Chevy Camaro ZL1 2012
The all-new, 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 finally made its world premiere today at the Chicago Auto Show. Dubbed as the highest-performing model and the most technically sophisticated in the Camaro's 45-year-long history, the ZL1 is named after Chevy's all-aluminum racing engine from the late 1960s, which was installed into 69 regular-production 1969 Camaros.
The ZL1 packs an LSA 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine that's good enough for an estimated 550 horsepower and a massive 550 lb.-ft. of torque (745 Nm), paired to a six-speed manual transmission with a dual-disc clutch system and a shorter-throw shifter. GM is keeping a tight lid on performance numbers for now, but with 550-ponies on tap, we gather the Camaro ZL1 won't disappoint in the speed department.
Besides the supercharged V8 and the uprated transmission, the ZL1 also sports a series of chassis upgrades including a revised suspension with a Magnetic Ride Control system and a high-performance Brembo brake system with six-piston calipers up front and four at the back. A brand new electric power steering system and 20-inch lightweight alloy wheels shod in Goodyear Supercar F2 tires, are also part of the ZL1 package.
On the outside, the flagship Camaro is distinguished by a new front fascia and hood with a signature center section constructed of carbon fiber and rendered in satin black finish, which also incorporates functional air extractors. The ZL1 also gets a redesigned front bumper, new rocker panels, a larger boot lid spoiler and four exhaust tips
“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.”
On the inside, Chevy's top dog is equipped with sport seats clad in microfiber suede inserts, a flat-bottom steering wheel with a center hub and spoke design that's almost identical to the one found on the Sonic [...] and new trims throughout.
The new Camaro ZL1 is planned to launch at the beginning of next year. For more details on the specs, scroll down for the official release.
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.
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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