Chevrolet’s fast and light Camaro Z/28 returns for track duty

2014 Camaro Z/28 front three quarterJust when we thought the Camaro couldn’t get any more awesome, Chevrolet has pulled off an epic comeback: the Camaro Z/28, a hallowed name from the 1960s, will be reborn as part of a refreshed 2014 Camaro lineup.

Chevy’s existing Camaro ZL1 sets a pretty high bar, but the Z/28 will be entirely different in character. It’s designed for one purpose: to devour racetracks. Chevy says the Z/28 is three seconds faster per lap than the ZL1 on its test track.

For that extra speed, buyers will have to sacrifice some comfort. Chevy removed interior sound deadening materials, the trunk carpeting, and installed thinner glass for the rear window.

Air conditioning is an option, and there is only one speaker for the stereo (which is now mono). General Motors North America president Mark Reuss said he wanted to remove all of the speakers, but engineers needed to leave one for the door chime.

Under the hood is a 4.0-liter naturally aspirated V8. Based on the unit from the C6 Corvette Z06, it produces 500 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. It’s coupled to a six-speed manual transmission.

Chevy also specified unique carbon ceramic brakes for the Z/28, specially designed to prevent fade during track driving.

The Z/28 gets the same revised styling as other 2014 Camaros, including a tweaked grille that Chevy says is more aerodynamic, and taillights that look like they were taken off a 2001 Honda Prelude. The Z/28 also gets a front splitter connected to an underbody tray for increased aerodynamic efficiency.

Camaro Z/28 frontThe original Z/28 became a legend because of its adroit combination of power and handling. It was designed to take on the Ford Mustang Boss 302 in Trans-Am racing, and that’s more or less the role the new Z/28 will fulfill.

Trans-Am is long gone, but the Boss 302 is still around. If the ZL1 is a no-compromise performance car like the Ford Shelby GT500, then the Z/28 is a track rat like the Boss.

The 2014 Chevy Camaro Z/28 will appear at track events in the spring of 2014, and will go on sale shortly after that. When it does, buying a Camaro will get a whole lot harder.

Cars

Ford F-150 recall: Fault could cause vehicle to downshift into first gear

Ford is recalling 1.48 million F-150 vehicles over a potential fault that could cause it to suddenly downshift into first gear. The automaker said it's currently aware of five accidents related to the issue.
Home Theater

The best movies on Netflix in December, from 'Buster Scruggs’ to 'Roma'

Save yourself from hours wasted scrolling through Netflix's massive library by checking out our picks for the streamer's best movies available right now, whether you're into explosive action, witty humor, or anything else.
Gaming

Take to the virtual skies with these free flight simulators

You don't have to spend the entirety of your paycheck to become a virtual ace, at least when it comes to flight simulation. Our list of the best free flight simulators will let you unleash your inner Maverick.
Smart Home

Ford’s ingenious bed for couples keeps mattress hogs in their own half

Drawing on its driverless-car technology, Ford has created a smart bed for couples that uses sensors and a conveyor belt to prevent either occupant from straying onto the other half of the mattress while they doze.
Cars

The Polestar 2, Sweden’s answer to the Tesla Model 3, begins taking shape

Volvo sister company Polestar has released a teaser image to give us our first look at the 2, its second model. Polestar tells us the 2 will arrive as a four-door fastback with a 400-hp electric powertrain and about 300 miles of range.
Cars

2020 Kia Soul and Soul EV continue to think inside the box

The 2020 Kia Soul is the third generation of Kia's boxy curiosity. The Soul maintains its signature look, but gets tech and powertrain upgrades. The all-electric Soul EV returns as well.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Cars

Psychedelic Volkswagen Microbus from Woodstock returns for an encore

With its trippy paint scheme, the Volkswagen "Light" bus became a symbol of the 1969 Woodstock music festival. VW teamed up with the artist who created this rolling mural to stage a comeback in time for Woodstock's 50th anniversary.
Cars

Amazon plugs in with $700 million investment in electric pickup company Rivian

Amazon invested $700 million for a minority stake in U.S. all-electric truck maker Rivian, according to a joint release. The announcement follows a Reuters report that GM and Amazon might invest $1 billion to $2 billion in the company.
Cars

2019 RAM 1500 Classic Warlock special edition: Badass style without the whoop

If you like the looks of blacked-out badass trucks without the cost of a desert racer, FCA announced the 2019 Ram 1500 Classic Warlock, a special edition pickup that focuses on appearance with only a touch of additional off-road capability.
Product Review

Mercedes-Benz updates the timeless G-wagen for the modern world

For decades, the G-Class has been an outlier in the Mercedes-Benz portfolio, a body-on-frame brute with the soul – and driving manners – of an off-road pickup. With the all-new G550, Mercedes seeks to smooth out some of the rough edges.
Cars

2020 GMC Acadia toughens up on the outside, gets smarter on the inside

The 2020 GMC Acadia crossover gets styling updates and a more rugged AT4 trim level. Under the skin, the Acadia sports a new turbocharged four-cylinder engine and a wider array of tech features.
Cars

Nissan is using old Leaf batteries to power and connect off-the-grid campers

Nissan has teamed up with trailer manufacturer Opus to design a mobile, weatherproof power pack built with battery cells sourced from the first-generation Leaf. Called Roam, the pack stores enough electricity to power a camper for up to a…
Cars

Alfa Romeo’s latest Ferrari-powered F1 race car is ready to hit the track

Alfa Romeo is doubling down on Formula One racing after a decades-long hiatus. Now essentially a support team for Ferrari, its 2019 driver lineup includes a former world champion and a potential future star.