Home / Auto News / News article: Chevy Camaro ZL1 Unveiled at Chicago Auto Show With 550-HP Supercharged V8 - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Feb 09 2011, 11:50 AM

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To help celebrate 100 years of Chevrolet, the brand has just unveiled “the most technically advanced Camaro ever,” the ZL1. The name might not sound quite as retro-cool as ZR1 (the rumored badge for this beast), but it does have a noted history in the Camaro ranks.

Bringing the muscle car into the sports car realm is a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine borrowed from the Cadillac CTS-V, making 550-hp and 550 lb-ft of torque. But that’s not even close to the extent of the modifications made to the Camaro, however, with Magnetic Ride Control shocks, a beefed up rear end, massive new brakes, a more aggressive look and upgraded interior trim.

Designed to be completely streetable, the ZL1 is also a true track-capable machine says Chevy with built-in coolers for the engine, transmission and the limited slip differential. Along with a stronger rear end to put up with the extra power, the ZL1 gets a short throw shifter and a dual-mode exhaust system to really let the engine howl.

The look of the car is highlighted by a new front end, rear diffuser and spoiler (all functional aerodynamic parts), as well as a raised hood to make room for the big engine. That hood also features carbon fiber air vents to help keep the supercharged beast operating at max power. New 20-inch wheels look great and make room for larger Goodyear Supercar F2 tires that at 245 mm in the front almost don’t fit inside the fenders.

Helping stop the beast are six-piston Brembo front brakes and 4-piston rears.

Inside there are optional suede seat inserts new pedals, a heads-up display and a flat-bottom steering wheel. Oh, and those 4-pack gauges now include one for boost.

GALLERY: 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1

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GALLERY: 2012 Camaro ZL1 Official Images

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Official release after the jump:

ZL1: Chevrolet Camaro Enters The Realm Of Advanced Performance Technology

  • LSA 6.2L supercharged engine will produce an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW) and is matched with a six-speed manual transmission with a dual-disc clutch system
  • Packed with performance technologies, highlighted by Magnetic Ride Control, and advanced materials – including a vented carbon fiber hood insert. Extensive aerodynamic development designed for high-performance driving
  • Development ongoing, targeting launch at the beginning of 2012

CHICAGOThe 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 debuted today at the Chicago Auto Show. It is the highest-performing Camaro and the most technically advanced car ever developed in its class. The new ZL1 continues the momentum of Camaro, propelling it into an entirely new realm of leading-edge performance technology. It is planned to launch at the beginning of 2012.

Motivated by a supercharged V-8 engine producing an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW), the Camaro ZL1 will be the fastest Camaro ever offered by Chevrolet. And more than just power, the ZL1 features technologically advanced and highly developed chassis and suspension systems that help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking power to complement its high engine output. Rigorous development of the ZL1 is ongoing, and official estimates of the car’s capabilities will be released later in 2011, as testing nears completion.

“Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design, and is a type of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “It’s the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we’ve chosen a name from the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history.”

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 central goal of the car’s development was creating something new – a Camaro intended to reach optimal lap times on top road-racing circuits and excellent driving dynamics on the street. To achieve that goal, engineers evolved many of the existing Camaro’s systems, as well as incorporated new technologies such as electric power steering and Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system.

Camaro ZL1’s design communicates and supports its performance mission. Rather than using decorative elements, ZL1 is visually differentiated from other current Camaro models with elements vital to the car’s elevated capabilities.

“Everything about the ZL1’s design is directly related to its technology and serious performance, especially aerodynamics,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, Global Design. “Our designers’ goal was to execute that function-oriented design with beautifully sculpted forms, creating an imposing, powerful persona. Function becomes the aesthetic. The intent is a car that delivers on the attitude it projects.”

Major elements of the ZL1’s design are a new front fascia and hood with air extractors, designed in tandem to create aerodynamic downforce to aid handling. The car’s hood includes a signature center section constructed of carbon fiber and rendered in satin black finish. New rocker panels, wide tires, 20-inch wheels and exhaust tips portray the car’s handling and power.
The ZL1 badge appears on the grille, hood and the brake calipers, all key areas portraying the technology within.

Tech overview
Supporting the dynamic track and street performance of the ZL1 is the LSA 6.2L supercharged engine, which will produce an estimated 550 horsepower (410kW) and 550 lb.-ft. of torque (677 Nm), with specific features for the Camaro. Built on GM’s legendary all-aluminum, small-block V-8 architecture, the LSA features an intercooled supercharger system, premium heat-resistant aluminum-alloy cylinder heads and other details designed to ensure its exceptional performance is delivered with smoothness and refinement. Components and design elements that contribute to the LSA’s performance include:

  • Balanced, lightweight reciprocating assembly
  • High-strength hypereutectic pistons
  • Sixth-generation Eaton supercharger with four-lobe rotors
  • Piston oil squirters.

Because the Camaro ZL1 uses electric power steering, the engine does not incorporate a conventional hydraulic power steering pump on its accessory drive system. This enhances performance, because no engine power is used to turn a steering pump pulley.

Camaro ZL1 is a complete high-performance car, not just a Camaro with more power. Key technical highlights include:

Transmission – The high-performance Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual is matched with the LSA engine. It is the “MG9” version of the transmission, with a higher torque capacity. It is used with a dual-mass flywheel and twin-disc clutch for easy operation and shift smoothness. A new, shorter-throw shifter actuates the gear changes.

Exhaust –
ZL1 is equipped with a dual-mode exhaust system, which alters the sound level and character in response to engine rpm. First used on the legendary Corvette, and specifically tuned for Camaro ZL1, the dual-mode exhaust will give the car a signature sound.

Drivetrain – It is revised with a stronger driveshaft and rear axle system, featuring a larger and stronger cast iron differential housing, stronger axles and heavy-duty limited-slip differential. This patent-pending system is designed to ensure that ZL1’s tremendous power is delivered smoothly to the ground.

Suspension – The suspension features completely revised tuning and the inclusion of segment-exclusive Magnetic Ride Control. ZL1’s Magnetic Ride system will 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. This technology appears on only a small roster of some of the world’s finest performance cars. Other chassis elements are redesigned to support the car’s high-performance limits. Rear stabilizer bars have drop links repositioned outboard of the control arms. This makes the bars more effective in controlling body roll in turns, with crisp response to driver commands.

Brakes and Steering –
Camaro ZL1 features an advanced track-capable braking system, developed in conjunction with experts from 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. ZL1 marks the entry of a new electric power steering system to Camaro. It is being developed to ensure precise control and feedback to the driver, with greater variability of effort for high-performance driving.

Exterior –
ZL1’s signature from the front is the redesigned fascia and aluminum hood with a raised, carbon fiber insert. The fascia includes a front splitter and new vertical fog lamps. The fog lamp area includes air intakes designed for brake cooling. The hood features front-mounted air extractors that direct air precisely over the car. Visually, this center section, in satin black carbon fiber, communicates the car’s high-performance intent as a visual contrast to the car’s exterior color. Functionally, the air extractor is a key in connecting airflow closely to the bodywork, creating aerodynamic downforce. The carbon fiber center section reduces the mass of the hood.  High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and fog lamps are standard. The rear of the car includes a diffuser and spoiler, also functional elements that enhance the car’s aerodynamics.

Wheels and Tires – 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.

Interior – ZL1 is tailored for high-performance driving. 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.

Production details
All of the Camaro exterior colors will be offered with the ZL1, but black is the only interior color. 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).

Engineers have already driven Camaro ZL1 prototypes extensively at demanding road courses in the U.S. and Germany, with final testing being completed through the balance of 2011.
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PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

Overview

Model: Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Body style / driveline: four-passenger, front-engine, rear-drive coupe
Construction: unitized body frame, one- and two-sided galvanized steel
EPA vehicle class: coupe
Manufacturing location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Key competitors: Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Engines

LSA 6.2L Supercharged V-8
Displacement (cu in / cc): 376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 4.06 / 103.25 x 3.62 / 92 mm
Block material: cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
Valvetrain: overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
Fuel delivery: 1.9L supercharger with intercooler; sequential fuel injection
Compression ratio: 9.1:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 550 / 410 @ 6100 (estimated)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 550 / 745 @ 3800 (estimated)
Recommended fuel: premium required
Maximum engine speed (rpm): 6200

Transmission

Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual
Gear ratios (:1):
First: 2.66
Second: 1.78
Third: 1.30
Fourth: 1.00
Fifth: 0.80
Sixth: 0.63
Reverse: 2.90
Final drive ratio: 3.73

Chassis / Suspension

Front: double-ball-joint, multi-link strut; direct-acting stabilizer bar; progressive-rate coil springs; with Magnetic Ride Control
Rear: 4.5-link independent; progressive-rate coil springs over shocks; stabilizer bar; with Magnetic Ride Control
Steering type: electric power steering with variable-ratio, variable-effort rack-and-pinion
Steering ratio: 16.1:1
Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock: 2.5
Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m): 37.7/11.5

Brakes

Type: four-wheel disc w/ ABS; ventilated two-piece front and one-piece rear rotors; six-piston fixed Brembo aluminum front and four-piston rear calipers
Rotor diameter, front (in / mm): 14.6 / 370
Rotor diameter, rear (in / mm): 14.4 / 365
Rotor thickness, front (in / mm): 1.26 / 32
Rotor thickness, rear (in / mm): 1.1 / 28

Wheels / Tires

Wheel size and type: 20 x 8-inch aluminum (front)
20 x 9-inch aluminum (rear)
Tires: P245/45ZR20 summer (front)
P275/40ZR20 summer (rear)

Dimensions
Exterior

Wheelbase (in / mm): 112.3 / 2852
Overall length (in / mm): 190.4 / 4836
Overall width (in / mm): 75.5 / 1918
Overall height (in / mm): 54.2 / 1376
Track, front (in / mm): 63.7 / 1618
Track, rear (in / mm): 63.7 / 1618
Curb weight (lb / kg): TBD
Weight balance (% front / rear): TBD
Coefficient of drag: TBD

Interior

Seating capacity (front / rear): 2 / 2
Headroom (in / mm): front: 37.4 / 950
rear: 35.3 / 897
Legroom (in / mm): front: 42.4 / 1077
rear: 29.9 / 757
Shoulder room (in / mm): front: 56.9 / 1444
rear: 42.5 / 1080

Capacities

Cargo volume (cu ft / L): 11.3 / 320
Fuel tank (gal / L): 19 / 71.9
Engine oil (qt / L): 8.9 / 8.5

Note:  Information shown is current at time of publication.

  • mark gallagher

    when can i order one ?

  • James Korgel

    Notice the 8-quart oil tank? This baby has to have it to keep that beast cooled down! Rowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwr!

  • www.autostatic.net

    finally the camaro is getting the right engine that is equal with its reputation. I hope they do it with two systems (Manual + Automatic) transmission. that will increase the range of sales.