Take a Chevrolet Camaro, drop in the supercharged V8 engine from the Cadillac CTS-V, add some new suspension and braking bits, and put a very distinct exterior treatment on it. What do you get? Well you get the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. The ZL1 takes the role of the flagship in the Camaro lineup. Outside changes include a new front fascia, new hood with vents, twenty-inch ten-spoke forged aluminum wheels in black, new rear wing, and quad exhausts. Heading inside, the ZL1 features leather and suede seats, alcantara-wrapped steering wheel, and Chevrolet’s MyLink infotainment system. Now onto what’s under the ZL1’s skin.
Power comes from a 6.2L supercharged LSA V8 producing 580 horsepower and 556 pound-feet of torque. That can either be mated to a six-speed Tremec manual or six-speed automatic transmission. Performance stands at 3.9 seconds to 60 MPH, just a hair under twelve seconds to finish the quarter mile, and a top speed of 184 MPH. Those wondering about fuel economy, the EPA says the ZL1 gets 14 City/19 Highway/16 Combined with the six-speed manual and 12 City/18 Highway/14 Combined with the automatic. The Camaro ZL1’s suspension uses GM’s Magnetic Ride Control System which uses special shocks filled with magnetorheological fluid that can vary the amount damping thanks to a computer. The computer can change the damping settings up to a 1000 times per second. This means the Camaro ZL1 provides very capable ride on the track while being civil on the road. There is also a set of Brembo brakes to help bring to ZL1 to a stop and Performance Traction Management system which offers five different settings for the conditions.
The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 starts at $54,095. Competition for the ZL1 includes the Shelby GT500 and Dodge Challenger SRT8.