Image credits: © Chevrolet. GM Corp
2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Camaro ZL1 Joins the 11-second Club
The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is officially in the '11-second' club, as engineers recently turned an 11.93-second/116-mph quarter-mile elapsed time run in a showroom-stock Camaro ZL1 automatic. A Camaro ZL1 manual ran an 11.96-second ET at 117 mph.
Only a few other production vehicles can run the quarter-mile as quickly as the ZL1. Fewer yet can also run 0-60 in 4 seconds, reach a top speed of 184 mph and lap the famous Nürburgring in 7:41.27 – all with the street-legal, factory-issued components and no time-consuming equipment adjustments at the racetrack.
'The ZL1 is great at everything and we're very proud of that,' said Tony Roma, Camaro ZL1 program engineering manager. 'You can take it to the drag strip and run 11-second quarter-miles all day long. You can also take it to a road course, where it's balanced, handles well, and does exactly what you want – including lapping Virginia International Raceway's Grand Course in under three minutes – and yet the ZL1 is sophisticated enough to use as a daily driver. It's a supercar you can drive every day.'
For perspective, the Camaro ZL1 is so quick that some drivers who experiment with 'drag radial' tires or full racing slicks may find themselves going too quick for most NHRA-sanctioned racetracks, where a five-point roll bar is required for vehicles running 11.49 or quicker. The 11.93-second ET in a stock ZL1 tested by the engineers wore the factory-issued Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G:2 tires developed specifically for it, putting the car only a scant 0.44-second away from that additional racing safety requirement. Tuned for the drag strip
The original, special-order 1969 Camaro ZL1s are still revered for their legendary performance on the drag strip and Chevrolet was keenly aware that customers for the new, 21st century edition would undoubtedly test its straight-line mettle in quarter-mile increments.
The Camaro team re-engineered 30 percent of a Camaro 2SS to make the ZL1, including special modifications just for the drag strip.
'We know many of customers will take their ZL1 to the drag strip,' said Gordon Rojewski, driveline development engineer – and who is also an experienced drag racer and owner of a turbocharged, 920-horsepower street car. 'Some may just go once, to experience the full potential of the 580-horsepower LSA engine. Others may be more serious, going every other weekend with a set of slicks in the trunk. As such, we set out to make sure the ZL1 would perform for them – on the first pass and on the 100th.'
For example, to withstand the heavy loads of repeated hard launches, the ZL1 features a stout 9.9-inch rear differential mounted in a robust cast iron center section. It also features a standard differential cooler that can lower the temperature by 100 degrees F for improved performance and longevity.
The ZL1 also features asymmetrical half-shafts: a 60mm hollow shaft on the right and a 33mm solid shaft on the left. The different torsional stiffness rates of the shafts work in conjunction with the limited-slip differential to minimize the chance of wheel hop at launch. Engineers modified the rear suspension, as well, to accommodate an 18-inch wheel, for owners who want to fit a set of drag-radials with taller sidewalls to improve their ETs.
Even the ZL1's exclusive Performance Traction Management (PTM) was tuned for the drag-strip. It integrates third-generation Magnetic Ride Control, launch control, traction control, electronic stability control and electric power steering response to enhance performance. Launch control (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.
Mode 5 of launch control is uniquely calibrated for drag strips that use VHT or similar traction-enhancing compounds on the starting line. In addition to validating the system for the stock tires, engineers also tested it with 18- and 20-inch racing-type drag radial tires in anticipation of the specialty tires many drivers will use at the track. Drag radials are very soft and provide nearly the traction of a full racing slick, allowing the car to launch at a higher rpm without wheel spin, which can translate into an even quicker ET. Proven with 1,000 hard launch tests
To test the chassis and suspension components to ensure they were up to repeated hard-start launches typical at the drag strip, engineers subjected the ZL1 to the grueling 'Woodward Avenue Schedule' at the GM Milford Proving Ground.
Named for the famous cruising route that cuts north through Detroit's suburbs and has been the venue for untold thousands of unofficial launch capability demonstrations since the 1960s, each test cycle is a hard-launch, standing-start drag race up to 100 mph. The ZL1 was subjected to 1,000 test cycles before its driveline was stamped 'approved'.
'The Woodward Avenue Schedule was a really brutal test, but it told us the Camaro ZL1 would live up to the way we knew our customers would drive it on the track,' said Rojewski.
The Camaro ZL1 is on sale now with a suggested retail price of $54,995 – including a $900 destination charge. The 6L90 six-speed automatic transmission includes TapShift control and is a $1,185 option. The Camaro ZL1 convertible goes on sale this summer.
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world's largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.Source - Chevrolet
ZL1: Chevrolet Camaro Enters The Realm Of Advanced Performance Technology
- LSA 6.2L supercharged engine will produce an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW) and is matched with a six-speed manual transmission with a dual-disc clutch system
- Packed with performance technologies, highlighted by Magnetic Ride Control, and advanced materials – including a vented carbon fiber hood insert. Extensive aerodynamic development designed for high-performance driving
- Development ongoing, targeting launch at the beginning of 2012CHICAGO
– The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 debuted today at the Chicago Auto Show. It is the highest-performing Camaro and the most technically advanced car ever developed in its class. The new ZL1 continues the momentum of Camaro, propelling it into an entirely new realm of leading-edge performance technology. It is planned to launch at the beginning of 2012.
Motivated by a supercharged V-8 engine producing an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW), the Camaro ZL1 will be the fastest Camaro ever offered by Chevrolet. And more than just power, the ZL1 features technologically advanced and highly developed chassis and suspension systems that help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking power to complement its high engine output. Rigorous development of the ZL1 is ongoing, and official estimates of the car's capabilities will be released later in 2011, as testing nears completion.
'Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design, and is a type of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously,' said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. 'It's the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we've chosen a name from the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history.'
The ZL1 name is derived from the all-aluminum racing engine of the same name, which was developed in the late 1960s and installed into a handful of regular-production 1969 Camaros. Only 69 were built with the engine, but they've achieved mythical status among enthusiasts, as they represented the pinnacle in Camaro performance – until now. The 2012 ZL1 model is designed to be a major leap forward for the Camaro, bringing a new level of performance capability to the segment.
The central goal of the car's development was creating something new – a Camaro intended to reach optimal lap times on top road-racing circuits and excellent driving dynamics on the street. To achieve that goal, engineers evolved many of the existing Camaro's systems, as well as incorporated new technologies such as electric power steering and Magnetic Ride Control, the world's fastest-reacting suspension system.
Camaro ZL1's design communicates and supports its performance mission. Rather than using decorative elements, ZL1 is visually differentiated from other current Camaro models with elements vital to the car's elevated capabilities.
'Everything about the ZL1's design is directly related to its technology and serious performance, especially aerodynamics,' said Ed Welburn, vice president, Global Design. 'Our designers' goal was to execute that function-oriented design with beautifully sculpted forms, creating an imposing, powerful persona. Function becomes the aesthetic. The intent is a car that delivers on the attitude it projects.'
Major elements of the ZL1's design are a new front fascia and hood with air extractors, designed in tandem to create aerodynamic downforce to aid handling. The car's hood includes a signature center section constructed of carbon fiber and rendered in satin black finish. New rocker panels, wide tires, 20-inch wheels and exhaust tips portray the car's handling and power.
The ZL1 badge appears on the grille, hood and the brake calipers, all key areas portraying the technology within.
Engine : 6.2 L., 8-cylinder
Power: 550 hp
Torque: 550 ft-lbs
Supporting the dynamic track and street performance of the ZL1 is the LSA 6.2L supercharged engine, which will produce an estimated 550 horsepower (410kW) and 550 lb.-ft. of torque (677 Nm), with specific features for the Camaro. Built on GM's legendary all-aluminum, small-block V-8 architecture, the LSA features an intercooled supercharger system, premium heat-resistant aluminum-alloy cylinder heads and other details designed to ensure its exceptional performance is delivered with smoothness and refinement. Components and design elements that contribute to the LSA's performance include:
- Balanced, lightweight reciprocating assembly
- High-strength hypereutectic pistons
- Sixth-generation Eaton supercharger with four-lobe rotors
- Piston oil squirters.
Because the Camaro ZL1 uses electric power steering, the engine does not incorporate a conventional hydraulic power steering pump on its accessory drive system. This enhances performance, because no engine power is used to turn a steering pump pulley.
Camaro ZL1 is a complete high-performance car, not just a Camaro with more power. Key technical highlights include:Transmission
– The high-performance Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual is matched with the LSA engine. It is the 'MG9' version of the transmission, with a higher torque capacity. It is used with a dual-mass flywheel and twin-disc clutch for easy operation and shift smoothness. A new, shorter-throw shifter actuates the gear changes.Exhaust
– ZL1 is equipped with a dual-mode exhaust system, which alters the sound level and character in response to engine rpm. First used on the legendary Corvette, and specifically tuned for Camaro ZL1, the dual-mode exhaust will give the car a signature sound.Drivetrain
– It is revised with a stronger driveshaft and rear axle system, featuring a larger and stronger 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.Suspension
– The suspension features completely revised tuning and the inclusion of segment-exclusive Magnetic Ride Control. ZL1's Magnetic Ride system will include driver selectable modes (Tour and Sport) tailored for the preferred style of driving. It uses advanced magneto-rheological science to produce shock damping with the highest level of precision, enabling body control optimized for excellent performance in everyday driving as well as track situations. This technology appears on only a small roster of some of the world's finest performance cars. Other chassis elements are redesigned to support the car's high-performance limits. Rear stabilizer bars have drop links repositioned outboard of the control arms. This makes the bars more effective in controlling body roll in turns, with crisp response to driver commands.Brakes and Steering
– Camaro ZL1 features an advanced track-capable braking system, developed in conjunction with experts from Brembo. The 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 marks the entry of a new electric power steering system to Camaro. It is being developed to ensure precise control and feedback to the driver, with greater variability of effort for high-performance driving. Exterior
– ZL1's signature from the front is the redesigned fascia and aluminum hood with a raised, carbon fiber insert. The fascia includes a front splitter and new vertical fog lamps. The fog lamp area includes air intakes designed for brake cooling. The hood features front-mounted air extractors that direct air precisely over the car. Visually, this center section, in satin black carbon fiber, communicates the car's high-performance intent as a visual contrast to the car's exterior color. Functionally, the air extractor is a key in connecting airflow closely to the bodywork, creating aerodynamic downforce. The carbon fiber center section reduces the mass of the hood. High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and fog lamps are standard. The rear of the car includes a diffuser and spoiler, also functional elements that enhance the car's aerodynamics.Wheels and Tires
– New-design, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, which are lighter than the 20-inch wheels used on the Camaro SS, are used with new Goodyear Supercar F2 ties developed specifically for the ZL1.Interior
– ZL1 is tailored for high-performance driving. The front seats feature microfiber suede inserts. Other enhancements include a redesigned steering wheel, alloy pedals, Head-Úp Display with unique performance readouts and the 'four-pack' auxiliary gauge system featuring a boost readout.Production details
All of the Camaro exterior colors will be offered with the ZL1, but black is the only interior color. The unique exterior features are complemented with a black center section on the hood. Inside, the Camaro ZL1 has heated leather seats with microfiber inserts and ZL1 logos embroidered on the front headrests. Microfiber suede is repeated as an accent on the instrument panel, adding a richer look to the interior. The ZL1 will include the same content as the current 2SS package and include the following new or unique features:
- Six-way power driver and passenger seats
- Únique instrument panel and door panel inserts; and ZL1-logo sill plates
- Steering wheel audio controls with Bluetooth capability
- Wireless PDIM and ÚSB-port
- Boston Acoustics premium audio system
- Rear parking assist
- Rear camera system (displayed in the inside rearview mirror).
Engineers have already driven Camaro ZL1 prototypes extensively at demanding road courses in the Ú.S. and Germany, with final testing being completed through the balance of 2011.Source - Chevrolet
Firmly Planted: Camaro ZL1 Designed for Downforce
With supercar levels of performance and technology, the 580-horsepower (432-kW) Camaro ZL1 can reach 170 mph (273 km/h) on the famed Nürburgring's Nordschleife course in Germany. To maintain stability and steering response at that speed, the ZL1 features an aerodynamic design that generates downforce to press the tires against the track.
'The Camaro ZL1 lapped the Nürburgring in an incredible 7:41.27 seconds, which would not have been possible without work of our aerodynamics team,' said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. 'The design of the ZL1 creates downforce like a race car, harnessing air pressure to press the tires against the track for extra grip and control at high speeds.'
Most production cars are designed with some lift at speed slip through the air for improved fuel economy. The Camaro LS and Camaro SS are no exceptions, enabling the Camaro LS to deliver 323 horsepower (241 kW) and up to 30 mpg on the highway.
Design for high-speed track capability takes in other considerations.
For the ZL1 – the fastest Camaro ever – the aerodynamics team set out to generate downforce for improved handing at speed while minimizing the amount of increased drag that could reduce fuel economy and the vehicle's top speed. With the computer-assisted design recommendations, engineers tested full-scale clay models and full-size prototypes in the General Motors' wind tunnel – shaping clay and trimming foam board by hand to affect changes and measure them immediately.
Outside of the aerodynamics laboratory, engineers tested the ZL1's aero aids on GM's Milford Road Course, other race tracks and the unique 'rolling road' wind tunnel at the Auto Research Center in Indianapolis.
When the dust settled and the wind-tunnel blades came to a stop, the Camaro ZL1 produced 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.
'From the driver's seat, the added downforce makes a huge change in the feel, and responsiveness of the ZL1 at high speeds,' said Oppenheiser. 'One of the best examples of how aerodynamics improved the performance of the ZL1 is the ‘Fuchsröhre,' or Foxhole at the Nürburgring. In the ZL1, you can take that sweeping left-hand corner flat-out in fifth gear – nearly 160 mph (257 km/h). That's a great testament to the confidence-inspiring stability and control the aerodynamic design helps give the Camaro ZL1.' Seven elements contribute to the downforce of the ZL1: 1. Front fascia
– The front fascia channels air for engine and brake cooling. The lower opening is larger than in a Camaro SS, providing greater airflow to the engine's intercooler heat exchanger. Even the grille 'fins' were shaped for optimal airflow. The corners of the front fascia, too, were reshaped to minimize lift, while the brake-cooling ducts in the outer corners of the lower grille opening provide a direct, high-flow path to the brake rotors. Cooling the brakes helps extend their life, particularly n the race track. 2. Hood
– The ZL1's hood has a vented, carbon fiber insert, contributing to both engine cooling and aerodynamic downforce. With traditional sealed hoods, air trapped in the engine bay creates lift at the front axle. With the ZL1, 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. 3. Front splitter
– Instead of a traditional front air dam, the ZL1 incorporates a racing-style splitter to help create downforce. Únlike some competitors' vehicles that come with an add-on splitter, the ZL1's does not have to be installed at the track – it is installed at the factory, and is designed with enough ground clearance for all driving conditions. 4. Front tire deflectors
– The deflectors push airflow around the rotating wheels and tires more efficiently, reducing lift and drag. And by using deflectors in place of a traditional air dam, the downforce is less sensitive to pitch changes, making the ZL1 feel more stable at high speeds. 5. 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)
Both extend the width of the chassis out to the wheelhouse opening, to minimize airflow turbulence under the car. NACA-style ducts are incorporated into the rear belly pan for transmission cooling. 6. 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 with the ZL1's wider tires. 7. Rear spoiler
– One of the most dramatic aero enhancements comes with the ZL1's rear spoiler, which contributes approximately 150 pounds of down force at the cost of only 1 count of drag. It is taller and wider than the Camaro SS spoiler and incorporates the center high-mounted stop lamp.
The Camaro ZL1 goes on sale later in 2012. A convertible model will also be offered for the 2013 model year, starting in the summer of 2012. Pricing will be announced later.Source - Chevrolet
Related Reading : Chevrolet Camaro History
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....Continue Reading >>