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The Pony Car Wars Continue
We are back with this week’s installment of AutoGuide’s newest, interactive weekly feature ‘Commute, Toy or Destroy’.
In an unprecedented move, General Motors lent AutoGuide a Camaro ZL1 from the press fleet to race competitively against track-prepped cars with race tires. This is the story of how some good ‘ol American muscle earned more than just a podium finish; it earned respect.
Earlier this month, Chevy halted production on its Camaro ZL1 for a “quality assessment” which appears to have been a potential software issue that the American automaker wanted to assess and deal with if necessary.
It appears that production is back on track now, as Chevy has emailed its ZL1 customers announcing that the hold has been lifted. The customers whose cars had already been produced but placed on hold, will see their vehicles arrive dealerships in the next two to three weeks. For the rest of the orders, production has resumed and estimated delivery times are to come from the American automaker.
Chevy also stated that they need about two weeks to determine remaining ZL1 allocation and distribution.
Will the wait be worth it for ZL1 customers? Read our review on the Chevy Camaro ZL1 here.
GALLERY: 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1
[Source: Motor Authority]
Sure, it was pretty comical to watch Adolf Hitler get upset over the announcement of Shelby’s GT500 trumping Chevy‘s Camaro ZL1 on paper, but now things have gotten pretty serious with Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser predicting that the ZL1 will be quicker to 60-mph than the GT500 and even calls out the GT500′s Nurburgring time.
“We’ve done simulations. We predict that the ZL1 will be quicker to 60 than the  GT500… We ran the Nürburgring and released a time. Ford took the GT500, too, and never released a time. I guess you can draw your own conclusions,” Oppenheiser said openly at an Arizona drive event for the Camaro ZL1.
Now on paper and for those that believe numbers never lie, the Ford Shelby Mustang GT500 with 650-hp and 600 lb-ft of torque in a 3,850-lb body should easily outpace the Camaro ZL1′s 580-hp and 556 lb-ft of torque in a heavier 4,120-lb body. But Oppenheiser has no doubt that the ZL1 would be quicker around Nurburgring than the GT500.
It’s a bold claim surely, but it could be warranted given that the GT500 still features a solid rear-axle while the ZL1 sports all-independent suspension with third-generation Magnetic Ride shocks and a high-tech traction control system borrowed from the Corvette ZR1.
Hopefully it’ll get settled one day, ZL1 versus GT500 on a real track with the same driver. Until then, it’ll remain a war of the words.
GALLERY: Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Chevrolet is doing it big at the 2011 SEMA Show as it will releases multiple Camaros and Corvettes this year. Chris Perry, the vice president of Chevrolet global marketing and strategy, says, “Go to any Corvette or Camaro enthusiast event and you will have a hard time finding a factory-stock vehicle. These are cars that owners treat as canvases to express their personalization and high-performance dreams– and have been for decades. The SEMA Show is the perfect venue to test new customization concepts and to inspire new owners to start modifying their cars.”
One of the highlights for Chevrolet at SEMA will be the “Custom Camaro,” a full-size tribute to the original Hot Wheels 1:64 scale model line back in 1968. Other Camaros present at the upcoming SEMA Show include the Red Zone Concept, Camaro Synergy Series Concept, Camaro 1LE Concept and finally, the Camaro ZL1 Carbon Concept.
The Red Zone Camaro convertible features a new-for-2012 Crystal Claret red exterior paint job. A showcase of Camaro style, the convertible will display the personalization options available through a collection of carefully selected accessories including a new heritage stripe graphic, body-color grill and convertible wind screen, “RS” underhood liner, polished strut tower brace, Chevrolet licensed Pedders suspension lowering kit, and 21 inch silver polished wheels.
For its interior, the Red Zone will receive a Titanium leather interior with Silver Ice accents, “Camaro” logo floor mats, soft black instrument panel inserts, and Silver Ice door and instrument panel inserts. Designer Adam Barry tells us, “This is a Camaro for those who want great looks and a performance personality. It’s a simple yet dramatic statement that is uniquely Camaro.”
Now for the Camaro Synergy Series, GM aims to put on the best of the best of Camaro accessories and present the concept in a distinct red accented silver color scheme. Chevrolet will pay close attention to the latest Synergy concept as it could be brought to production if it receives the desired amount of positive reception. Highlights on the Synergy include a Silver Ice exterior with Synergy Black stripes along the hood, body color ground effects, 21 inch black wheels with red accents, Chevrolet licensed Pedders suspension lowering kit, red Brembo brakes, a red engine cover, SS underhood liner, polished strut tower brace, a short-throw shifter by Hurst, Black leather on red stitching interior, and “Camaro” logo floor mats. Synergy decals will be prominent displayed on this Camaro while SS or RS exterior badges will be removed. Anything to set this beast apart!
The 1LE option code was first available in the third generation of the Camaro. Further refined, the new 1LE concept will be a track focused package and will feature production components from both the Camaro SS as well as the upcoming ZL1. Victory Red paint and a matte black hood with hash mark decal flatters the Camaro 1LE’s exterior. Satin black accents will highlight the LE’s splitter, rocker panels, rear spoiler and its side mirrors. The 1LE also gets black leather interior with Light Stone stitching, door and instrument panels in Graphite Silver, a ZL1 shifter and flat-bottom steering wheel and a custom pedal kit. For its performance components, the close-ratio six speed manual 1LE will get lighweight 20 inch racing wheels wrapped around by sticky Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G asymmetrical tires. Brakes are a set of hardcore six pot Brembo brakes in the front and four pot in the rear. Finally, the 1LE’s suspension will feature a trick Magnetic Ride Control set up as well as electric power steering.
Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser explains that the, “Camaro 1LE concept is all about the track. It’s an all-out race car package that pays tribute to that special option from the past.”
Finally, a ZL1 Carbon Concept Camaro will be featured as well. As advertised, the ZL1 will receive layers of naked carbon fiber to present a car that’s all about function. The ZL1 Carbon gets exposed-weave carbon fiber trim on its “Mohawk” hood, rear spoiler, and instrument panel and interior inserts too. A set of 20 inch wheels in satin black complete the aggressive look of the ZL1′s exterior. Performance components featured in the ZL1 Carbon are the same Brembo brakes found in the 1LE, a dual exhaust kit with active exhaust and diffuser, Manetic Ride Control, short throw shifter, flat bottom steering wheel, and a sporty Jet Black leather interior with sueded microfiber seat inserts and Torch Red stitching.
As Tony Roma, Camaro ZL1 program engineering manager, said, “If its styling doesn’t intimidate you, its performance on the track will.”
We begin the Corvettes with the Corvette Carlisle Blue Grand Sport, celebrating 30 years of “Corvettes at Carlisle,” one of the largest annual Corvette events in North America. The concept Corvette will feature a new Carlisle Blue exterior with Pearl White racing stripes, rocker panels, and new Torque 2 wheels. The special Corvette will receive a hand built dry sump 6.2 liter LS3 engine mated to a six speed manual transmission. The Corvette will also get Magnetic Selective Ride Control, gray six-piston brake calipers, Goodyear F1 Supercar Gen 2 tires, dual mode exhaust, and a racing pedal package. The Carlisle Blue Concept will also get a “4LT option” Ebony/Titanium leather color interior and blue stitching, a new Bose nine-speaker audio set up, USB port, audio input, touch screen iPod integration, and Grand Sport console lid and floor mats.
Finally, following the success of Corvette Racing C5.R and C6.R racing driver Ron Fellows, who is honored with the induction into the National corvette Museum’s Hall of Fame in 2011, Chevrolet pays tribute to Fellows’ achievement by creating the Torch Red Corvette Z06 Ron Fellows ‘Hall of Fame’ Tribute. The special edition Corvette features the Z06 performance package, Magnetic Selective Ride Control, CFZ carbon fiber package with splitter and rocker moldings, carbon fiber raced hood, red brake calipers, black headlamp housing and mirrors.
As for its interior, ebony leather with red stitching set a theme for performance and racing pedals, Alcantara steering wheel, shift knob, and parking brake handle complete the look. Check out the gallery below and see the complete 2011 SEMA Show preview here.
GALLERY: Chevrolet at SEMA 2011
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is one of the most highly anticipated models of 2012. This 580-hp, supercharged V8 monster will certainly be one of the fastest sportscars on the market.
Many enthusiasts are waiting to get their hands on this model, but if you want the very first one, get ready today. At the Barrett-Jackson Auction being held today in Las Vegas, a Chevrolet dealer will auction off the first customer ZL1.
While in actuality, this will be the 69th ZL1 built at the Oshawa factory, this carbon-black metallic example is a tribute to the 69 examples of the 1969 Camaro ZL1, but it will be the first one delivered to a customer.
The car is donated by Fairway Chevrolet in Las Vegas, with 100% of the proceeds going to the YMCA of Southern Nevada.
The ZL1 will be delivered to the highest bidder by next spring.
GALLERY: 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1
The Shelby has recently undergone testing at the Nürburgring featuring a very large intercooler, leading us to believe the car has been given even more power. However, nothing is official as of yet. Previous reports have suggested that the Shelby may adopt a new supercharged 5.8-liter V8 engine. The engine can easily produce 620-hp which means the 2013 model will have a 70-hp gain over the current model.
Styling changes look to be quite limited at this point. Since the new model is still very early in production more may change.
Stay tuned for more info!
[Source: World Car Fans]