The reasoning here isn't difficult to understand. The Challenger may put out more firepower – 707 ponies from its supercharged, 6.2-liter V8 – but it's long suffered from a weight problem. At 4,439 pounds, the Hellcat is over 300 pounds heavier than the old 4,118-pound, 580-hp ZL1. This new model has 640 horsepower and is allegedly 200 pounds lighter than its predecessor. Will the ZL1's roughly 500-pound weight advantage make up for its 67-horsepower deficit? Based on estimated figures, the Camaro edges out he Hellcat's in power-to-weight ratio, 6:1 versus 6:3. In other words, it's going to be close.
But more than just the boring brochure numbers, the Camaro ZL1 will be General Motors first vehicle to use a ten-speed automatic transmission alongside a purist-spec six-speed manual. The new autobox is supposedly tuned specifically to manage the high output of the Camaro, although we'll need to get behind the wheel to see how a transmission with so, so many gears can handle an engine with so, so much horsepower.
We've finally clapped eyes on the new ZL1 following its debut at the 2016 New York Auto Show. Check out those images, available up top.