Home / Auto News / News article: Top 10 Track-Ready New Cars Under $60,000 - AutoGuide.com News
 |  Sep 07 2012, 9:31 AM

8. Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 $56,550

Chevrolet’s Camaro has been stuck in the shadow of being Bumblebee for far too long. With the ZL1 package the muscle-car is all beefed up and is ready to take on the rest of these track specials. Thanks to a supercharger, the ZL1 now makes a whopping 580-hp, allowing it to hit 60mph in under 4 seconds. The ZL1 isn’t just a supercharger strapped to a V8 though. It’s impressive handling upgrades were put to the ultimate test in Germany, with the crazy Camaro achieving a 7:41.27 lap time around the famous Nurburgring race track.

The ZL1′s magnetic ride control helps the big car handle so well, allowing suspension settings to be adjusted up to 1,000 times per second. This allows the car to be as responsive as possible, and provides precision on the track, and comfort on the street. This all works with the ZL1′s impressive traction control, which is taken straight from Chevy’s most menacing vehicle, the Corvette ZR1.

Helping keep the ZL1 under control are massive Brembo brakes, and unique Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperCar G2 tires that were developed specifically for the ZL1. All this performance for under $60,000 make the top-dog Camaro a choice for those looking for the most bang for their buck.

For those looking for a cheaper option there’s another Camaro worth mentioning. The Camaro SS 1LE is only $37,035. This is an extra package tacked on top of the normal SS and features a lot of the track-ready design that went into the ZL1. It all works together to make the normal Camaro SS withstand a serious trip on the track. It also features the same set of tires as the ZL1. The true test of the 1LE package will come soon. Chevrolet is hard at work at getting the 1LE SCCA approved for the Touring Class competition.

Wannabe track stars should read our Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 review while those on a budget should definitely read the Chevrolet Camaro SS 1LE review

  • http://www.facebook.com/steven.murphree.1 Steven Murphree

    That’s funny. The Mazda Miata (the MOST raced car on tracks every weekened) was missing from this list. This list looks like a 14 year old came up with it as it does not consider any classes that could be raced in or what competitions these cars would be used for. In all seriousness, what is the likelihood that a ZL1 owner or Audi TT owner will take their car to a track day compared to owners or S2000′s, Civic Si’s, Miata’s, or the FRS/BRZ? The author of this article should have spent their research time at an actual track day, not on MSN autos.

  • Honda Family

    You started by saying the FR-S and BR-Z aren’t the only track ready cars, but then they’re not even on the list. If you’re using them as an example of what track ready cars looking coming out of the date, then they should at least be on this list.

    I understand the S2K is not there as it’s not sold anymore but BRZ/FR-S/Si should be there then.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWVURGK6AVGAKRCSIZDKI43N2E Daniel

    It’s funny how Mitsubishi keeps pushing the paddle-shift transmission when they don’t even make it.  It’s made by Getrag, and Mitsubishi mechanics don’t work on it. 

    Better still, on an Evo forum about half the people who comment consider it an automatic and treat it with the same disdain as if it had a torque converter.

    As a bonus, it adds weight on the front of the Evo, where it really doesn’t need it.

  • http://profile.yahoo.com/PWVURGK6AVGAKRCSIZDKI43N2E Daniel

    I’m glad somebody mentioned car classes.  More and more people show up at their first autocross with a car having ONE modification that puts it in an unfavorable class.  In the case of the Mazdaspeed 3, it will probably get the best results in its stock class.  The slowest modified class it goes in is STU, where it’s screwed because it’s front wheel drive and pitted against the Evo, STi, and M3.  I know a guy with an STU Legacy (wagon) that would eat MS3s for breakfast.

    Regardless of what class it goes in, a late-model Camaro at an autocross gets beaten by anything lighter…which is most of what’s there, unless you’re counting tow vehicles.  The Camaro owners I’ve met autocrossing look like they’re having fun, and their cars are pretty smooth on course, but they’re also pretty realistic about its’ cornering ability.  Even a modified one burns up the front tires, and the longer it’s on course, the slower it turns.  Maybe they’re better on a road course.

    The Mazda Miata does pretty well in ANY class, and it doesn’t even matter which model year it is.

  • Fxcamaro

    the zl1 handles unlike any othe camaro in existance, I know i had the pleasure of selling one this past year. It beat the lambo lp 670 sv around nurburgring, it is not just another late model camaro. and alot of the guys who buy them beat on them I know 2 outtathe 3 guys who I know bought them had them at the track this year. and you really think more brz owners will have there cars at the track  more then zl1s percentage wise?  I didn’t know guys wives/ girlfriends let them take their cars to the track on the weekend.