Following the debut of the 1LE Camaro in Chicago, Chevrolet has finally revealed the extreme performance version that we have waited for, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
The exterior styling of the ZL1 retains the basic cues that made their debut on the standard car, but Chevrolet engineers completely revamped the aerodynamics of the car adding a new body kit that comes complete with a bigger front splitter, a deeper grille that increases airflow, a tweaked hood with carbon fiber insert, and wider front fenders. The new suit of clothes also includes new side skirts as well as a meaty rear spoiler to help increase down force on the rear of the car. Lastly all ZL1’s will ride on a slick set of 20-inch alloy wheels that are shod in Goodyear Eagle F1 tires which were specifically engineered for the car.
The interior of the ZL1 features supportive Recaro bucket seats, as well as a performance themed three spoke flat bottomed steering wheel. Like the ATS-V and the Camaro SS, GM’s Performance Data Recorder will also be offered on the ZL1, but only as an optional piece of equipment. In addition, the interior will also feature healthy amounts of Alcantara as well as other materials to further enhance its track inspired nature and its overall focus on all American driving fun.
The headline here is found under the hood where GM engineers have shoehorned a 6.2 liter V8 that comes equipped with a big supercharger. While the end result is a bit shy of the 707 horsepower fielded by FCA’s Hellcat twins, the 640 horsepower that is generated by this engine is still very potent, and allows it to outclass other performance cars with many of them costing twice as much. The V8’s muscle is sent to the rear wheels through either a standard six speed manual gearbox, or an optional 10 speed automatic (the first to be used in Chevrolet’s 105 year history.) In addition to the beastly V8 lurking behind the scenes, the ZL1 also benefits from several track focused technologies including a model exclusive drive mode selector, six piston front calipers, an electronic limited slip differential, and Chevrolet’s Magnetic Ride Control Technology. To help make sure that the ZL1 does not boil over during intense track work, the car arrives with 11 heat exchangers that helps keep the powertrain cool, and also helps prevent performance sapping heat soak.
After it makes its debut at the New York Auto Show, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is expected to go on sale later this year. Chevrolet has not released official pricing for the car, but look for that bit of information as well as final fuel economy figures to be released closer to its official launch. In addition to the ZL1, Chevrolet revealed that the 10 speed transmission will eventually trickle its way down to about eight other models by 2018 though it is unclear if this transmission will be limited to performance offerings, or if it will expand to some of the more volume oriented cars in Chevrolet’s lineup.