/2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Aerodynamics Explained

2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Aerodynamics Explained

Camaro Z28 1 600x319 at 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Aerodynamics Explained

The new 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, as you may remember, recorded an incredibly fast Nurburgring lap time recently. In fact it was faster than the Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640. On this occasion, Chevy decided it’s a good time to elaborate a little what makes the Z/28 such a good performer.

The highlight of the Z/28’s package is of course its 505 horsepower V8 engine, mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. It gives the car a good enough turn of speed to devour the straight bits, while the light weight of the car, its track-tuned suspension and tires, and Brembo carbon ceramic brakes make it go round corners with the dignity of a proper sports car.

Camaro Z28 2 600x319 at 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Aerodynamics Explained

Above all this stuff, though, there is the aerodynamics. The standard Camaro, God bless it, is a cool looking thing but it has the aerodynamic properties of an elephant. That is why the Camaro Z/28 is fitted with a massive, carefully designed aero kit.

It consists of a front splitter, rear spoiler, hood extractor vents, wheel arch extensions and deflectors, and belly pan. They are all designed to be more functional than pretty; a fact you notice the moment you see that oversized, ungainly splitter up front.

Camaro Z28 3 600x320 at 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Aerodynamics Explained

Here’s a brief description of what every part does and how it contributes to the overall aerodynamic efficiency of the Camaro Z/28:

1. Front splitter
The Z/28’s front splitter is a large aero panel that provides downforce at the front of the car, enhancing cornering capability and high-speed stability. It is designed to withstand 250 pounds of downforce at its tip and is matched with an aero closeout panel under the front of the engine compartment that also enhances aero characteristics – along with molded-in aero features forward of the front wheels.

2. Rear spoiler with ‘wickerbill’
At the outset of development, the aerodynamic coefficient of drag goal was achieved with original Camaro SS content and an accessory rear spoiler, but to meet the downforce requirements for Z/28, the rear spoiler was modified with a “wickerbill” – a small, vertical tab at the edge of the spoiler. Although an aesthetically minor change, it adds approximately 28 counts of drag, improving rear lift performance by 70 counts. That allows the Z/28 to handle turns at higher speeds and delivers greater overall high-speed stability.

3. Hood extractor vent
A functional carbon fiber hood extractor provides increased engine cooling by allowing hot air an exit route, but also plays an important in the car’s aero performance. It provides a path for air channeled through the grille to exit out the hood and over the car. Without the vent, the air would be pushed out the bottom of the engine compartment, which could generate lift. The design is similar to the extractor featured on the Camaro ZL1.

4. Rockers, wheel house extensions and front tire deflectors
Specific rocker moldings provide aggressive styling and improved aerodynamic performance, while unique wheel house extensions cover the Z/28’s wide tires to push air past the tires. Deflectors at the bottom-front corners of the front wheel flares also contribute to the car’s downforce-producing aerodynamics, taking the place of a conventional air dam.

5. Belly pan
The Z/28 underbody incorporates a belly pan that helps reduce front lift. It was developed using computational fluid dynamics and wind-tunnel testing. Along with the aero benefit, it also contributes to drivetrain cooling, with modified NACA duct profiles designed to draw air into the underbody tunnel area, where the highly energized air provides extra cooling for underbody components affected by the exhaust thermal energy of the LS7 engine. Unique wheelhouse liners with closeouts work with the vehicle underbody for optimal airflow, too.


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