With the debut of the 2014 Chevy Camaro Z/28.R, the circle of life for a Bowtie classic is now complete: As close comrades of the Camaro likely know, the original Z/28 package was developed in the late 1960s to prepare the car for the SCCA's Trans Am series, which required manufacturers to actually sell the models they raced. As the years went by, a variety of production cars became responsible for carrying the Z/28 banner forward, and now, with today's next-gen Camaro Z/28, it's back to the track.
The 2015 Chevy Camaro Z/28.R also will carry on the Camaro's recent racing success in the Grand Sport (GS) class of IMSA's Continental Tires SportsCar Challenge.
As explained by Lisa Talarico, Chevrolet program manager for the Continental Tire series: “The new Camaro Z/28.R is a significant advancement from the GS.R that won multiple races in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge the last three years. We expect the new engine package, suspension components and aerodynamic improvements to help our teams to further successes in the 2014 GS class. The GS class is full of great competitors, and we believe the performance level of the new Z/28.R will provide us the opportunity to contend for a championship.”
To achieve that goal, the 2014 Chevy Camaro Z/28.R will rely on upgrades like ... well, engineers actually didn't have to do much to the production model at all. In fact, Mark Kent, the brand's director of racing, said: “Apart from series-mandated equipment and the specialized suspension components needed for endurance racing, the Z/28.R is as close to a production-spec race car as you’ll find."
Which makes sense when you remember that the retail 2014 Chevy Camaro Z/28—with an MSRP of $75,000—serves up the same 7.0-liter LS7 V8 engine as the racer, as well as the same helical-gear limited-slip rear differential and high-downforce aero kit; the latter includes a front splitter, rear "wickerbill" spoiler, hood-extractor vent, under-car belly pan, rockers, wheel-house extensions, and front-tire air deflectors.
The 2014 Chevy Camaro Z/28 is scheduled to go on sale this spring, while a pair of Z/28.R racers, supported by Stevenson Motorsports and CKS Autosport, will take their first green flags at the Daytona International Speedway on Jan. 24, 2014.