Essentially a racecar for the road, Chevy undoubtedly will justify the high MSRP of the Z/28 by offering up the car's performance bona fides. In the car's press materials, the company reiterates that the new Camaro is quicker around Germany's Nürburgring than bluebloods like the Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Lamborghini Murciélago LP640.
Enabling much of this stunning performance is a truly tremendous 7.0-liter LS7 V8, rated at 505 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of torque. Chevy will only offer a six-speed manual transmission with which to modulate all of that power, and a limited-slip differential is standard equipment to keep the juice smoothly flowing to the rear wheels. Race-tested spool-valve dampers with four-way control, stiffer springs and bushings, and an aggressive aerodynamics package are also standard kit.
Perhaps the raciest bits of the Z/28 package are the tires, with Chevy saying the 305-section Pirelli PZero Trofeo R front rubber is "believed to be the widest front tire on any production car." The tires are mounted on lightweight, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels that should just fit around huge 15.5-inch, carbon ceramic front brakes from Brembo (slightly smaller, 15.35-inch ceramics stop the rear wheels).
The only thing that your $75k doesn't buy you is air conditioning and a six-speaker stereo – that single Z/28 option asks an additional $1,150. We say skip it – racecars are supposed to be hot and too loud for music, anyway.
DETROIT – Chevrolet today announced the 2014 Camaro Z/28 will go on sale this spring with a suggested retail price of $75,000, including a $995 destination charge, but excluding tax, title, license and dealer fees.
The new Z/28 is offered in five exterior colors – Red Hot, Black, Silver Ice Metallic, Ashen Gray Metallic and Summit White. Only a single option is available: A $1,150 package that adds air conditioning and a total of six audio speakers. The standard Z/28 package includes one speaker.
"The Camaro Z/28 is an uncompromising performer that's bred for the track – and every one of its unique components supports the goal of faster lap times," said Mark Reuss, president, General Motors North America. "It takes the Z/28 back to its racing roots and adds to the strong lineup of Chevrolet performance cars, including a revamped Camaro SS and supercharged ZL1, as well as the SS sedan, Corvette Stingray convertible and 2015 Corvette Z06, which we'll introduce at the North American International Auto Show next week."
The Z/28's unique exterior is designed like a race car to produce downforce that presses the tires against the track for greater grip – up to 1.08 g in cornering acceleration – and faster lap times. The aerodynamically optimized design helped the Camaro Z/28 log a lap on Germany's legendary Nürburgring road course that was four seconds faster than the Camaro ZL1's and beat published times for the Porsche 911 Carrera S and the Lamborghini Murcielago LP640.
Power comes from the 7.0L LS7 engine, with dry-sump oiling, rated at an SAE-certified 505 horsepower (376 kW) and 481 lb-ft of torque (652 Nm). The engine will be built by hand at the new Performance Build Center within GM's Bowling Green assembly plant.
A close-ratio six-speed manual transmission is the only transmission offered and power is distributed to the rear wheels via a Torsen limited-slip differential featuring a helical gear set, rather than traditional clutch packs, for optimal traction. The differential works in unison with Chevrolet's proprietary Performance Traction Management system, allowing drivers to adjust the level of throttle and braking intervention to match their capability and driving environment.
The Camaro Z/28 is also one of the first production cars fitted with race-proven, spool-valve dampers, which allow four-way damping control, enabling engineers to precisely tune both bump and rebound settings for high-speed and low-speed wheel motions. The wider tuning range also allows dramatically greater damper stiffness without a significant change in ride quality. Additional chassis changes include stiffer spring and bushing rates for improved cornering response.
Lightweight, 19-inch forged aluminum wheels and Pirelli PZero Trofeo R tires reduce unsprung weight by 49.6 pounds (22.5 kilograms) per car compared to the 20-inch wheels standard on Camaro SS and ZL1.
The massive 305/30ZR19 PZero Trofeo R tires represent the first production-car application in the industry and are believed to be the widest front tire on any productioThn car. To fully exploit their grip, the Z/28 also features Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix™ rotors and fixed, monoblock calipers. The large 394 x 36 mm front rotors are paired with six-piston calipers, while the 390 x 32 mm rear rotors are paired four-piston calipers. Compared to similar-size, two-piece steel rotors, the lightweight carbon discs save 28 pounds (12.5 kg) per car.
The combination of tire grip and braking power enable the Camaro Z/28 to achieve at least 1.5 g in deceleration. With standard front brake cooling ducts, the Z/28 is also capable of continuous track use.
On the interior, the Camaro Z/28 features trim in a distinctive, matte-metallic finish called Octane, a flat-bottom steering wheel and Recaro seats with microfiber inserts. The seats feature aggressive bolsters for high-performance driving, as well as seat cutouts inspired by the five-point harnesses found on racing seats. To save weight, both front seats incorporate manual adjustment.
The rear seats of the Z/28 have also been modified for weight reduction. Nine pounds, or four kilograms, were saved by eliminating the seat-back pass-through, as well as using high-density foam in place of the rigid structure of the seat back and steel mesh of the seat bottom.
Additional examples of weight savings include:
Elimination of the tire-inflator kit, except for Rhode Island and New Hampshire, where it is required by law
Removal of some interior sound deadener, as well as trunk carpet
Use of a smaller, lighter battery
Thinner rear-window glass – 3.2 mm vs. the standard 3.5 mm
Elimination of high-intensity discharge, or HID, headlamps and fog lights
No air conditioning except as part of the single option package.
The Camaro Z/28 will be available to order in late January with the first cars delivered to customers in the spring. Rights to the first Camaro Z/28, VIN 0001, will be auctioned at Barrett Jackson Auction in Scottsdale, Ariz. on January 18.
The Z/28's suggested retail price includes destination and freight charges, as well as the gas-guzzler tax.