Oh what a day it is my friends! Chevrolet’s just unveiled the drag-strip ready 2017 Camaro ZL1 and this thing is a monstrous 640 horsepower supercharged beast of a sportster. Yes, we are currently drooling at the mouth.
The 6.2-liter V8 is mated to either a six-speed manual or GM’s all-new 10-speed automatic. Yes, we’re talking two more gears than the eight-speed Camaro SS and four more than the previous ZL1. Along with the 640 horses under the hood you get a matching 640 pound-feet of torque.
The 10-speed automatic has 7.39 overall ratio for smaller steps between gears. It enables the LT4 engine to remain at optimal rpm levels during acceleration, particularly when exiting corners, for quicker laps and lightning-quick responses on both up- and down-shifts.
Chevy says the track-oriented 2017 Camaro ZL1 is poised to challenge the “most advanced sports coupes in the world in any measure – with unprecedented levels of technology, refinement, track capability and straight-line acceleration”.
It features an updated Magnetic Ride suspension, Performance Traction Management, electronic limited-slip differential, Custom Launch Control and Driver Mode Selector. With a stronger power-to-weight ratio than its predecessor, it also weighs 200 pounds less than its predecessor. Oh, and by the way, the engine is good for 60 more horses and 80 more lb-ft of torque over the outgoing model.
Chevy says the Camaro ZL1 is all about function. Its exterior elements all play a part in managing airflow over, under and through the ZL1. For instance, the front lower grill intake offers greater airflow compared to the SS and the upper grill uses a new version of the “flow-tie” open bowtie insignia.
A heat extractor pulls hot air from the engine compartment – and in fact there are, count ’em, 11 heat exchangers for optimal powertrain cooling to make this thing perform on the track. Other changes are a larger front splitter, unique rockers, a wing-style rear spoiler and wider front fenders, which are all tuned to improve aerodynamics for greater high-speed stability. A new carbon-fiber hood insert also sets it apart visually.
“The design supports the Camaro ZL1’s exceptional performance and does so with compelling style,” said John Mack, Camaro exterior design manager. “From every angle, the elements coalesce to give the car a purposeful, super aggressive attitude.”
Inside, there are standard Recaro front seats, along with a sueded flat-bottom steering wheel and shift knob. Chevrolet’s Performance Data Recorder is available.