carbon fiber aero-equipped Camaro will look like, have a look-see at our rendering of the sixth-generation Camaro Z/28.