If you're on a race track, there are three simple guidelines that will prevent you from having a very bad time. First, keep the car on the track. Next, keep the shiny side up. Finally, don't hit anything or anybody. If you follow these three rules, you might notice a commonality - keeping all four wheels on the ground. What if, though, you're on a track like the Nürburgring, and you're in a car fast enough to catch some air? Well, if you're the owner of a new Chevy Camaro Z/28, the engineers behind the car have prepared for just such an eventuality.

When the new Z/28 arrives at dealers, its performance traction management will be equipped with something called "flying car mode." No, that's not a joke. As explained in the video below, when engineers were catching air during the Z/28's development, the lack of resistance led the wheels to spin up and the traction control to kick. When the car came down, the car would slow.

To counteract that, engineers developed flying car mode, which basically shuts the traction control off as soon as the ride-height sensors detect a wheel going airborne. Once the Z/28 makes contact with terra firma again, traction control is reengaged. According to Chevy, adding this trick feature to the track-ready Camaro allowed it to skim five seconds off its Nürburgring time.

Take a look below for a short video on flying car mode, as well as a more detailed press release on the new traction tech.
Show full PR text
Performance Traction Helps Camaro Z/28 Soar on Track
Algorithm helps maintain momentum for faster lap times

DETROIT – Engineers call it "flying car" logic. On the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, the Performance Traction Management system delivers faster lap times on an undulating race track by helping maintain the car's full power and momentum even if the tires briefly lose contact with the ground, in certain track conditions.

Created for track use only, the "flying car" logic woven into the Z/28's standard PTM system integrates the chassis mode selection, Traction Control and Active Handling Systems. Each is tuned specifically in the Z/28 for optimal track performance and consistency, and is activated by the driver pressing a button in the center console.

Without "fly car logic", the PTM would interpret the force reduction on the tires as a loss of traction and reduce torque to restore it. Such an intervention would likely slow the car and reduce momentum.

"PTM uses torque, lateral acceleration and rear-axle wheel slip to define the amount of traction control required, but when the car clears a rise on the track, it normally wants to decrease torque to increase traction," said Bill Wise, Camaro Z/28 vehicle performance engineer.

"The unique logic in the system uses the ride-height sensors to determine the reduction in force on the tires that's unique to track driving and allows the car to continue with uninterrupted momentum and, ultimately, a better lap time."

Technologies such as PTM and the track-oriented logic helped the Camaro Z/28 log a lap on Germany's legendary Nürburgring road course that was four seconds faster than the Camaro ZL1, and beat published times for the Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640. The Flugpltaz section of the Nürburgring has a rise that engaged the logic during the Z/28's 7:37 lap time.

Additionally, PTM enables the driver to press the accelerator pedal to wide open at the exit of the corner and manages acceleration based on the given vehicle dynamics. Five performance levels, or modes, are available to accommodate a variety of driving conditions.

The track-oriented "flying car" logic is available in all PTM modes, but it is most effective in Mode 5, calibrated for the fastest lap times. The Z/28 represents the first non-Magnetic Ride Control application of PTM, pioneered on the Corvette ZR1 and incorporated in the Camaro ZL1. Engineers further refined it for the car on the road course at GM's Milford Proving Ground in Michigan and on Virginia International Raceway and Road Atlanta.

Like the Flugpltaz, a section of the Milford course proved particularly effective in calibrating the logic. It features a hill sandwiched between turns Pahrump 1 and 2, named for and based on a pair of challenging corners on the 3.4-mile-long road course at Spring Valley Motorsports Ranch, in Pahrump, Nev.

"The hill between Pahrumps 1 and 2 is ideal for testing the feature," said Wise. "The car noticeably lifts as it clears the top of the rise. Without the logic built into PTM, the torque reduction would unnecessarily slow the car. With it, the car receives full torque over the rise, which helps reduce the lap time – and it is part of the reason why PTM Mode 5 can be as good, or better, than a driver's best effort, on certain track conditions."

Complementing PTM, the Z/28's reflexes over rises and grip around corners are competition-derived spool-valve dampers, specific suspension bushings, coil springs and stabilizer bars, a unique zero-preload limited-slip differential and 19-inch wheels wrapped with Pirelli PZero Trofeo R motorsport-compound tires.

"The new Camaro Z/28 was bred on and for the track," said Wise. "From the hardware bolted to the chassis to the software such as the "flying car" logic, every element built into it was designed to help deliver faster lap times, with consistency, control and dependability."

Ready for the track
The 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the fastest Camaro ever on a track, with improved speed coming from three areas:
• Increased grip: The Z/28 is capable of 1.08 g in cornering acceleration, due to comprehensive chassis revisions
• Increased stopping power: The Z/28 features Brembo carbon ceramic brakes capable of 1.5 g in deceleration, and consistent brake feel, lap after lap
• Reduced curb weight: The naturally aspirated Z/28 is 55 pounds lighter than the Camaro SS 1LE, with changes ranging from lightweight wheels to thinner rear-window glass.

Power comes from the 7.0L LS7 engine, rated at an SAE-certified 505 horsepower (376 kW) and 481 lb-ft of torque (652 Nm). A close-ratio six-speed manual transmission is the only transmission offered and power is distributed to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential featuring a helical gear set, rather than traditional clutch packs, for optimal traction.

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 4.9 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.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 44 Comments
      Jarred
      • 9 Months Ago
      That's pretty cool
      carnut0913
      • 9 Months Ago
      Yes, but only the new Mustang has 'Ground Speed" on the IP. ;-) Love the competition between the two- bringing out two awesome performance vehicles.
      brianXL
      • 9 Months Ago
      Chevy set the lap that they did with TRACTION CONTROL ON! I'm sure it was in competitive driving mode, but still most hotshoe drivers would have disabled it.
      wafflesnfalafel
      • 9 Months Ago
      That is absolutely awesome - creative, simple, effective. Tweak the traction control to wring every single last second out of the car - even when it's 18 inches off the tarmac. We need more of this - the epitome of American ingenuity. More down force slows the car - let her fly. Wonder if we will see that on the new Z06? Credit were credit is due - kudos.
        methos1999
        • 9 Months Ago
        @wafflesnfalafel
        I'm skeptical over down-force slowing the car down more than not having the tires on the ground. You can't be accelerating or braking if you don't have the tires planted. If what you say is true, than why would all F1 cars and supercars have significant aerodynamic work done to them?
      johnnyhedwardsjr
      • 9 Months Ago
      It's great to see Chevy introducing this kind of technology. There's no reason why American cars can't lead the way. On another note, it's funny how us guys want to row our own gears all the while the companies are doing so many other things to make the cars perform better, and we, as humans want to slow down the process by manually changing gears. I mean I am a purist so I get it. I enjoy shifting the gears in my sports car. But I wonder if companies are focusing on the right thing. Would us car guys just prefer the basics to this kind of technology? Bigger brakes, more powa, smoother shifter, lighter chassis, adjustable suspension, etc. You know, the things that improve the driving experience and not simply the lap time.
        TopGun
        • 9 Months Ago
        @johnnyhedwardsjr
        I think we do ourselves a disservice to have only two schools of thought - (1) Do everything you can do to lower times or (2) Leave everything as it is. (1) leads to cars like the GTR…(2) is an impossibility in the times we live in with the fact that performance sells and increased safety is a requirement. There's another school of thought - Do things that lower times that don't detract from the driving experience. This "fly mode" is a good example of it. Does it remove two basic interfaces you have with the car (the stick and the clutch)? No. Does it really detract from the driving experience? I can't see that it does. Is it neat and does it reduce times? Seems so.
        sp33dklz
        • 9 Months Ago
        @johnnyhedwardsjr
        Automated driving at its finest. I say keep it in professional racing and let the non-pro drivers just enjoy the vehicle. I wonder how much this crap cost in the production process?
          EXP Jawa
          • 9 Months Ago
          @sp33dklz
          If the crap you're referring to is the airborne mode, well, its just programming. The TCS controller is going to one program or another uploaded to it. Once the code is written, there really is no additional cost to it. I'd posit that there is no cost difference for the program used on Z/28 compared to the SS.
      James Hoyt
      • 9 Months Ago
      The Mustangs don't have this problem they can't get to 182 MPH.
        David Donovan
        • 9 Months Ago
        @James Hoyt
        GT500 is a 200 mph car. Nice try troll
          Nick B
          • 9 Months Ago
          @David Donovan
          According to Ford. No one else has been able to achieve that speed.
        EXP Jawa
        • 9 Months Ago
        @James Hoyt
        I recall something about the Shelby being able to tickle 200 mph...
      ramblerman576
      • 9 Months Ago
      here's my 2 cents on the gm junk body style is worn out 5 years and no major reskin 5 years and still haven't corrected the 2 tone paint meaning different shades between door and quarter panel. GM making record profits and have left the former employees pensions and stockholders in the dust they can't or won't repay them but have plenty money to restore the wrecked vettes from the museum. my father-in-law lost all his gm benefits. but thank god the Z can fly maybe next year it'll have wings that pop out the side and they can fly to work.. you guys need to get a life. and yes i am a gm owner, still have my LT-1 Z/28 I BOUGHT NEW IN 71., I LAUGH MY ASS OFF WHEN I TAKE IT TO A CAMARO SHOW AND OUR OLD Z GETS MORE ATTENTION THAN THESE NEW ONES.
        richard
        • 9 Months Ago
        @ramblerman576
        Yeah right, the body style is worn out after 5 years. So they only made the `71 body style for what, 12 years? When the `82 came out, it relegated the `71 style to the ash-heap of history. That`s why nobody cares about them anymore.
        Nick B
        • 9 Months Ago
        @ramblerman576
        "5 years and still haven't corrected the 2 tone paint meaning different shades between door and quarter panel." I hate to burst your bubble but it isnt just GM. Take a look at just about every modern car and youll see variation between the metal painted pieces and the plastic.
      Nick B
      • 9 Months Ago
      If this is true that means the Z-2/8 has now run the ring in 7:32. That means it did it faster than the 911 GT3 RS 997, a couple of GT-R's, the 458 and a couple of Koenigsegg's. Anyone who downplays the performance that GM has gotten out of that chassis is uninformed or a fanboy.
        AcidTonic
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Nick B
        Put 305 tread width tires up front on the Porsche.... Now it's a lot faster.
          Jim R
          • 9 Months Ago
          @AcidTonic
          Because comparing a modified car to a stock car is such a great idea. Stock for stock, the Chevy's faster.
      Justin Shaw
      • 9 Months Ago
      I wonder if the 7 speed manual from the Corvette will eventually be added to the Camaro. A feature the Mustang won't probably have this redesign.
        404 not found
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Justin Shaw
        Corvette transmission sits in the rear. So it would have to be a different transmission altogether.
          Chris O.
          • 9 Months Ago
          @404 not found
          @404: No, it wouldn't. The TR6060/6070 sit in the rear of Corvettes, but the same transmissions can (and are) bolted right up to the back of engines in most RWD applications. It's only the diff bolting up to the transmission that makes TR6060/6070 a transaxle. Considering that the dimensional packaging of the TR6060 and TR6070 are so similar, there's absolutely no reason why you couldn't use a TR6070 in a Camaro.
      Rob
      • 9 Months Ago
      Or you could grow a pair, be a man, learn how to drive and turn the TC off... at some point the act of driving will be more like a driving simulation and less like real life. Unless you're getting paid to win races all you should really care about is how much fun you're having.
        icemilkcoffee
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Rob
        Do you disable your ABS brakes too?
        sodamninsane
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Rob
        You can... but chevy made the people who don't, faster. Nissan started it... chevy is just speeding up the rednecks too.
      Bandit5317
      • 9 Months Ago
      I'm surprised that they were doing laps with the traction control on in the first place.
        wilkegm
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Bandit5317
        GM has been leveraging VDC ("stabilitrac") as a performance feature for a while now. Traction control is part of that. The car can be fine-tuned that way to allow exactly the right amount of slip to optimize performance. The system can modulate torque and breaking delivery to each wheel, as opposed to the driver having just one gas pedal (or one brake pedal instead of 4, for that matter)
          Jim R
          • 9 Months Ago
          @wilkegm
          IMO, GM's Stabilitrak is one of the better traction management systems out there right now. It's capable of keeping the car in line without being too much of a nanny.
      Sir Duke
      • 9 Months Ago
      This is to anyone who says that this car is not worth every penny that they are asking for. Yeah, I've heard just about every "fat-lady" joke hurled at the Camaro, but this "fat-lady" can SING. Not sure they should have revealed that though, the GT-500 is about shave a few seconds off its lap time.
        tylermars.design
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Sir Duke
        Yeah, it's going to need a lot more than that...........
        Dark_Stalker
        • 9 Months Ago
        @Sir Duke
        At least Chevy is proving they can compete without a need for excessive power. Granted, Ford hasn't done an official test, but from the unofficial ones I've seen, the GT-500 doesn't have the cornering prowess of the Z/28. It's one thing I can't stand about car sales: it occasionally comes down to overhyping the cars. That's been one issue I've had with the GT-500. Power is awesome, but what about control? That's something I always see Chevy excelling in and I love that.
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