Back in 2011, Chevrolet enthusiasts at large were left in awe at a 580 horsepower 2012 Camaro ZL1, and its Nürburgring Nordschleife lap time of 7:41.27. Its performance numbers were truly world class, and yet unassumingly so, because of a relatively humble Chevrolet badge at the front of its grille. Hopefully this time around, the world is paying attention.
The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 comes out swinging hard with more power, less weight, and the latest technology. On tap is the 6.2L supercharged LT4 V8 engine with 640 horsepower and 640 lb-ft of torque. o-60 acceleration, quarter mile and top speed times all still remain a mystery at the time of this writing. Performance numbers we can’t wait to solve.
Weighing a full 200 lbs less than the fifth-generation ZL1, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has found multiple places to trim the fat, which should help balance its added power with added finesse. We’re assuming that the 2017 Camaro ZL1 weighs somewhere around 3,920 lbs, as the last-generation Camaro ZL1 was at least a hefty 4,120 lbs.
Keeping the 2017 Camaro Zl1 under control are stonkin’ six-piston monobloc front calipers, with the ZL1 logo, pinching on 15.35-inch (390 mm) two-piece cast iron front rotors. Unique 20-inch forged aluminum wheels are wrapped in staggered Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires, with a compound and construction said to be developed exclusively for the Camaro ZL1. They are 285/30ZR20 front and 305/30ZR20 in the rear. Thick.
If you’ve been paying attention, you may have been expecting the LT4, the big tires and the reduced weight. Though you may not have been prepared to read about a six-speed manual transmission, and a 10-speed (yes, TEN!) automatic transmission. With 7.39 overall gear ratio. Which means much of the gears are all about delivering power through the electronic limited slip differential and to the rear wheels as fast as possible, while performing blistering fast shifts. Fuel economy can take a back seat here (though an EPA rating is still pending).
The latest in technology found in the 2017 Camaro ZL1 includes an updated magnetic ride suspension, Performance Traction Management, custom launch control and drive mode selector. The Performance Data Recorder is available, while Apple CarPlay is standard.
Meanwhile, the design of the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 screams performance. A widened stance, a slick hood extractor that reminds us of the bygone Corvette L88, a wide open grille, and enough duct work to make an AC unit jealous. 11 heat exchangers in total. And did we mention the flowtie? Flowtie! Not to be outdone, the interior features a flat-bottom steering wheel, Recaro seats with red piping and stitching, and ZL1 badging. And finally, sexy red seat belts. Delicious.
Expect the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to launch later this year, with pricing to be announced closer to that time frame. Mark your calendars, people. We may have another pound-for-pound champion on the way.