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Next-gen Chevy Camaro ZL1 teases big changes under its camo

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Next-gen Chevy Camaro ZL1 teases big changes under its camo


 

August 3, 2015

 

With work complete on the lighter, stiffer 2016 Camaro, it's time for Chevrolet's engineers to really start having fun by developing the next, ZL1 version. Here it is for the first time. Unfortunately, the muscle car is still wearing quite a bit of camouflage, but the concealment isn't enough to hide some of the meaner model's more obvious performance tweaks.

 

Starting from the front, this Camaro now wears a much more aggressive front fascia with bigger air inlets. Managing the airflow around the engine bay is clearly a big deal because another photo reveals a fairly large extractor in the hood, as well. Moving down the profile, the lower side sills and orientation of the camo suggest some blistered fenders in the back to cover wider rubber, and at the very rear a much larger wing further suggests the need to keep things planted to the road. Check out the comparison images in the gallery for a better look at the tweaks.

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I always loved the ZL1. I feel like I never really heard much about it or saw them on the streets like I saw GT500s. I love how it was the big power, magneto shocks(whatever GM's patented name is) Camaro. It is pretty much the "gran tourer" of the segment. 580hp in the pervious gen. Lighter more power this time around(most likely). It'll be a beast, that's for sure. But I hope they don't try and do a hybrid of ZL1 and Z/28. I'd like to see the big power and comfy ride remain without it going too hardcore in the ride department.

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The old ZL1 was the poor (well, less-wealthy) man's M6. It was a giant-slayer, and only with the advent of the Hellcat did it lose some lustre.

This new car, however, is a bit of a puzzler. I think it'll be great, but I'm not sure how GM is going to go about making it that way. Simply put, are they worried about it stealing some of the Corvette's thunder?

One part of me says "no." That part sees the CTS-V packing an LT4 and getting up to 202mph.

The other part of me says "well..." because the Cadillac and Corvette are pretty separated as far as market segments go.

If this thing gets a full-bore LT4, even with a wet sump, it's probably going to have to tread lightly on downforce and braking packages to keep the Corvette guys happy.

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Would be awesome to have it with a decent turbo engine and E-Boost engine to really kick some ass. Though I bet they will ignore other options to making the auto a hoot to drive.

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I got the feeling the base car will have a few it's available for it's boosted four-banger.

Fun thought: 380-ish hp boosted four, six-speed stick, 1LE-spec suspension.

Call it the Z/24. Mess with folks.

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I like it! But a turbo 4 making that much power is asking for EcoBoost numbers whether performance or fuel economy.. 

 

Regardless, I love the idea. Now that is one way to get people into the smaller more economical engine vehicles(it'll still get better mileage than a 6.2).

 

What about even just 350hp..? I mean the car is going to weigh less than the current model so adding ~50hp and dropping 100lbs(low estimate) is a good swing in power to weight ratio. Then all of your 1LE suspension bits. Fun car.

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As long as GM is upfront with the "results may vary" aspect of that kind of engine's FE I'm ok with it. But the hardest part cost-wise would be the sticker. I would imagine that this one would be aimed at younger enthusiasts so somehow you gotta get the price reasonable. A less-gonzo engine would probably help. Maybe just basic electronic settings for the suspension and whatnot (or just forego all that stuff?).

Look at it as a plus-sized BRZ or Genesis killer.

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I got the feeling the base car will have a few it's available for it's boosted four-banger.

Fun thought: 380-ish hp boosted four, six-speed stick, 1LE-spec suspension.

Call it the Z/24. Mess with folks.

I gotta grin from this post.

 

As crazy as  the idea of a 4 cylinder Camaro...boosted or not....being called a Z/24 is....its fantastic. But...a Z/24 Camaro 4 cylinder better be a track friendly and tuned friendly Camaro being able to compete with cars such as the BRZs and Genesis Coupes....

 

And its not a far fetched idea as there is a Turbo 4 cylinder ATS being sold chez Cadillac...

 

Who said that a 4 cylinder Camaro should be a base level Camaro?

I mean...why wouldnt a base 4 cylinder Camaro not be a capable machine just because there is an available 8 cylinder bigger brother around?

 

Im sure Chevy could easily market and  peddle 2 equally performing Camaros...one with 4 cylinders and another with 8 cylinders.

 

Why not?

Edited by oldshurst442

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I'm not sure how upfront you're talking about because every window sticker her the "results may vary"...

 

I dig the idea of a plus sized BRZ or Genesis killer. More Genesis as they are more similar in size.

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I'm not sure how upfront you're talking about because every window sticker her the "results may vary"...

 

I dig the idea of a plus sized BRZ or Genesis killer. More Genesis as they are more similar in size.

I dunno. Maybe put a little Post-it note on the sticker saying "the EPA and General Motors agree about what you should from this car at the pumps like Putin and Obama agree about the Ukraine." That should probably do the trick :P

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Who said that a 4 cylinder Camaro should be a base level Camaro?

I mean...why wouldnt a base 4 cylinder Camaro not be a capable machine just because there is an available 8 cylinder bigger brother around?

 

Im sure Chevy could easily market and  peddle 2 equally performing Camaros...one with 4 cylinders and another with 8 cylinders.

 

Why not?

See also: "EB Mustang reviews."

Keep the four-banger affordable. There IS a Cadillac V6 too, you know.

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I'm not sure how upfront you're talking about because every window sticker her the "results may vary"...

 

I dig the idea of a plus sized BRZ or Genesis killer. More Genesis as they are more similar in size.

I dunno. Maybe put a little Post-it note on the sticker saying "the EPA and General Motors agree about what you should from this car at the pumps like Putin and Obama agree about the Ukraine." That should probably do the trick :P

 

Hahaha Sounds good to me!

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Yeah...

 

But why must we always equate  Camaro/Mustang equals V8 performance.

 

Isnt there any   room for 4 cylinder pony car performance in 2015?

 

I'm asking a legit question because V8 Camaros and Mustangs dont exactly come cheap anymore.

I mean...sure a BRZ costs as much as a V6 Camaro...so that does not exactly make a BRZ any cheaper...and its certainly not any faster...or sportier than a V6 Camaro...but....alls Im saying...is that a 4 cylinder Camaro need not play second fiddle to performance to a V8 Camaro.

 

Im mean...a 4 cylinder Z/24 Camaro need not slay and take away from a V8 Camaro...but a Z/24 4 cylinder Camaro could be a notch above performance in spped and handling to  BRZ...and a notch below V8 Camaro....

 

And yes...EXACTLY...looking at an EB Mustang...a Z/24 Camaro besting an EB Mustang by a mile...Cadillac ATS handling performance with a tad more speed at Chevy prices and features...

 

But then again....that just negates what the ATS is there for...to do battle with BMW 2 and 3 Series cars...and a Camaro like a possible Z/24 would be exactly that...

 

Maybe when the ATS becomes a tad bigger like the current 3/4 Series and the CTS goes away...maybe a Z/28 Camaro would be possible then...

Edited by oldshurst442

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All true. And let's give props where props are due-the Fox-body Mustang SVO showed the way as far as what four-banger pony cars could be.

But as we have all pointed out in some way or another, this one boils down to price. And I think that if any demographic is going to take this idea and run with it it'll be young guys and girls who usually are more interested in JDM stuff. And those folks aren't interested in heated and ventilated seats-they want as much speed and handling as they can afford up front, with the option to tweak to their heart's content later. And turbo fours are much better candidates for that kinda thing than V6s.

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I think turbo 4 Pony cars will be really common in the 2020s.  They'll price the V8s up high, like $40k+.  Look at the luxury segment even, and how few V8s are left, you have to spend $70,000 or more probably for V8 luxury car anymore.  Or $60k on a Hyundai Equus I suppose, and I don't think a Genesis or 300C is a true luxury car, but even those are nearing $50k with a V8.  So the people spending $25-35,000 on Mustangs and Camaros (which is the bulk of the market) will be getting a turbo 4.

 

On the ZL1, I'd assume supercharged 6.2 liter V8?  Maybe 575 hp so it is less than the Corvette.

Edited by smk4565
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I would have thought the CTS-V would have received less horsepower than it did but it wound up with an LT4. It's possible the Camaro will as well. Dodge has shown a willingness to let its ponycar have more horsepower than its sports car. Granted, Viper sales are a bit of a shambles...

The ponycar for the people thing always raises the question of what people 50 years ago were looking for in cheap speed. Was it the ingredients that were most important? Because if so then RWD and V8 engines are critical. Or was it the end result? If that's the case then today's Pontiac GTO is probably a FWD rocket.

I think the answer is somewhere in between, but government FE regs keeps the V8 at a disadvantage. I for one would be very interested in what an 5.3L EcoTec 3 would be like if you took it from a Silverado and plunked it in a Camaro for, say, 32,000 dollars.

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I would have thought the CTS-V would have received less horsepower than it did but it wound up with an LT4. It's possible the Camaro will as well. Dodge has shown a willingness to let its ponycar have more horsepower than its sports car. Granted, Viper sales are a bit of a shambles...

The ponycar for the people thing always raises the question of what people 50 years ago were looking for in cheap speed. Was it the ingredients that were most important? Because if so then RWD and V8 engines are critical. Or was it the end result? If that's the case then today's Pontiac GTO is probably a FWD rocket.

I think the answer is somewhere in between, but government FE regs keeps the V8 at a disadvantage. I for one would be very interested in what an 5.3L EcoTec 3 would be like if you took it from a Silverado and plunked it in a Camaro for, say, 32,000 dollars.

You're not alone. I love that idea. Tweak the heads a little, maybe for a little more top end and less bottom end(for that bragging rights number) and let'r rip. That's a pretty dang economical engine isn't it(as it is)?  Definitely keep the active fuel management.. but when it's running in 4cy mode don't those engines do surprisingly well?

 

Okay Just looked it up.. 355hp/385tq. Maybe adjust it a little more like 375hp/375tq. That would be an absolutely GREAT middle engine. They could just skip the 6 and go I4-V8-V8.  I think it would sell like hotcakes being priced much more reasonably and giving the consumer a "cheap" V8 option.

 

Love the idea.

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