2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1 Arrives With 640 HP Sent Through 10 Gears

Sami Haj-Assaad
by Sami Haj-Assaad

Chevrolet is bringing back its high-powered Camaro ZL1 trim level to the new sixth-generation model and, of course, it’s fast as hell.

That’s because under the hood is a supercharged V8, the same one found in the Corvette Z06 and Cadillac CTS-V. In this 2+2 coupe, the engine makes a whopping 640 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the last generation ZL1, that is an increase of about 60 hp and 80 lb-ft of torque, all powering a car that’s roughly 200 pounds lighter.

Mated to that powerplant is your choice of transmission: DIYers can get a “track-focused” six-speed manual that features automatic rev-matched downshifts, while a new 10-speed automatic transmission that Chevrolet promises will provide quick shifts is also available.

SEE ALSO: 2016 Chevrolet Camaro 2.0T Review

The track is where Chevy perfected the ZL1 and features like its auxiliary transmission oil cooler, functional heat extractors and the 11 heat exchangers. There are also front brake cooling ducts, six-piston Brembo Monobloc brakes along with the two-piece, 15.35-inch rotors. The rear brakes are also Brembo Monoblocs, though these are four-piston units with 14.37-inch rotors.

Other standard equipment on this mean Camaro include an electronic limited-slip differential, magnetic ride control, performance traction management settings, drive mode selector and launch control.

You can spot the ZL1 thanks to its large front splitter, wider fenders and unique rear spoiler. All exterior elements have been tested for optimum aerodynamics with more than 100 combined hours in the wind tunnel and on the track. Standard Recaro seats are featured inside, in addition to a suede-covered shift knob and flat-bottomed steering wheel. The car also features a performance data recorder to capture your lap times.

At a local Camaro 2.0T and Camaro convertible event last week, Mark Reuss, executive vice president at General Motors and Dan Ammann, president of General Motors, took members of the media for hot laps around Spring Mountain raceway in development prototypes of the ZL1. Our impressions: it’s really fast, flat and freaking awesome.

The Camaro ZL1 will hit showrooms later this year, although pricing has yet to be announced.

Discuss this story on our Chevrolet Camaro Forum

Sami Haj-Assaad
Sami Haj-Assaad

Sami has an unquenchable thirst for car knowledge and has been at AutoGuide for the past six years. He has a degree in journalism and media studies from the University of Guelph-Humber in Toronto and has won multiple journalism awards from the Automotive Journalist Association of Canada. Sami is also on the jury for the World Car Awards.

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2 of 3 comments
  • Eric Cameron Eric Cameron on Mar 16, 2016

    This. Is. Amazing. That supercharger whine is outstanding! Those tires must cost a fortune though...

  • CharlieSeattle CharlieSeattle on May 13, 2016

    Wow, what a fugly body and grill, annoying wine from SC engine is supposed to be tuned for a deeper sound. My blade coffee grinder sounds better.