Sixth-Generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28: What We Predict, And What Not To Expect11
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.
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The gen 6 z28 should push the limit on every measurable in terms of getting around a road course
Horsepower and time wars will never stop…..but price tags will keep going up too…
The price tag is the one thing that I hope keeps going up, these cars with this level of performance should be expensive. For all the people who think that GM needs to build a affordable performance car, those people are out of their mind. Performance cars and trucks are supposed to be something a 20 year old kid can’t afford.
Then the 20 year old kid buys a different brand who he gets loyal to and GM will never get him back as a customer.
I would agree. I think a 20 yr old should be able to afford at least the 6 cylinder version. I also think GM and Ford are missing a huge market by not offering up a detuned V8 that is not GT or SS. You could have the 6 cylinder in the low $20 range, and then a base V8 starting in the mid to high 20’s, and the GT or SS could start in the mid 30’s.
All of these high-performance track focused cars obviously excite fans. They also garner badly needed free advertising for Chevy. However, GM needs to fundamentally do something to fix the Camaro’s sales sag. Z/28s, 1LEs, and ZL1s represent minuscule sales numbers.
I see they’re finally throwing incentives at it. Their web site boasts up to $2,500 cash incentives. I also notice their new Red Line offering to spiff up what I personally view as a somewhat boring car. Their anniversary edition tried but, IMHO, failed. It was a poor mix of colors that looks cool in stage photos but not so much on the lot.
Somewhat boring? Have you driven one? They are anything else but boring
If you read my comments you will realize they were addressing APPEARANCE. Red Line edition. Anniversary Edition. Get it?
Still haven’t seen the same enthusiasm that the 5th gen brought. It seems like the 6th gen is kinda in a lull. The Mustang continues to look good in each rendition. Even the small improvements to the challenger have kept sales going. Seems like the 6th gen camaro missed its mark looks wise.
By making the 6th gen smaller than the 5th, there was a big weight savings and corresponding performance gains. Now if they make the new Z even lighter, this thing will really fly. I say, no back seat whatsoever, just a cross bar like the Boss 302 had. Who needs back seats?
I loved the 5th gen Z28, can’t wait for a new one.
Make the Camaro as light and fast in every version as possible!