The engineers behind the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 are our kind of people. They were the ones who stepped up to the immeasurable task of transmuting the Camaro from its current state as a straight-line princess into a a hairpin street fighter. While America has typically fallen back on the old "no replacement for displacement" adage when it came time to win races, the engineers responsible for the ZL1 left no stone unturned. Suspension, brake performance and weight balance all played a huge role in the vehicle's development, and, as the company's latest video on the sports car reveals, so did aerodynamics.

Every piece of aero equipment on the ZL1, from the front splitter to the under-belly trays, rockers, rear spoiler and wheel spats are all functional pieces. The company says that there's over 100 hours of wind tunnel development on the ZL1, and the result is the first vehicle in General Motors history to boast neutral or negative lift.

If GM can pull this sort of magic off on the porkly Camaro, we can't wait to see what the company has in store for the next-generation Chevrolet Corvette. Hit the jump to check out the video.



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  • 41 Comments
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Cesar Garcia Jr
        • 3 Years Ago
        Sounds like you think YOUR 80s Hyundai is a 580 hp, magnetic suspension, race proven drivetrain, Detroit brawler...so jealous.
        Thipps
        • 3 Years Ago
        Laser aka king troll devotes most of his time to going on blogs and saying anything bad about GM he can, he is the poster boy for bias fanboi's. Laser yes it is a heavy car, but its because the platform is heavy, you cant just cut 500 pounds out of a vehicle and still have people want to drive it everyday and or be able to afford it, and saying they should have just cut 500 pounds!!! out of it makes you sound like a complete rookie, this isnt forza things arnt that easy. \you might not like the interior but not everyone will, Im sure you were trolling blogs in the 90s and early 2000's about the vision out of chrysler cars...? with the suspension issues i would agree, the camaro comes with a very very conservative sping shock combo, why they dont have a easy box to check to get a track pack set up i dont know but as they are and will demonstrate when one wants to have a camaro go around a corner faster than any other car ever in its class GM performance division is the best at that. so with the next generation the camaro will be lighter so please stop beating a dead horse about cutting weight on the current car, OH and FYI heavy cars can handle just as well as light ones, it just takes mechanical grip to overcome the weight. and if you noticed it has sticky 305's and the best shock set up in the world, Bla bla bla stop trolling your just looking stup@$ and childish
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        The guy who overuses the phrase "Government Motors" and hates GM with a passion not wanting to buy a Camaro? NO! You don't say!
          Elmo
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Wow, Laser MUST have bunches of "friends" who logged on and gave us downvotes.
        • 3 Years Ago
        [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          [blocked]
        Mark
        • 3 Years Ago
        None? None? It's been noted ad naseum that all of the suspension was reworked. The interior got as much of an upgrade as any car that hasn't had an extensive rework ever has. New material was added to break up the big expanse of black plastic, the steering wheel is new and the guages are easier to read, and those upgrades are on EVERY 2012 Camaro, not just the ZL1. The rear suspension isn't even the issue with the Camaro's weight. The car is tuned for understeer and it's overweight, as you so feverishly pointed out, but you think the Mustang's rear end is better? Let's add 500 lbs to it and see how well that goes over....
      Mason
      • 3 Years Ago
      Even if I liked it, it would be immoral to buy a Government Motors car paid for by the blood of the hard working tax payer. The company does not make a profit by selling vehicles, still. End of story. Even so, it is gimmiky AIWA stereo boombox looking interior and a weak attempt at a '69 back when the country was putting out great cars.
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mason
        So it's immoral to buy a car from a company that contributes to the economy by employing thousands of hard working, American tax payers? Would you rather they be living off the system, collecting unemployment, or welfare, and contributing absolutely nothing? Look, I was not too keene on the bailout, and I am not a big fan of the UAW, but dealing with them beats the alternative of having two of our 3 largest auto manufacturers go out of business and the economic devastation it would leave us with. That seems like a lot more trouble than it's worth, just to make a political statement.
        ufgrat
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mason
        "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt"... Congratulations. We have no doubt as to your mental capacity.
        Basil Exposition
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mason
        On behalf of all autoblog readers, I have this to say to you: Shut the **** up moron.
      _M7_
      • 3 Years Ago
      :S drag looks awfull after the smoke pass the roof, like woobling or somthing... Nissan did this like 10 YEARS AGO, its called zero lift.
        Basil Exposition
        • 3 Years Ago
        @_M7_
        Why would you comment on something you obviously know nothing about? IT makes you look stupid.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @_M7_
        There is no "wobbling" of the smoke. GM uses a non-steady stream of smoke rather than the steady stream of smoke you see with other manufacturers. The Camaro in non-ZL-1 form has a CoD of .37, which is just a teeny bit better than the Mustang's .38. Cars nowadays have a CoD numbers right in the .30 range, so it isn't that bad of drag.
        haleff3
        • 3 Years Ago
        @_M7_
        The front brick nose must be the real aerodynamic issue :)
          LUSTSTANG S-197
          • 3 Years Ago
          @haleff3
          That's due in part to keep with the "retro" design cues but is also prevalent on most cars these days. I'm not sure why that is the case in a time when designers are always stressing the importance of aerodynamics. At a glance, I'd say that the lower, leaner "wedge" designs of the 80s and 90s are more aerodynamic than the taller, blockier designs we have today. The 4th Generation Camaro/Firebird and SN-95 Mustangs are prime examples of what I am talking about.
          expensivehobby22
          • 3 Years Ago
          @haleff3
          The beak-like protrusion at the hood leading edge of these retro-styled cars does present a drag and front lift obstacle to overcome. For the ZL-1 GM pulled from a well-known bag of tricks to help alleviate the lift issue, ie splitters, tire spats, and hood louvers. You can see similar features on the sportier versions of the Mustang and Challenger. Some of these can be drag reducers as well, so the delta to the base car shouldn't be too bad.
        Sukairain
        • 3 Years Ago
        @_M7_
        Why rate M7 down? It's true Nissan had zero lift 10 years ago starting G35 sedan and coupe and the Z. GM is trying to make this whole 100+hr wind tunnel thing and First zero lift in GM history like a technological miracle. It's embarrassing. FYI: The Infiniti G35 sedan has a Cd of 0.27, my 9 year old G35 Coupe had a Cd of 0.26 and both vehicles have zero lift aerodynamics.
      Sukairain
      • 3 Years Ago
      For comparison sake: A 2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe sport package has zero lift aerodynamic and boost a coefficient of drag at 0.26. That car was designed a decade ago. Way to go GM.....
        TCBRacing
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sukairain
        It's not hard to design something aerodynamic, it is hard to design something that looks good and is aerodynamic and the Infiniti fails miserably at the looking good part.
        dustie262
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sukairain
        g35's are slow pigs and they do not create the same feelings as a real sports car.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sukairain
        So why aren't you going after Chrysler or Ford? Both the Mustang and Challenger have a CoD better than .40.
          Sukairain
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Probably because Ford and Chrysler aren't out in the news bragging about their wind tunnel aerodynamic achievements.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sukairain
        So basically you're just being a Nissan fanboy by posting about the Infiniti G Coupe? Of course, I could just go after your GT-R because of how Nissan bragged about their achievements on the track.
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sukairain
        What is your point? A lot of GM products from the 90s were more aerodynamic than the current Camaro is. They still have to design cars that meet consumer's expectations, and last I checked, a new Camaro is more of a head turner than a 2003 Infiniti G35 Coupe.
        Elmo
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Sukairain
        See what happens "again"? What happened before?
          Sukairain
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Elmo
          Well, you know, that happened, like before.
      LUSTSTANG S-197
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like reading these posts, but I can't quite understand why they always attract so many fanboys of other brands, and even those of other segments altogether. Here's a bit of insight for those folks. The Camaro will never be an import, Ford, or MOPAR, so take off your glasses so you can at least appreciate it for what it is. We should be so lucky to have all of these choices.
      Hazdaz
      • 3 Years Ago
      I can not wait to see what Chevy can do with the next-gen Camaro when its based on the smaller (and hopefully lighter) ATS platform. I think the current Camaro looks fantastic, so a 7/8th-scale version of this car would be awesome.
        Edward
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Hazdaz
        I agree on size and weight. The interior is Chevy 60's cheap. Maybe Chrysler can redo it for them, as they did for their '12 line. And then there's the pushrods, robber of high end breathing. Isn't almost 60 years enough to pay off the tooling lines?
          DrEvil
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Edward
          I agree with most of your argument, but don't knock pushrods, the LS and HEMIS are some of the best engines in the world. My current car has a DOHC V6 motor, I've owned it for going on 4 years now, can't remember once needing to push it above 5,500 rpms. This includes 110 mph runs down I-95 to Miami and back to NYC. I know that some of you get a boner at the thought of an engine that revs in the upper stratosphere, but unless you track your car regularly or just like burning off fuel, people just can't /don't drive in the upper rev ranges of most engines. Last Honda I drove (S2000) can rev to high heaven, it was the stupidest engineering exercise ever applied to a daily driver car. Especially in today's world of 6, 7, and 8 speed cog-swappers, who the hell needs 10,000 rpms. I love the fat bottom end torque of a pushrod engine. Another thing, if all those high revving DOHC engines are so superior, why on earth do most racing bodies find it necessary to pillow smother the Corvettes & CTS-Vs so that the Ferraris, Astons & Porsches can keep up?
      brianXL
      • 3 Years Ago
      Love it. Want one.
      DrEvil
      • 3 Years Ago
      While I love the technology and engineering effort that went into this car, I'll sit on my hands and wait for next generation Camaro. Of the three true pony cars on the market today, the current Camaro is my least favorite. Since all three are based on the retro theme, Dodge got it exactly right, then the Mustang, with the Camaro bringing up the rear. Of the three, the Mustang GT would be the #1 on my buy list, the Dodge #2 and the Camaro bringing up the rear. I've hated the interior of this car from the very first time I laid eyes on it, and no I haven't gotten used or will ever be able to accept that sort of effort from any car maker outside the "Iron Curtain). It amazing what this car can do, despite of everything that is wrong with it.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        LUSTSTANG S-197
        • 3 Years Ago
        In your post, I think you described the objective of these cars, to handle decently, but prefer a straight line. If one is expecting something that handles like an AWD/FWD sport compact, or Porsche 911, then the Camaro, Mustang, or Challenger is not for them. These are "driver's cars" in a different sense of the word.
      andy34741
      • 3 Years Ago
      video vigara...
      rex
      • 3 Years Ago
      Nice. I would like to have one but maybe more coin than I want to spend on a ride. Would like to be able to throw that mag ride on an SS. Maybe they will option It?? Did I hear them correctly? This C has no or negative lift and the only one in GM. So less lift than the Vett...
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