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  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Chevrolet Turns the Wick Up On the 2017 Camaro ZL1

    Chevrolet Builds A Camaro To Take On the World


    Let it be said the team charged with the Chevrolet Camaro isn't one to take a rest. Despite launching a new generation of the model last year, they have been hard at work on new and updated variants. Case in point is the 2017 Camaro ZL1.

     

    Like the last-generation model, the 2017 ZL1 packs a Supercharged 6.2L V8. But engineers have boosted power from 580 horsepower and 556 pound-feet of torque to 640 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque. A six-speed manual transmission with rev-matching comes standard and a new ten-speed automatic - developed with Ford - that offers close gear ratios and fast shifts. The powertrain also boasts eleven heat exchangers, an auxiliary transmission oil cooler, and a set of functional heat extractors.

     

    Aside from the engine, the chassis has been given a once over. There is an updated Magnetic Ride Control system, Performance Traction Management, electronic limited-slip differential, six-piston Brembo brakes, and a set of Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires with a set of 20-inch forged alloy wheels.

     

    Outside, the Camaro ZL1 makes its presence known with larger front splitter, new grille, a reshaped hood with a carbon fiber insert, wider front and rear fenders; and a large wing. The new body parts aren't just for looks as all of these parts have been tested extensively to improve aerodynamics.

     

    Source: Chevrolet

     

     

    Press Release is on Page 2


     

    Camaro ZL1 vs. Everybody

    • Unprecedented levels of refinement, track capability and drag-strip performance


    DETROIT – The 2017 Camaro ZL1 is poised to challenge the most advanced sports coupes in the world in any measure – with unprecedented levels of technology, refinement, track capability and straight-line acceleration.

     


    “The Camaro ZL1 is designed to excel at everything,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development. “It’s a 2+2 coupe offering incredible performance – acceleration, handling and braking – with the highest levels of technology and perfect chassis damping, making it suitable for everyday driving. It will compare well to any sports coupe, at any price and in any setting.”

     

    Acceleration for the ZL1 is delivered with a new supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine estimated at 640 hp (477 kW), and either a six-speed manual transmission with active rev matching or an all-new 10-speed automatic. Handling capability starts with the lightweight, stiffer structure of the all-new sixth-Gen Camaro, married with Magnetic Ride suspension and an electronic limited-slip differential. Standard technologies include Driver Mode Selector, dual-mode exhaust and advanced connectivity features.

     

    The Camaro ZL1 goes on sale late this year.

     

    Designed for Performance
    Functionality defines the Camaro ZL1’s form, with the exterior shaped during more than 100 hours of wind-tunnel testing and on-track validation to improve aerodynamics and cooling for track use. Accordingly, its exterior elements all play a part in managing airflow over, under and through the ZL1.

     

    “The design supports the Camaro ZL1’s exceptional performance and does so with compelling style,” said John Mack, Camaro exterior design manager. “From every angle, the elements coalesce to give the car a purposeful, super aggressive attitude.”

     

    The lower grille opening, for example, offers greater airflow compared to the Camaro SS, and the upper grille incorporates a new version of the “flow-tie” open bowtie insignia. There’s also a new hood, with a carbon fiber insert and heat extractor that pulls hot air from the engine compartment. Additional changes include a larger front splitter, unique rockers, a wing-style rear spoiler and wider front fenders – all tuned to improve aerodynamics for greater high-speed stability.

     

    Inside, there are standard Recaro front seats, along with a sueded flat-bottom steering wheel and shift knob. Chevrolet’s Performance Data Recorder is available.

     

    Fast with finesse
    A cohesive suite of performance technologies tailors ZL1’s performance for street and track. Features include an updated Magnetic Ride suspension, Performance Traction Management, electronic limited-slip differential, Custom Launch Control and Driver Mode Selector. It also has a stronger power-to-weight ratio than its predecessor, weighing 200 pounds less, while offering approximately 60 more horsepower and 80 more pound-feet of torque.

     

    The result is a one-of-a-kind driving experience.

     

    “Driving the Camaro ZL1 is best described as ‘fast with finesse,’” said Reuss. “It is beautifully balanced, with perfect damping and isolation for optimal performance and driver confidence in virtually any situation – from the Pacific Coast Highway to Willow Springs to Pomona.”

     

    Additional chassis features include:

    • Unique 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with 285/30ZR20 front and 305/30ZR20 rear tires
    • Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires with a compound and construction developed exclusively for the Camaro to offer exceptional grip on the track
    • Brembo brakes with six-piston monobloc front calipers – featuring the ZL1 logo – and massive, 15.35-inch (390 mm) two-piece front rotors.


    Supercharged performance and new 10-speed automatic
    Underhood, the ZL1 features a supercharged LT4 6.2L V-8 Small Block engine, with intake and exhaust systems tailored for Camaro. It is rated at an estimated 640 horsepower (477 kW) and 640 lb-ft of torque (868 Nm).

     


    The LT4 is backed by a standard six-speed manual transmission or all-new, available paddle-shift 10-speed automatic. The 10-speed automatic has 7.39 overall ratio for smaller steps between gears. It enables the LT4 engine to remain at optimal rpm levels during acceleration, particularly when exiting corners, for quicker laps and lightning-quick responses on both up- and down-shifts.

     

    This is the first Chevrolet application of the new quick-shift 10-speed, with unique calibrations and hardware developed exclusively for the ZL1. By the end of 2018, GM will introduce the new 10-speed automatic in eight vehicle models.

     

    Finally – and unlike some competitors – there’s no need to purchase an optional package to make the ZL1 track ready. Track capability comes standard, with features including an impressive 11 heat exchangers for optimal powertrain cooling.


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    Could of swore that someone here, not so long ago, said that Ford would get their 10 speed tranny first and then GM (while GM would do the 9 spd first). Hmmmm...wonder what happened there.

     

    I'm pretty sure that was Drew actually. I don't think he would have just been making things up w/o some knowledge. (check the other ZL1 thread for his words).

     

    You are correct, there is no GT500 right now. Nor is there a Z28 but I don't think we should really compare two different style cars. If anything I think we can all agree the 1LE is way more GT350/R competitor than a ZL1 is. 

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    Could of swore that someone here, not so long ago, said that Ford would get their 10 speed tranny first and then GM (while GM would do the 9 spd first). Hmmmm...wonder what happened there.

     

    I'm pretty sure that was Drew actually. I don't think he would have just been making things up w/o some knowledge. (check the other ZL1 thread for his words).

     

    You are correct, there is no GT500 right now. Nor is there a Z28 but I don't think we should really compare two different style cars. If anything I think we can all agree the 1LE is way more GT350/R competitor than a ZL1 is. 

     

    It was not Drew. It was made by a Ford fan. I'll do some digging but I am fairly certain of this.

    Edited by surreal1272

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    Given the similarities in weight and MT's estimated 60 grand price (to say nothing of Chevy's press release comparing the two), I'd say the ZL1 is the GT350 and 350R's problem, whether Ford wants to admit it or not.

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    Wonder how that 10 speed auto would work with a 500 HP electric motor.  :scratchchin:

     

    Zero Emissions, lighting fast and 100% Torque from zero would be kick ass!

     

    :metal:

    Tesla uses a 1-speed transmission.  With electric motors you don't need gears.

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    Wonder how that 10 speed auto would work with a 500 HP electric motor.  :scratchchin:

     

    Zero Emissions, lighting fast and 100% Torque from zero would be kick ass!

     

    :metal:

    Tesla uses a 1-speed transmission.  With electric motors you don't need gears.

     

    Actually there is reason behind having gears still. In off road applications you can use various ratios for better traction. Also there is research that shows longer life on electric motors comes from having them spin at lower RPM. 

     

    Much like GM small block V8 that are torque monsters over Turbo charged engines, you can achieve much with the right design.

     

    I think that we will see much change in the electric auto's over the next 5 years.

     

    We have the BOLT first, then Nissan is getting ready to anounce their Leaf Version 2.0 with a 300 mile battery pack. Others especially the Koreans are working on their own long distance EV auto's.

     

    We are in Exciting times.

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    The real key to this car is I expect it to be a more complete package than the last ZL1. Keep in mind the old ZL1 was done when GM was going broke and it was put on the shelf as they say at GM till it was resurrected. It originally was the Z/28 and even the fascia has the branding on it to prove inside. 

    When GM brought it back they were in a place they could make this a ZL1 and revisit making the Z/28 like the original a real track tuned car. 

    Now with this car it appears they have taken the best of the old ZL1 and the old Z/28 and molded them into a complete refined package. In other words this is not a track car but I expect it will nearly match the Z/28 in track performance and more than beat anything the Zl1 could do. Both were good cars in the last gen but both were modified old Zeta cars. This car is a Alpha that was developed with their tunes in mind from the start. That makes a big difference. 

    This car is a GT350R competitior. The SS with the 1LE was really just an SS option. We will find it on the other cars at some point. I am excited to think we may see it even on the turbo car. 

     

    As for the GT500 killer we may see it in a Z/28 but I am not sure what that could really mean. They have exceeded my expectations here already. 

     

    The problem for the Mustang is they have on car on their platform and it has to carry the load for all the development and refinement. The Camaro has the Alpha with all the time and money Cadillac has spent added to what Chevy has spent. In other words Chevy has a world class platform to start with and then they can spend their money on the refinement for what they want. 

     

    I would think Ford would consider a new platform with Lincoln in mind and then dumb it down for the Mustang as Chevy has for the Camaro. If they do not do that it will be an expensive road to follow to compete with GM here. Even at Mustang production number that is just not enough to justify the needed spending to compete. They really need more volume with a Lincoln Sedan and coupe. 

     

    The problem for Ford is the Alpha has a big lead and will only expand that lead with more investment. Just look how far the Zeta came over the years and we should see the same here. 

     

    The 3300 pounds of the 4 cylinder should send a signal to all of us where this could go. I can see smaller lighter engines in the future but with tons of power. That could lead to some really crazy performance. 

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    The ZL1 I am sure will smoke a GT350, but the GT350 I bet will be a lot cheaper.  The GT350 is $48k base, Chevy will probably charge $60k for this.   I think these 2 cars mostly sell on Ford vs Chevy loyalties and styling.  I think the Mustang has a better interior and better sight lines, you can actually see out of it.  But the Camaro whips it on power and the 10-speed auto is a big step up from the 6 in the Mustang.

     

    I know there are fans of these cars, and collectors of these cars that will pay $60-70k for a top end Mustang or Camaro, but at the end of the day it is still a Camaro or Mustang to me.  You could get a Corvette or Porsche Boxster for that kind of money, maybe a used 911 that will hold value, etc.  $70k can get you a lot of car, I just wouldn't put that kind of money into either the Mustang to Camaro.

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    The ZL1 I am sure will smoke a GT350, but the GT350 I bet will be a lot cheaper.  The GT350 is $48k base, Chevy will probably charge $60k for this.   I think these 2 cars mostly sell on Ford vs Chevy loyalties and styling.  I think the Mustang has a better interior and better sight lines, you can actually see out of it.  But the Camaro whips it on power and the 10-speed auto is a big step up from the 6 in the Mustang.

     

    I know there are fans of these cars, and collectors of these cars that will pay $60-70k for a top end Mustang or Camaro, but at the end of the day it is still a Camaro or Mustang to me.  You could get a Corvette or Porsche Boxster for that kind of money, maybe a used 911 that will hold value, etc.  $70k can get you a lot of car, I just wouldn't put that kind of money into either the Mustang to Camaro.

    Good lord man. The ZL1 is the competition for the more expensive GT350R, which is just north of $60K. The 1LE is the GT350's chief competitor. 

     

    Oh and the GT350R and the ZL1 will smoke that Boxter and most 911s (and most Vettes for that matter), so maybe you need to rethink that bang for the buck policy of yours.

    Edited by surreal1272
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    Also, it should be noted (as GM already has) that the GT350 has the Track Pack as an option, as well as a Tech Pack. So realistically there is no 48-grand Shelby. In fact, the price of the GT350 Car and Driver tested was about 57 grand, and I believe it was still missing the Tech Pack at that price.

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    This may make the Hell Cat irrelevant. 
     

    While it post a big HP number it has little else. The less weight and the added features and refinement may make this car as fast in the 1/4 and we already know it will destroy it on any road track. This is how you do performance right. 

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    The power to weight numbers seem promising, as does the wider rubber out back and the extra gear ratios with the automatic. In a straight line it'll be pretty close. The moment you encounter a bend though, it's all over. The Hellcat still has its charms with practicality, and it's interior remains a nice place to be. But if MT's price estimate of 60 grand is correct then the Camaro is the bigger bargain of the two as well.

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    Could of swore that someone here, not so long ago, said that Ford would get their 10 speed tranny first and then GM (while GM would do the 9 spd first). Hmmmm...wonder what happened there.

     

    I'm pretty sure that was Drew actually. I don't think he would have just been making things up w/o some knowledge. (check the other ZL1 thread for his words).

     

    You are correct, there is no GT500 right now. Nor is there a Z28 but I don't think we should really compare two different style cars. If anything I think we can all agree the 1LE is way more GT350/R competitor than a ZL1 is. 

     

     

    It wasn't me. It was a member of C&G who has since quit the site who stated that GM would have to wait a bit till it got access to the 10-Speed.  I didn't challenge it because such agreements have been made in the past and I had no reason to think otherwise.

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    Could of swore that someone here, not so long ago, said that Ford would get their 10 speed tranny first and then GM (while GM would do the 9 spd first). Hmmmm...wonder what happened there.

     

    I'm pretty sure that was Drew actually. I don't think he would have just been making things up w/o some knowledge. (check the other ZL1 thread for his words).

     

    You are correct, there is no GT500 right now. Nor is there a Z28 but I don't think we should really compare two different style cars. If anything I think we can all agree the 1LE is way more GT350/R competitor than a ZL1 is. 

     

     

    It wasn't me. It was a member of C&G who has since quit the site who stated that GM would have to wait a bit till it got access to the 10-Speed.  I didn't challenge it because such agreements have been made in the past and I had no reason to think otherwise.

     

    Ohhhhh so you were just being a smartass.. lol touche'. 

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    Ford's Raptor truck will be using the 10 speed also.

    True but several Ford fans here claimed that Ford would get the 10 speed years before GM, which turned out to be the opposite of true. Their silence on this has been deafening. 

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    No matter who has it first, as long at both American owned companies come out with superior transmission and can grow their market share world wide to be solid profit centers of investment it is good for all of America then.

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