2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1 at Chicago Auto Show
- Competes with: Ford Mustang Shelby GT500
- Looks like: A Camaro SS with an engine tumor
- Drivetrain: 550-hp, supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine with six-speed manual transmission
- Hits dealerships: Beginning of 2012
If people doubted Chevy would let the Mustang Shelby GT500 go unchallenged for long, they were wrong. Here it is — the ZL1.
Chevy says this beast of power is actually still in development, but it's ready to debut it at a major auto show. That’s because Chevy has experience with this powertrain: It’s the same monstrous, supercharged V-8 that powers Cadillac’s CTS-V lineup. In the ZL1, it will make 550 horsepower and 550 pounds-feet of torque routed through a six-speed Tremec transmission. All that power will go to the back wheels in an attempt to paint local roads black, two stripes at a time.
The dual-mode exhaust should make the ZL1 plenty loud, while the Magnetic Ride Control suspension — also borrowed from Cadillac — won’t make the car completely unwieldy in daily-driving situations. It will have Tour and Sport selectable ride modes.
Unlike the Shelby GT500, the Camaro ZL1 will be available in all the same colors as the current Camaro, but with the black carbon-fiber hood cover, and the only interior color will be black. There are new 20-inch wheels and Goodyear Supercar F2 tires. (Yes that’s their name.)
Complementing what we expect to be a near-$50,000 price tag will be the goodies that typically come with the 2SS option package on the regular Camaro, including power seats, steering-wheel audio controls, Bluetooth, rear parking assist and camera, and a Boston Acoustics premium sound system. There will also be plenty of ZL1 badges inside and outside of this high-powered Camaro.
More images are below. We’ll have an up-close look very soon.