2015 CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 IS THE MOST POWERFUL CAMARO EVER
Powered by the supercharged LSA small-block V-8 producing 580 horsepower (427 kW), the Camaro ZL1 it is the most powerful production Camaro ever, wîth performance credentials that include:
◾0-60 mph in four seconds
◾Top speed of 184 mph
◾11-second quarter-mile ETs (11.93 wîth the automatic / 11.96 wîth the manual transmission)
◾Lapped the Nürburgring in 7:41.27.
Few production cars can match the ZL1's performance, and all of its high-velocity achievements were conducted wîth a stock test vehicle wearing all the street-legal, factory-issued components – and no time-consuming equipment adjustments at the racetrack.
More than just power and raw numbers, the ZL1 features technologically advanced and highly developed chassis and suspension systems. They help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking power to complement high engine output, and include third-generation Magnetic Ride Control.
The 2015 Camaro ZL1 is available in coupe and convertible models. Each wears a unique front fascia not shared wîth any other Camaro models. It was developed for the unique airflow requirements for engine cooling, brake cooling and aerodynamic downforce.
ZL1 models also include high-intensity discharge headlamps, rear park assist, a rear-vision camera system, MyLink wîth a seven-inch-diagonal color touch screen, a driver information center wîth color display and head-up display. Recaro performance bucket seats are available on the coupe, and models equipped wîth the automatic transmission include remote vehicle starting.
To maintain stability and §teering response at the speed the Camaro ZL1 is capable of achieving, it features an aerodynamic design that generates downforce to press the tires against the track. The Camaro ZL1 produces 65 pounds of downforce at an equivalent 150 mph (241 km/h) – compared to 200 pounds of lift in a Camaro SS – which was offset by an increase of only 40 counts of additional aerodynamic drag.
Seven elements contribute to the downforce of the ZL1:
| ||Vital Stats|
|Engine : 6.2 L., 8-cylinder|
Power: 580 hp
Torque: 556 ft-lbs
6-speed Manual, 6-speed Automatic
◾Front fascia – The front fascia channels air for engine and brake cooling. The corners of the front fascia were shaped to minimize lift, while brake-cooling ducts in the outer corners of the lower grille opening provide a direct, high-flow path to the brake rotors.
◾Hood – The ZL1's hood has a vented, carbon fiber insert, contributing to both engine cooling and aerodynamic downforce. The specially shaped vents draw air up through the engine bay – allowing a significant volume of air flow while keeping the front tires firmly connected to the pavement.
◾Front splitter – Instead of a traditional front air dam, the ZL1 incorporates a racing-style splitter to help create downforce.
◾Front tire deflectors – The deflectors push airflow around the rotating wheels and tires more efficiently, reducing lift and drag.
◾Belly pans – The ZL1 has two of them: one beneath the engine cradle and one at the rear of the engine assembly, just in front of the transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
They minimize airflow turbulence under the car. NACA-style ducts are incorporated into the rear belly pan for transmission cooling.
◾Rocker panels – Although subtle in appearance, the carefully shaped rocker panels help reduce lift and drag, while also contributing to stability during high cross winds. They also provide stone protection wîth the ZL1's wider tires.
◾Rear spoiler – The ZL1's rear spoiler, which contributes approximately 150 pounds of down force at the cost of only one count of drag. It is taller and wider than the Camaro SS spoiler and incorporates the center high-mounted stop lamp.
In addition to the functional design elements, the Camaro ZL1 offers several aesthetic options, including a bright-finish wheel package, exposed-weave carbon fiber hood insert and a stripe package.
The exterior color palette for 2015 includes Red Hot, Bright Yellow, Red Rock Metallic, Silver Ice Metallic, Summit White, Black, Crystal Red Tintcoat, Ashen Gray Metallic and Blue Velvet Metallic.Camaro ZL1 convertible details
Because the Camaro's architecture was designed to accommodate a convertible model, it gives the ZL1 convertible coupe-like driving dynamics and performance capability. Four strategic reinforcements enhance the already-stiff body structure to quell the cowl and §teering wheel shake common in convertibles. They include:
◾A tower-to-tower brace under the hood
◾A transmission support reinforcement brace
◾Únderbody tunnel brace
◾Front 'X' brace and stiffer cradle as well as rear underbody 'V' braces.
Additional structural reinforcements in the ZL1 convertible are designed to improve noise and vibration characteristics, while also reducing unwanted ride and body motions, including a hydroformed tube in the A-pillars.Supercharged LSA 6.2L V-8
Supporting the dynamic track and street performance of the ZL1 is the LSA 6.2L supercharged engine, which is rated at 580 horsepower (427 kW) and 556 lb.-ft. of torque (754 Nm). The engine's bottom end uses six-bolt main bearing caps that clamp and lock in a forged steel crankshaft within a deep-skirt cylinder block. Additional features include:
◾Balanced, lightweight reciprocating assembly
◾High-strength hypereutectic pistons
◾Sixth-generation Eaton supercharger wîth four-lobe rotors
◾Piston oil squirters.
The 1.9L Roots-style blower uses an efficient four-lobe rotor set and compact intercooler to deliver boosted air into the high-flow cylinder heads. The engine also draws its breath through a unique induction system, wîth a low-restriction air filter, dual inlet paths and enhanced airflow through the supercharger housing.
Because the Camaro ZL1 uses electric power §teering, the engine does not incorporate a conventional hydraulic power §teering pump on its accessory drive system. This enhances performance, because no engine power is used to turn a §teering pump pulley.Track-capable manual and automatic transmissions
The ZL1 is offered wîth a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com)
The Tremec TR6060 'MG9' manual features 30 percent more torque capacity than in the Camaro SS. The higher torque capacity results from a strengthened output shaft, high-strength rear housing, and additional roller bearing. The MG9 has also been tuned for improved shift feel, wîth a dual-mass flywheel, twin-disc clutch, and triple synchros for smooth, precise shifts.
Similarly, the Hydra-Matic 6L90 automatic has been strengthened to handle the torque and horsepower produced by the 6.2L supercharged small-block. It features a strengthened input gearset wîth two additional pinion gears, additional clutch plate, and a strengthened output shaft and gearset. To make the ZL1 perform equally well on street and track, the 6L90 features three distinct drive modes:
◾Drive: The shift pattern is calibrated for optimal fuel economy, including second-gear starts, while the shift feel is tuned for a smooth driving experience. Engaging the tap-shift feature on the §teering wheel or shift lever engages temporary manual mode.
◾Sport: The shift pattern is calibrated for more aggressing driving, including first-gear starts for maximum performance. The shift feel is also more aggressive, wîth a performance algorithm that holds the transmission in lower gears during aggressive driving.
◾Manual: Here, the 6L90 offers the driver true manual control, wîth no automatic up shifts, and staged upshifts for incredibly fast shifts and maximum performance.Track-ready features of the ZL1's powertrain include:
◾An engine-oil cooler, identical to the system on the Corvette ZR1. The integral liquid-to-liquid system is so effective that both the manual and automatic transmissions are deemed to be fully track-capable wîth the standard factory-installed cooling package.
◾A high-performance fuel system delivers fuel to the LSA engine under any performance driving condition. For example, the system features additional fuel pickups on the primary side, and the secondary fuel pickup is moved outboard for continuous fuel access during high-g cornering under low fuel conditions.
The Camaro ZL1 is also equipped wîth a dual-mode exhaust system, which alters the sound level and character in response to engine rpm and throttle position.Chassis and drivetrain details
The drivetrain is unique to the Camaro ZL1 and is composed of a stronger driveshaft and rear axle system, featuring a larger, stronger 9.9-inch cast iron differential housing, stronger axles and heavy-duty limited-slip differential. This patent-pending system is designed to ensure that ZL1's tremendous power is delivered smoothly to the ground. A rear-differential cooler reduces temperatures in the differential by more than 100 F.
Asymmetrical half-shafts – a 60mm hollow shaft on the right and a 33mm solid shaft on the left – offer different torsional stiffness rates, which work wîth the limited-slip differential to minimize the chance of wheel hop on hard launches. Also, the rear stabilizer bar has drop links positioned outboard of the control arms, for more effective body roll control in turns, wîth crisp response to driver commands.
Camaro ZL1 features an advanced track-capable braking system, developed in conjunction wîth Brembo. Large 14.6-inch (370 mm) two-piece front rotors have six-piston calipers; the 14.4-inch (365 mm) rear rotors have four-piston calipers.
ZL1-specific 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, which are lighter than the 20-inch wheels used on the Camaro SS, are used wîth Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G:2 tires developed specifically for the ZL1.Performance Traction Management and Magnetic Ride Control
Performance Traction Management (PTM) is standard on the Camaro ZL1 coupe. It integrates the exclusive third-generation magnetic ride control – wîth driver-selectable Tour and Sport modes – launch control, traction control, electronic stability control and electric power §teering response to enhance performance.
With PTM, the launch control feature (manual transmission only) automatically modulates engine torque for the best-possible acceleration without excessive wheel spin. When the driver pushes the throttle to the floor, the system holds a predetermined engine speed until the driver releases the clutch. Then, the system modulates engine torque 1,000 times per second to maximize the available traction. Similarly, on a road course, the driver can apply full throttle when exiting a corner and Performance Traction Management will automatically manage acceleration dynamics to maximize exit speed based on available traction.
Five PTM performance levels or modes are available to accommodate the given ambient and track conditions, driver experience/vehicle familiarity and driver comfort levels. They include:
◾Mode 1 – Traction control set for wet conditions, wîth stability control on and Magnetic Ride Control set on Tour.
◾Mode 2 – Traction control set for dry conditions, wîth stability control on and Magnetic Ride Control set on Tour.
◾Mode 3 – Traction control set on Sport 1, wîth stability control on and Magnetic Ride Control set on Sport.
◾Mode 4 – Traction control set on Sport 2, wîth stability control off and Magnetic Ride Control set on Sport.
◾Mode 5 – Traction control set on Race, wîth stability control off and Magnetic Ride Control set on Track. Launch control tuned for VHT-prepped drag strips. Interior features
ZL1 is tailored for high-performance driving and is offered solely wîth a black interior. Heated leather seats wîth microfiber inserts and ZL1 logos embroidered on the front head restraints are comfortable and deliver the support required in high-load turns on a racetrack, wîth Recaro performance front bucket seats available – including leather trim and microfiber inserts.
Microfiber suede is repeated as an accent on the instrument panel, adding a richer look to the interior. Additional interior features include a thick, flat-bottom §teering wheel, alloy pedals, head-up display wîth unique performance readouts, a 'four-pack' auxiliary gauge system featuring a boost readout, as well as:
◾Únique instrument panel and door panel inserts; and ZL1-logo sill plates
◾Color driver information display
◾Color head-up display
◾Steering wheel audio controls wîth Bluetooth capability
◾Rear parking assist
◾Rear camera system
◾Remote vehicle starter (available wîth automatic transmission).
A suede package, including suede microfiber accents on the §teering wheel, shift knob and shift boot, is available, along wîth a power sunroof. Recaro performance seats are available on coupe models.MyLink details
Camaro ZL1 includes Chevrolet MyLink, which seamlessly integrates online services such as Pandora® internet radio and Stitcher SmartRadio® using hands-free voice and touch-screen controls via Bluetooth-enabled phones. MyLink adds stereo audio streaming and wireless control of smartphones, building on the voice-activated Bluetooth hands-free calling capability already offered in most Chevy vehicles.
MyLink features a high-resolution, full-color touch screen display designed to manage the number of steps required to complete a task. It also retains all the capabilities of conventional entertainment features, including AM/FM/Sirius XM tuners, CD player wîth MP3 playback, auxiliary and ÚSB inputs.Safety and crash-avoidance features
The Camaro ZL1 is designed to help drivers avoid crashes, and protect occupants in the event a crash occurs. A strong body structure is designed to absorb crash energy and provide a protective 'safety cage' around occupants. In fact, the 2012 Camaro was the first passenger car to receive NHTSA's revised quadruple 5-star safety rating.Additional features include:
◾Coupe models come wîth six standard air bags, including side curtain air bags, which provide head protection for outboard passengers in the event of a side-impact or rollover crash. Convertibles have four standard air bags.
◾Rear Vision Package includes a rearview camera system to complement the rear park assist feature
◾StabiliTrak electronic stability control system helps reduce the risk of rollover crashes by keeping the vehicle in the driver's intended path by applying throttle, braking or a combination of both
◾Standard four-wheel disc brake system featuring smooth, quiet operation, longer pad life and more resistance to brake pulsation
◾Pretensioners minimize forward movement during a collision, and are standard on the front safety belts. Load-limiting retractors cinch the belt more tightly
◾Standard tire pressure monitoring system
◾Standard remote keyless entry (RKE) system provides a second function for the red panic button. Drivers can use it to locate their cars without sounding the panic alarm.
Six months of OnStar Directions and Connections service is standard on Camaro ZL1. It uses GPS and cellular phone technology to automatically call for help in the event of crash. OnStar service also includes MyLink mobile apps, which offer vehicle information and OnStar services via the customer's smartphone.Source - Chevrolet
The Chevrolet Camaro was introduced in 1967 as a compact car specifically built to provide competition for the highly popular Ford Mustang. This pony car was built atop of the same F-Body platform as the Pontiac Firebird, which had a similar production lifespan of 1967 through 2002.
During the preproduction stages of the Chevrolet Camaro, General Motors codenamed the vehicle 'Panther'. The name 'Camaro' was decided upon before production began. The word 'Camaro' in French is slang for 'friend' but in pony-car slang, the name means 'Mustang killer'.
During its production lifespan, there were four generations produced. The first generation lasted from 1967 through 1969. The second generation lasted from 1972 through 1981. The third generation lasted from 1982 through 1992. The fourth generation lasted from 1993 through 2002. The fifth generation is believed to begin production in 2007; a concept was shown at the 2006 Detroit Auto Show.
When the car was introduced in 1967, it was available in two bodystyles, a coupe and convertible. It shared many mechanics with the Chevrolet Nova and built atop a unibody chassis. The base engine was a 3.7 liter inline-six cylinder capable of producing 140 horsepower. Power was sent to the rear wheels courtesy of a Saginaw three-speed manual gearbox. A Muncie four-speed manual and a two-speed PowerGlide automatic were offered as optional equipment. Near the end of 1967, a Turbo Hydra-Matic 350 became available on the SS396. In 1969 the TH350 was offered on the Camaro as optional equipment, in place of the PowerGlide which was no longer offered. 14 inch wheels were standard.
To compete in the pony-car arena, General Motors offered a 5.7 liter eight-cylinder engine in 1967 that produced nearly 300 horsepower.
The Camaro was highly customizable, with over seventy factory and forty dealer options available. the z28 option was not mentioned in the sales literature so many buyers were unaware of its existence. Due to the lack of press about the Z28 option, only 602 examples were produced. The package included many performance enhancements such as a 4.9 liter small-block engine, front disc brakes, Muncie 4-speed gearbox, suspension improvements, 15 inch Rallye wheels, and power steering. The aesthetics of the vehicle were segregated from the other Camaro's with racing stripes being placed on the hood. The Z28 package was offered by GM specifically to comply with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) Trans Am racing series that required an engine size of five-liters or less. Also, the vehicle must be sold to the general public.
The SS (Super Sport) package included many performance and aesthetic upgrades and was popular with more than 34400 examples created. Under the hood was a 5.7 liter eight-cylinder engine with a 6.5 liter big-block offered as optional equipment in 1968. On the grille, horn button, and gas cap were SS badging. Non-functional air-inlets adorned the front hood.
The RS (Rally Sport) package was basically a cosmetic upgrade. The headlights were hidden, the taillights received minor alterations, and the exterior rocker trim was revised. RS badging could be seen throughout the vehicle. This was the most popular option ordered in 1967 with over 64840 examples produced.
The RS and SS packages could be ordered together, creating the RS/SS Camaro. The combination included both the aesthetics of the RS and the performance of the SS. A Camaro RS/SS convertible with a 6.5 liter engine paced the Indianapolis 500 race in 1967.
With over 220900 examples produced in 1967, the Camaro proved to General Motors that the public was starved for small, performance, pony-cars.
In 1968 the Camaro received minor aesthetic and mechanical improvements. Side market lights were added, the grille became more pointed, and the taillights were now segregated. The side vent windows were removed. Performance was improved slightly by the staggering of the shock absorbers. On some of the models, the single-leafs were replaced by multi-leaf springs.
Buyers became aware of the Z28 package in 1968 and ordered nearly 7200 examples. The RS continued to be the most popular option with 40977 examples produced. The SS accounted for 27884 of the 235147 total Camaro's produced in 1968.
For 1969 the Camaro became safer and faster. General Motors mandated that the Camaro could not come from the factory with engines larger than 6.6 liters. To bypass this rule dealerships such as Yenko Chevrolet, Dana Chevrolet, and Nickey Chevrolet offered the Camaro with the 7 liter, big-block, L-27 corvette engine producing 425 horsepower. These performance options became so popular that in 1969 Chevrolet began offering two Central Office Production Orders (COPO) options, numbers 9560 and 9561. The COPO 9561 option included the L-72 Corvette engine. In total, there were 1015 Camaros equipped with the L-72 Corvette engine.
The COPO 9560 option included a 7-liter, big-block, ZL-1 engine. The engine was constructed of aluminum to help reduce the overall weight. The engine was reported to have produced around 430 gross horsepower but in reality it was closer to 550. With only 69 examples produced it is one of the rarest and fastest of all Chevrolet Camaros.
Most of the 1969 Chevrolet Camaro mechanics remained unchanged. The aesthetics was a different story. The grille was redesigned and the headlights now sat farther back adding to the aggressive features of the car. Newly reshaped door, rear quarter panel, and rear valence gave the 1969 Camaro a smooth, low, and wide stance. The production of the 1969 Camaro, which continued into December of 1969, was the final year for the first generation Camaro.
The second generation Camaro began production near the middle of 1970. The body had been redesigned and the suspension was greatly improved. The rest of the mechanics remained mostly unchanged from the prior years. The biggest change was the base engine, which was now a 4.1 liter inline-six capable of producing 155 horsepower. There was no convertible option offered, only a 2+2 coupe configuration.
The big-block eight-cylinder had been bored to 402 cubic-inches but still retained its 396 badging. The Rally Sport, Super Sport, and Z28 packages were still available. The Z28 now featured a 5.7 liter engine that produced 360 horsepower.
1972 was not a good year for the Camaro. For 174 days production ceased at GM's assembly plant in Ohio due to a UAW strike. This resulted in 1100 Camaro's failing to meet 1973 Federal bumper safety standards. In total, only 68,656 examples were production. Less than a thousand were the SS package so General Motors decided to no longer offer the package after 1972. This meant the big-block 396 cubic-inch engine was no longer offered.
The Camaro, much like the rest of the industry, had to adapt to new government and insurance safety and emission regulations. This meant new safety features like larger bumpers needed to be affixed to the car that could protect the vehicle and its occupants at certain speeds. Engines were detuned to comply with safety and emission concerns. The cars became safer but their performance was seriously crippled. This was true for the Camaro in 1973 when its highest producing engine was a 350 cubic-inch V-8 that produced 245 horsepower.
New for 1973 was an LT option which included impact-absorbing bumpers. The Camaro grew in size in 1974 due to a forward sloping grille and new aluminum bumpers. Rectangular bumpers replaced the round taillight designs. Sales of the Z28 package continued to decline so the decision was made to discontinue the option after 1974.
Horsepower was measured in NET rather than gross rating beginning in 1975. This meant that the reported horsepower was much lower than in prior years. The 350 cubic-inch V8 was now rated at about 155 horsepower.
In 1977 the Z28 was re-introduced in an effort to revitalize the muscle-car persona of the Camaro. The base Camaro's were outfitted with air-conditioning and an automatic transmission. A Borg-Warner Super T-10 four-speed manual gearbox could be ordered as optional equipment.
1978 marked the first year for the T-top option on a Camaro. The Camaro was given larger taillights and new bumpers.
As vehicles became safer, they became slower. The public shifted from wanting performance to luxury. Oil embargos and rising fuel costs had made the engines smaller but more fuel efficient. For 1979 the LT package was replaced with a luxurious Berlinetta that included special wheels, paint, emblems, and interior.
1979 was a very strong year for Camaro sales with 282,571 examples being sold.
1980 and 1981 saw very few changes. The hood scope on the Z-28 was revised to help siphon air to the engine.
In 1981 sales were down considerable to just over 126,000. This would be the final year for the second generation Camaro.
In 1982 General Motors introduced the third generation of the Camaro. The vehicle was stylish and versatile, earning the coveted Motor Trend magazine's Car of the Year. Both aesthetically and mechanically, the vehicle was improved. The suspension was upgraded making it more capable in the corners and at speed.
This was the first year the Camaro was equipped with a factory fuel-injected engine. A four-speed automatic gearbox replaced the three-speed unit. A five-speed manual gearbox was also available. Due to rising concerns of oil shortage, a four-cylinder engine was offered for part of 1982.
6000 examples of the Z28 Camaro were sold to commemorate the return of the pony-car to the Indianapolis 500. The special-edition vehicles were painted in two-tone silver and blue paint with orange pin-striping.
To honor the International Race of Champions, Chevrolet introduced the IROC-Z in 1985. The package included an improved suspension, decal package, and a 305 cubic-inch L98 Tuned Port Injection system borrowed from the Corvette. The IROC-Z was featured on Car and Driver magazine's Ten Best List for 1985.
The L69 small-block engine was offered from 1983 through 1986. The LB9 small-block was introduced in 1985; the L98 small-block was introduced in 1987; the LO3 was introduced in 1988. The LB9, L98, and LO3 stayed in production until 1992.
1992 was the final year for the third generation Camaro. 1993 marked the beginning of the fourth generation which persisted until 2002.
New technology and material made the fourth generation greatly improved over the prior years. Weight was reduced with the use of plastic body panels sitting atop a steel space frame. Performance was increased thanks in part to a better suspension system. In 1993 Chevrolet offered the LT1 eight-cylinder engine, which had been in production for a year on the Corvette, on the Camaro. A six-speed manual gearbox was offered with the LT1 engine.
The Camaro returned to the Indianapolis 500 as the honorary pace car in 1993. To commemorate this historic accomplishment, Chevrolet offered a limited quantity of special edition Camaro's, painted in a black and white color scheme.
The design and mechanics remained mostly unchanged over the next few years. Minor revisions were made to comply with newly introduced emission standards. Mechanical changes were made to correct problems that had been found throughout the years.
In 1996 the RS package and the SS package were re-introduced. The RS was an appearance option for the six-cylinder Camaro's while the SS was both an appearance and performance package for the eight-cylinder cars.
1997 marked the 30th anniversary of the Camaro. A 30th Anniversary Package was offered to honor this accomplishment. The vehicles were painted white with orange stripes. 100 of the Anniversary Camaros were given the LT4 engine with 330 horsepower; a thirty-eight thousand dollar price tag accompanied the vehicle.
The interior of the Camaro was modernized in 1997 and again in 1998, although the 1998 improvements were minor in comparison to what transpired the prior year.
The body design was drastically changed in 1998, mainly in the front. Round headlights replaced the square design. The headlights were flush, inline with the rest of the body. A new grille and bumper were used, both positioned a little differently to mimic the headlight changes. A new powerful, lightweight, all-aluminum LS1 power-plant retired the LT1 unit. The OHV LS1 was borrowed from the Corvette and slightly detuned to produce just over 300 horsepower. To handle this extra power, the disc brakes were enlarged and the suspension was upgraded.
Total production for 1998 was 48490. This was disappointing for General Motors, especially with the newly revised body and powerful options. The lowest production year for the Camaro occurred in 2001 with just over 29000 examples being produced. This was due to low sales and production ceasing early to begin work on the 35th Anniversary 2002 cars.
2002 marked the final year for production of the fifth generation Camaro. The styling and mechanics were unmodified, carrying the same design from 1999.
A special 35th Anniversary Edition was offered and could be ordered on all trim levels and packages. The 35th Anniversary SS Camaro could only be ordered as a convertible or with T-Tops. Around 3000 examples of the 35th Anniversary Edition were created. Total production for the year was just over 42,000.
On August 27th, 2002 production ceased. The Camaro had accomplished its goal, to provide competition for the Ford Mustang and other compact, low-priced, sports cars. Outfitted with large, Corvette engines, matted to effective gearboxes and given great suspension and brakes, the Camaro was truly a performance machine that was capable and fun to drive. It was fairly practical with room for more than two passengers. It was economical with sticker-prices in the range that many could afford. The production of the Camaro has ceased, but its future has not yet been written. Expect to see this legendary vehicle on the roadways in the near future.
By Daniel Vaughan | May 2011