2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Has 640 HP Corvette Z06 Supercharged V8, 10-Speed Auto

Chevrolet pretty much acts as if the fresh-out-of-the-oven 2017 Camaro ZL1 is the only car an American (and not only) could ever need. In fact, here's Mark Reuss, GM Executive VP of Global Product Development, describing the overly fierce Camaro: “It’s a 2+2 coupe offering incredible performance - acceleration, handling and braking - with the highest levels of technology and perfect chassis damping, making it suitable for everyday driving. It will compare well to any sports coupe, at any price and in any setting.
2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 12 photos
Photo: GM
2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 automatic shifter2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 20-inch wheel2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 manual shifter2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL12017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL12017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Recaro seats2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL12017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL12017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL12017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 dashboard2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 interior
Well, given all the goodies GM engineers have packed into the 2017 ZL1, it's hard to argue with statements such as the one above. We'll start with the muscle.

Following the trend set by the sixth-gen Camaro SS, which borrows its LT1 from the Corvette Stingray, the 2017 Camaro ZL1 is motivated by the supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 of the C7 Corvette Z06.

Nevertheless, Chevy might have learned a thing or two about the stir caused by the Camaro SS slightly beating the 'Vette on the dyno, which could be why the blown V8 is 10 hp and 10 lb-ft down compared to the version used by the Z06.

And the 640 hp, 640 lb-ft (868 Nm) V8 is just a part of the equation. In the powertrain department, it all depends on how much suede you're willing to have on your shifter.

Go for the almost-full approach and you'll get a six-speed manual with a rev-matching feature, which is ready to please purists. Give up a small part of the suede-covered surface though (check out the gallery below), and your ZL1 will be equipped with the first Chevy application of GM's new 10-speed automatic. Speaking of which, the transmission will be offered on eight models by the end of 2018.

Another lesson we expect Chevy to have learned from the Z06 has to do with the story revolving around the potential overheating issues - the 2017 Camaro ZL1 packs 11 heat exchangers.

While the 2017 model may one-up its predecessor by around 60 horses and over 80 lb-ft, the benefits of the sixth-gen platform also make it 200 lbs lighter, which should mean we're dealing with a 3,850 lbs (1,750 kg) car.

We're not here to do on-paper racing, but so far, it looks like the Dodge Challenger Hellcat, with its 4,450 lbs and its 707 hp, might have to steer clear of Camaro ZL1 drag races.

This Camaro's list of tech goodies also includes Magnetic Ride Suspension, an electronic limited-slip diff, as well as performance traction management. The connection to the asphalt is established via 20-inch forged wheels shod in Eagle F1 Supercar tires, which saw Goodyear tailoring the compound for this particular application.

Stopping power? The credit goes to Brembo hardware, including six-piston grabbers and 15.35-inch (390 mm) two-piece rotors up front.

In the looks department, those of you who saw the 2016 Camaro SS with a Ground Effects kit as the pinnacle of modern-day Camaro visual badassery will obviously be disappointed. The overly generous lower grille is there not to rival Lexus' Spindle Grille, but to provide superior airflow, while Chevy's iconic Bow Tie is now a cutout called flow-tie, all for optimum airflow purposes.

Later this year when sales kick off, you'll be able to enter one of these beasts and find Recaro accommodation, a suede-wrapped steering wheel with a flat bottom and, if the configuration is generous, the optional Performance Data Recorder.

Oh yes, GM could've just as well installed road signs connecting the 2017 Camaro ZL1 to your local time attack track, such is the strength of their handling message. While we're still far from having received a lap time, expect this to be the kind of muscle car that's not afraid to duke it out with track-orientated machines.

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About the author: Andrei Tutu
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In his quest to bring you the most impressive automotive creations, Andrei relies on learning as a superpower. There's quite a bit of room in the garage that is this aficionado's heart, so factory-condition classics and widebody contraptions with turbos poking through the hood can peacefully coexist.
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