What you have been dreaming about the past two years or so as the Camaro Z28 turns out to be the Camaro ZL1. But it is still the highest-performing Camaro Camaro ever built powered by a 550 hp 6.2 liter Supercharged V8 engine.
An engine that powerful obviously makes this Camaro the fastest they made. It is also technologically advanced and highly developed chassis and suspension systems – such as electric power steering and Magnetic Ride Control – that help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking power to complement its high engine output. So is it possible that the Camaro has turned into a proper sportscar? Or is it still an axe murderer that’s been refined a bit?!
Like most Camaro badges, there is a story behind this one as well. The ZL1 name is derived from the all-aluminum racing engine of the same name, which was developed in the late 1960s and installed into a handful of regular-production 1969 Camaros. Only 69 were built with the engine, but they’ve achieved mythical status among enthusiasts, as they represented the pinnacle in Camaro performance – until now. The 2012 ZL1 model is designed to be a major leap forward for the Camaro, bringing a new level of performance capability to the segment.
The LSA 6.2L supercharged engine used for the Camaro ZL1 has an estimated output of 550 horsepower (410kW) and 550 lb.-ft. of torque (677 Nm). Some of the highlights of this small-block V8 include Balanced, lightweight reciprocating assembly, High-strength hypereutectic pistons, Sixth-generation Eaton supercharger with four-lobe rotors, and Piston oil squirters. Thanks to the electric power steering system, the engine does not have a hydraulic pump wasting big chunks of its output.
This performance-oriented Camaro gets a MG9 high-performance Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual with a dual-mass flywheel and twin-disc clutch for easy operation and shift smoothness, sending power to the rear axle to a heavy-duty limited-slip differential. What’s more it has a dual-mode exhaust system, which alters the sound level and character in response to engine rpm.
As mentioned the car has Magnetic Ride system which include driver selectable modes (Tour and Sport) tailored for the preferred style of driving. It uses advanced magneto-rheological science to produce shock damping with the highest level of precision, enabling body control optimized for excellent performance in everyday driving as well as track situations.
The brakes are form Brembo, The large 14.6-inch (370 mm) two-piece front rotors have six-piston calipers; the 14.4-inch (365 mm) rear rotors have four-piston calipers.
The exterior of the ZL1 features a redesigned fascia and aluminum hood with a raised, carbon fiber insert as its main highlight plus iconic a front splitter and new vertical fog lamps. The rear of the car includes a diffuser and spoiler, also functional elements that enhance the car’s aerodynamics.
As for the wheels it gets new-design 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, which are lighter than the 20-inch wheels used on the Camaro SS, are used with new Goodyear Supercar F2 ties developed specifically for the ZL1.
The interior of the ZL1 is also different than regular Camaro. The front seats feature microfiber suede inserts. Other enhancements include a redesigned steering wheel, alloy pedals, Head-Up Display with unique performance readouts and the “four-pack” auxiliary gauge system featuring a boost readout.
The unique exterior features are complemented with a black center section on the hood. Inside, the Camaro ZL1 has heated leather seats with microfiber inserts and ZL1 logos embroidered on the front headrests. Microfiber suede is repeated as an accent on the instrument panel, adding a richer look to the interior. The ZL1 will include the same content as the current 2SS package and include the following new or unique features:
* Six-way power driver and passenger seats
* Unique instrument panel and door panel inserts; and ZL1-logo sill plates
* Steering wheel audio controls with Bluetooth capability
* Wireless PDIM and USB-port
* Boston Acoustics premium audio system
* Rear parking assist
* Rear camera system (displayed in the inside rearview mirror).
The Camaro ZL1 is still being tested in Europe and America and will be launched later in the year as a 2012 model. As the most powerful version of the Camaro the ZL1, expectations are quite high from this car. We should wait for the pricing to see if its worth it or not!