2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
And now, we turn our attention to the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1. It’s the not the SLP ZL1 Camaro that you’ve seen us test, but the true GM Performance Division effort that’s been a few years in the making.
At the heart of this beast is the General’s 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V8. Here it cranks out 580-horsepower and 556 pound feet of torque, which is adequately handled by upgraded versions of either a Tremec TR6060 manual or GM’s Hydra-Matic 6L90 Automatic. And much like Cadillac’s CTS-V that shares this engine, the automatic is actually quicker to 60 by a tenth at 3.9-seconds. Top speed is also better at 184 miles-per-hour.
The ZL1 certainly takes on the brutish look to match its performance, but none of it is just eye-candy as GM’s designers worked hand-in-hand with the engineers to make sure each piece was purposeful. If it didn’t improve performance, it didn’t make it onto the car.
Those performance enhancing updates include hood vents and front splitter that add down force to the front end, underbody pieces that not only improve aerodynamics but channel air to the transmission to aid in cooling, and of course a rear spoiler.
Inside, there’s a new suede-leather trimmed dash, unique steering wheel and pedals, and ZL1 specific gauges. Leather sport seats and Head-Up display are also standard. Handling performance is boosted by the latest version of GM’s Magnetic Ride Suspension, as well as the Corvette ZR1 Performance Traction Management System.
BRIAN ROBINSON: When the new Camaro came out a few years ago, many of us had doubts of how far they could take this chassis performance-wise, and I don’t think anyone saw this coming - 580-horsepower and the chassis doesn’t even break a sweat handling it, and speaking of brakes, they’re amazing, as well.
The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 may offer exotic-like performance, but the price is nowhere near Supercar Land, starting at just $55,000.
Engine: 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V8
Price: Starting at $55,000