Chevy’s Camaro ZL1 borrows a Corvette engine for 640 track-tuned horses

Chevrolet’s new Camaro is receiving a hearty amount of praise for its Cadillac ATS-derived chassis, updated interior, and 6.2-liter V8 engine. These changes have made the muscle car a true challenger to Ford’s new Mustang.

That said, Ford’s GT350R-spec ‘stang has now surpassed the old Z/28 Camaro’s incredibly high levels of on-track performance. So how will Chevy respond? With a whole lot of force.

The U.S. automaker has taken the wraps off its 2017 Camaro ZL1, which turns up the heat on the previous generation’s 580 horsepower V8 and 556 pound-feet of torque. Chevrolet appears dead-set on owning its performance category, as it says the new ZL1 “is poised to challenge the most advanced sports coupes in the world by any measure.”

“The Camaro ZL1 is designed to excel at everything,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development. “It’s a 2+2 coupe offering incredible performance – acceleration, handling and braking – with the highest levels of technology and perfect chassis damping, making it suitable for everyday driving. It will compare well to any sports coupe, at any price and in any setting.”

More specifically, the ZL1 borrows the Corvette Z06’s 6.2-liter supercharged V8 to the tune of 640 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque. Not only is that engine all-new for the Camaro, should you decide to forgo the standard six-speed manual gearbox, Chevrolet will offer a new 10-speed automatic. The new Camaro’s lighter, stiffer platform is complemented by Magnetic Ride suspension and an electronic limited-slip differential. Also standard is a Driver Mode Selector, dual-stage exhaust, launch control, and Performance Traction Management.

Visually, the 2017 ZL1 will be distinguished by a lower grille opening for greater airflow, a new “flow-tie” open bowtie insignia, an updated hood with a carbon fiber insert and heat extractor, a larger front splitter, unique rockers, a wing-style rear spoiler, and wider front fenders. The name of the game is aerodynamics. “From every angle, the elements coalesce to give the car a purposeful, super aggressive attitude.,” said John Mack, Camaro exterior design manager.

Inside, the ZL1 comes equipped with Recaro front seats, a suede flat-bottom steering wheel and shift knob, and available Performance Data Recorder.

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

At 200 pounds less than its predecessor, and with 60 more horsepower and 80 more lb-ft of torque on tap, the new ZL1 has a significantly improved power-to-weight ratio. The ZL1 sports 285 front and 305 rear Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires plus Brembo brakes for improved track handling.

“Driving the Camaro ZL1 is best described as ‘fast with finesse,’” said Reuss. “It is beautifully balanced, with perfect damping and isolation for optimal performance and driver confidence in virtually any situation – from the Pacific Coast Highway to Willow Springs to Pomona.”

Sounds good, but we’ll find out for sure when the 2017 Camaro ZL1 goes on sale late this year.

Product Review

The new Ram 1500 blends capability and convenience better than the rest

The Ram isn’t the most powerful, spacious, or affordable of the light-duty, full-size pickup herd, but a modestly equipped version walks all over rivals in terms of ride quality, technology, and cabin comfort.
Cars

Someone just paid supercar money for the very first 2020 Toyota Supra

The 2020 Toyota Supra made its long-awaited debut at the 2019 Detroit Auto Show. The resurrected sports car, famous for a role in The Fast and the Furious, goes on sale in the U.S. this summer.
Cars

Sibling rivalry: 2019 BMW Z4 takes on the 2020 Toyota Supra

BMW and Toyota forged an unlikely partnership when they set out to build a sports car platform together. Here, we examine the similarities and differences between the 2019 Z4 and the 2020 Supra.
Cars

In McLaren’s 600LT Spider, the engine is the only sound system you’ll need

The McLaren 600LT Spider is the inevitable convertible version of the 600LT coupe, itself a lighter, more powerful version of the McLaren 570S. The 600LT Spider boasts a 592-horsepower, twin-turbo V8, and a loud exhaust system to hear it…
Cars

Michigan OKs digital license plates with Rplate’s connected car platform

The state of Michigan approved the use of digital license plates on motor vehicles registered in the state. Reviver Auto, the manufacturer of the Rplate connected car platform, worked with Michigan's Department of State to pass the bill.
Cars

This Chevy Silverado pickup truck is made from more than 300,000 Lego bricks

To promote The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, Lego and Chevrolet teamed up on a life-size replica of the automaker's Silverado pickup truck made from more than 300,000 plastic bricks.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: camera with A.I. director, robot arm assistant

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

Prices for using Tesla Supercharging just skyrocketed

Tesla is updating their Supercharging pricing based on local electricity rates and customer demand, which has lead to an increase in charging costs by as much as 33 percent in some regions.
Cars

Can electric motors finally make three-wheeled cars great?

Every few years, someone tries to sell a three-wheeled vehicle to Americans. Historically, it hasn’t gone very well. We’ve got our suspicions about why people don’t buy trikes, and they boil down to this: a trike is just not a real…
Outdoors

Is Uber planning to put its self-driving tech into bikes and scooters?

Uber reportedly has its eye on building autonomous electric bikes and scooters that ride to a user when summoned by an app. The technology could also be used to make its two-wheelers safer with obstacle avoidance systems.
Cars

Lincoln’s stately, limited-edition flagship sedan sells out in a month

The 1961 Lincoln Continental became a design icon thanks to center-opening "coach doors" (also known as "suicide doors"). Lincoln is bringing those doors back for a special edition of the 2019 Continental.
Cars

Volkswagen is planning a tougher challenge for its all-electric I.D. R

The Volkswagen I.D. R electric race car will head to the Nürburgring for a lap-record attempt. Volkswagen will reportedly aim to set the quickest lap time ever by an electric car with the I.D. R.
Home Theater

Report: Spotify preparing to launch $100 in-car streaming device

According to a report, people familiar with Spotify's plans say the company is readying a dedicated in-car music streamer that will cost $100. It will work with any Bluetooth-enabled audio system and can be controlled by voice.
Cars

Tesla given go-ahead to start deliveries of Model 3 to Europe

Tesla has been given the green light to start deliveries of its Model 3 electric sedan to Europe, giving it the chance to compete more effectively with the likes of BMW, Audi, and Mercedes-Benz in the region's premium car market.