• Mar 29, 2011
2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 – Click above to watch the video (Warning: Auto play)

Chevrolet
has called the Ford Mustang franchise's Boss 302 and Shelby GT500 and raised the stakes by one supercharger. The obvious aim of the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is to silence all the critics who flame the Camaro for being slower than the 5.0-liter competition from Ford.

To cure their case of horsepower envy, Chevrolet threw a supercharged 6.2-liter LSA making more than 550 horsepower between the Camaro's fenders. That power theoretically puts it atop even the mighty GT500 in a straight line.

To make sure the Camaro could take down the handling-oriented Boss 302 as well, they cribbed the magnetic dampers from the Corvette ZR1 for the ZL1. All that effort should add up to not only the fastest Camaro ever built, but the best-handling, as well. We can't wait to get our mitts on the car, but in the meantime, we'll slake our curiosity by hearing the LSA briefly come to life in the video after the jump (Warning: Auto play).



[Source: Motor Trend]



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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 42 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      To bad it's still a crappy Chevrolet product. Yes, they can build pretty damn awesome power plants, but the overall vehicle quality is no where near that of Ford or the foreign competition.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Blow Me Bitches!!!!! I was making a commentary about Chevrolet's need to further improve overall vehicle build quality. If other GM monikers can do it, then why not Chevrolet??? By the way, my handle is for satirical purposes only and if you can't find the humor in it them you seriously need to lighten up.
      • 3 Years Ago
      If I could have my way, I'd have the Z/28 (wieght reduction in mind), with the ZR1 dampers, now add a V6(more reduced wieght than V8), BUT with a turbo or even twinturbo! Imagine what a Camaro can do with those specs. Can someone please direct me to the GM parts bin.
        • 3 Years Ago
        A twin turbo'd DOHC V6 likely wouldn't be much if any lighter than an LS V8
      • 3 Years Ago
      Lets see, adding special dampers, adding supercharger... no mention of losing weight. Sounds like this will still get spanked by the Boss.
        • 3 Years Ago

        I agree with you muttons....but....there are some ol' school chumps on Autoblog that live by the mantra "There's no replacement for displacement." So as long as the size of the engine goes up so does their adoration.

        However, I've continually maintained that "Lighter is righter". GM could have made a real corker of a Camaro by leaving the stock 'SS' engine in place and removing 300-400 lbs (or more) of weight from the car by removing cheapo GM parts bin junk and replacing cast iron with aluminum and steel with reinforced carbon fiber. Throw in a revised suspension, w/better steering geometry, lighter wheels (OH GOD GET RID OF THAT CHROME ALREADY!) and maybe bump the power just a little bit and all of a sudden you've got a Boss 302 killer. Final part of the recipe is to track test it like Ford did with the Boss 302 and make necessary changes as testing permits.

        The last part of my recipe is what scares me most about the ZL1 - any know where or how long it's been in test / tune phase development if at all ? I'm worried GM is building this car on paper alone and making their case publicly for a stats war with Ford instead of a performance based battle. Take it to the track gentlemen !
        • 3 Years Ago
        Not to mention the lighter GT500 is supposed to get 650hp next year.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yeah.

        And the Boss 302 weighs nearly twice as much as a lotus, which is why the lotus is twice as fast. oh no wait. It doesn't work like that.

        Weight matters as much as engine displacement. Often it's a good proxy, but it never tells the whole story.

        The suspension probably came from atop mount olympus, it's that good. And a ZR1 corvette is the only car that's ever beaten me on my bike at a stoplight grand prix. So that engine is unbelievable.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Yea, and the GT500 still has a SRA.. game over Ford.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Too bad it's going against the GT500...
        • 3 Years Ago
        OK, lets set things straight here. The current Mustang WITH the SRA is a pretty easy lock for best handling muscle car. Better than the Camaro in numerous tests, even before it got the Coyote. Will the new dampers help the Camaro? Possibly. But the car's biggest flaw is its weight. Until that is addressed, it will continue to hamper the handling. If anything this looks like it will be a heavier car than the SS, just as the Mustang GT500 is heavier than the GT.

        And what car is it going up against again? Oh right...

        "To make sure the Camaro could take down the handling-oriented Boss 302 as well, they cribbed the magnetic dampers from the Corvette ZR1 for the ZL1."

        I didn't bring it up, they did. It could very well out perform the GT500 since that car is still a bit nose heavy and the power is a little too much for the chassis to handle. But the Boss is in a different league entirely and that's what I addressed in my comment. Will this Camaro beat the GT500 around a track by a full 4 seconds? Even though it has the same hp and is heavier, trick suspension not withstanding? Because that's how much faster the Boss is than the GT500. I kinda doubt it will but look forward to them proving me wrong and pushing the competition even higher.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Had Ford not brought the Boss back (and done such a good job on it), this car would have been called Z/28.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Proper.
      • 3 Years Ago
      You know, for all of the complaining that is done on this blog, we trully have it good. I dont think ive seen these many great cars available for sale during my life time.

      But I do have a question. What will be worth more money some 30 years down the road, one of these puppies or a CTS-V Coupe/Wagon?

      • 3 Years Ago
      I'm ambivalent about this...it has a "Hot Wheels" sort of vibe going, which isn't good. It definitely screams "I'M A COOL GUY! COME HANG OUT WITH ME! MY UNDERPANTS HAVE A HARLEY LOGO!"...which means it should sell well w/those that lack self-confidence.

      However, I do have to admit that when I read the performance numbers, I got a bit excited. Unfortunately, that's when the "auto play" kicked in and that British guy's annoying Eurovoice killed my boner. Brits should stick to things they know, like fish & chips wagons, bad wallpaper and Chiclet-dentistry. Leave the reviews of American muscle to Americans. Plus, you guys have to prepare for that silly royal wedding crap...so go iron your mandresses.

      BTW: It's sort of funny that the guys who will buy this will need a home equity loan when it comes time for new tires or any sort of major scheduled maintenance.

      The Charlie Daniels Ultra Patriotic Express
        • 3 Years Ago
        Making fun of people with a different accent or culture doesn't make you Patriotic, just makes you look a small minded fool.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Game on!

      What a great time to be a car enthusiast.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Indeed.

        Tho with Mitsu killing the EVO as we know it, and the EU planning to kill ICE cars, this may be the last hurrah for sports cars as we know them.

        Let's hope the manufacturers make the most of it and go out with a bang, not a whimper.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Meh. Even with the IRS and Nurburgring testing, this is still going to primarily be a straightline car, just as its forebear was and the GT500 is.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I anxiously await the comparison results, should be interesting. And if the Mustang walks away with the gold, I must just have to laugh myself to sleep.
      • 3 Years Ago
      You know, that thing is actually understated considering all of the power it has. Very nice indeed.
      • 3 Years Ago
      GT500 vs. CTS-V from CarandDriver.com... until the Z1L rolls into production...

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QW-qF_Xzjl4
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ford better put some real rubber on the Stang, the expected 620 hp for the GT500 is going to be tricky(at least) to put the power down. Chevy boys seem to be getting what they want, and i'm fine with that. Just need Chrysler to join the game with a 550hp + Challenger, the 392 is a great start.
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