Almost immediately after everybody had a chance to ooh and ahh over the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE L1LEZ1LEZL1LE, news broke out that the Camaro team still had an ace up its sleeve. An alleged sixth-generation Z/28. This both spoiled the announcement of the ZL1 1LE – which is a truly insane vehicle in its own right – and compelled the internet with the notion of yet another Ultimate Camaro. With it all, however, came a couple of rumors that we need to address. Most of which involves simple common sense, paired with the observation of recent history.
Rumor: The Sixth-Gen Camaro Z/28 will have a DOHC V8 engine.
True. We do not doubt Car & Driver. But what was reported should surprise nobody. It’s no secret that GM has been working on a (very high budget) DOHC V8 engine program for the Cadillac CT6 for a while. While the Cadillac is expected to be the first recipient of the engine, it’s easy for anybody who has followed GM’s rollout strategies to see that high-end Chevrolet vehicles will eventually enjoy a lot of trickle-down. We don’t expect to officially see a DOHC V8 from GM in any capacity for at least a year, however. Yet we don’t know if it will first be the LT5 – which is GM trademarked – or something else.
Rumor: The Sixth-Gen Camaro Z/28 will produce 700+ horsepower.
False. Unless the alleged Z/28 uses forced induction, a 700+ horsepower figure is highly unlikely from what we could see. And the Z/28 won’t use forced induction. Mainly because if that was indeed the plan, the 2018 ZL1 1LE *would* have been called the Z/28. Just as the sacred Z/28 nameplate avoided the fifth generation ZL1 (at the eleventh-hour, no less) because it “didn’t capture the spirit of the Z/28,” it has to be the same case here. The Z/28, based on previous remarks on the fifth generation model, requires more finesse. That means: no forced induction, or typical things like a surround sound stereo system, or standard AC. Just the same, we’d be surprised to see a new Z/28 out-do the ZL1 on raw muscle. We predict that a new Z/28 would be down on power from a ZL1, but still quicker around a technical road course.
Rumor: It’s too soon for a refreshed Camaro.
False. The sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro has been out since 2015, and recent spy photos show a highly camouflaged vehicle that closely resembles a sixth-generation Camaro. But it’s not a big front splitter hiding underneath all of that masking. What happened here is that spy photographers got an early look at what’s most likely an impending sixth-gen Camaro refresh, due out in 1.5 to 2 years. Additionally, what was photographed likely wasn’t a Z/28 at all, judging by the wheels and lack of rear aero work. That said, keep in mind that the fifth-generation Camaro Z/28 made its debut with a mid-cycle refresh, as well.
Rumor: The Z/28 has been seen testing on the Nurburgring.
False. Previous videos and spy shots were of the announced Camaro ZL1 1LE. Moving on.
What We Predict:
The fastest production Camaro around a track, ever.
A new Camaro Z/28 can only mean one thing: new lap records. The sixth-generation, 650 hp 2017 Camaro ZL1 came in at a time of 7:29 around the 11.9-mile Nurburgring Nordschleife. 8 seconds faster than the 500 hp fifth-generation 2014 Camaro Z/28 (which was a wet lap, and the Z was said to go as fast as 7:31, unofficially). These speeds are supercar fast, and there’s no doubt that the 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE is even faster around the ‘ring than the model its based on. Still, for a Camaro to be a called a Z/28 – it has to unquestionably be king of the road course.
Light weighting all of the things.
As was the case with the fifth-generation Camaro Z/28, a sixth-generation Camaro Z/28 would have every subcomponent scrutinized on whether or not it needs to exist in its current form. Thinner glass here, reducing some NVH foam there… it would all have to add up towards substantial weight loss. Or as an effort to offset the added weight of the DOHC V8, which would likely be heavier than a pushrod Small Block V8 by design. Moreover, it’s safe to predict a liberal use of carbon fiber. Including the wheels, seeing as GM has been validating carbon fiber wheels. Additionally, we don’t think it would be farfetched to find a carbon fiber hood, rear decklid, or aerodynamic accessories.
We can’t see them back-tracking on tires…
The (heavily cambered) 305-square Pirelli Trofeo R tires that festooned the fifth-generation Camaro Z/28 could come back. Perhaps in an even larger size than before. The 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE utilizes 325-wide Goodyears in the rear. Seems plausible to put tires that size on all four corners of a Z/28. And then camber them.
… or suspension…
Magical Multimatic DSSV dampers. Already announced for the 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE, we can’t think of what could be better than these prepped shock absorbers. What we could see on a new Camaro Z/28 would be improvements on other components over the ZL1 1LE. Really big sway bars, control arms and cross-bracing, perhaps.
… or aero…
Improving on the downforce numbers of the fifth-generation Camaro Z/28 would be no problem. Improving on what the Camaro ZL1 1LE has, is another matter entirely. How many production cars come with canards? Hard to top that. Still, a sixth-generation Camaro Z/28 could likely have the largest front splitter ever seen on a Chevrolet, and likely a wing to match.
… or brakes…
Brembo carbon ceramic brakes graced the old Z/28. Ergo.
… or interior minimalism…
Where could a sixth-generation Camaro Z/28 take away where the fifth-generation didn’t? Storage lid removal? Dashboard thickness? Seat removal? Perhaps all of those things. Because race car.