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2017 chevrolet camaro zl1

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 News and Reviews | Motor1.com

– Oliver, British Columbia, Canada

From the outside, the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE is a caricature of what a performance car should be. As the hardcore track-day version of the not-at-all timid Camaro ZL1, the ZL1 1LE’s rear wing might as well double as an ironing board, and the hyper-aggressive dive planes in front would be right at home on a nuclear submarine.

Anyone driving something in the ZL1 1LE’s crosshairs, however, from the Shelby GT350R to Porsches with similarly protracted alphanumeric names, would be foolish to dismiss the Camaro as a superficial plaything for those with an extra $69,995 in their bank accounts. Everything new on this car, both what’s visible, and especially what isn’t, is there to turn it into a precision instrument on the race track.

Around a road course, the ZL1 1LE stands alone as the quickest pony car ever put into production, a claim to which its 7:16 lap time around the Nürburgring attests. Simply put, this is the best of the breed, and it’s not even close.

Goodyear spent three years developing two brand new tires solely for this car – one for the front, and another for the rear, each with a different fundamental behavior.

“ZL1,” of course, is the option code for an all-singing, all-dancing, 650-horsepower, 650-pound-feet supercharged V8, complete with all the trimmings – much like “SS” denotes a 455-hp V8, or “LT” signifies the four- or six-cylinder option. Adding the “1LE” designation to the end of the ZL1, SS, or the V6 LT b...

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Reviews | Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Price, Photos, and Specs

Find the 455-hp 6.2-liter V-8 in the Camaro SS too boring or underpowered? Chevrolet won't tell you to get your head checked. Instead, it slaps a supercharger on that V-8, boosts the output to 650 horsepower, and installs it along with a host of suspension and styling upgrades to create the ZL1. Available as either a coupe or a convertible—with your choice of a six-speed manual transmission or a 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters—the ZL1 stands atop the Camaro pile to see eye to eye with the Ford Mustang Shelby GT350 and the Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. In fact, if you consider the ZL1's breathtaking performance at our 2017 Lightning Lap competition, it looks down on those competitors.

Highs: Corvette Z06 engine, Corvette performance, solid value—really. Lows: Limited outward visibility, quality of Camaro interior doesn't rise to this price point. Verdict: The mightiest Camaro lords it over the muscle-car octagon.

What's New for 2019?

The mighty Camaro ZL1 receives minor updates for 2019. Mercifully, it doesn't add the new ugly mug found on lesser V-8 models. However, its rear end does adopt fresh taillights and a revised bumper. The interior has improved wireless charging and updated ambient lighting with extra color options. The standard touchscreen now supports the company's Infotainment 3 software, with a more intuitive interface and increased personalization options. The other changes include a higher definition backup camera, an enhanced performance data recorder, and a newly standard forward-collision warning.

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Pricing and Which One to Buy

  • ZL1 coupe: $64,195
  • ZL1 convertible: $70,195

The 650-hp muscle machine comes in just one way, requiring buyers only to choose coupe or convertible, six-speed manual or 10-speed automatic transmission, and basic options. There is also the coupe-only 1LE package, which adds wild aerodynamic enhancements, semi-slick tires, and special suspension components that give it a stiff ride and greatly reduce the ZL1's everyday drivability. Unless you plan on spending considerable time on a racetrack, we'd suggest sticking with the basic ZL1 with the standard six-speed manual transmission. Pick your color and revel in your excellent decision.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance

Likes: It's quicker, grippier, and more badass than regular Camaros, one of the best performance coupes available regardless of price. Dislikes: The masochistic ZL1 1LE should be avoided for daily driving.

The Camaro's supercharged 6.2-liter V-8, borrowed from the pricier Chevrolet Corvette Z06, is a well-behaved and tractable beast that makes power all over the rev range and leaves black streaks all over the road. And as you'd expect, when stirred up, it leaves the sound of thunder echoing in its wake. Whether paired with the standard six-speed manual transmission or the available 10-speed automatic, the blown small-block V-8 lays down stupidly incredible performance figures. The fast-shifting automatic, as is common these days, results in quicker acceleration times than the stick, but either way the Camaro smokes its competition at the drag strip.

Already a satisfying handler with quick and communicative steering, a balanced rear-drive chassis, and a surprisingly supple ride, the Camaro is elevated to new heights by the ZL1 gear. Its adaptive dampers change their stiffness based on the selected drive mode, but even the hard-core modes don't ruin the car's decent, if firm, ride. Want more? Grab the 1LE package, which vaults the ZL1 into near-supercar territory. Its wider, semi-slick near-race tires, manually adjustable front suspension, and exclusive spool-valve dampers chew up racetracks and spit out happy drivers. The ZL1 stops from 70 mph in 143 feet, just four feet longer than it takes a Corvette Grand Sport to halt from the same speed. Better still, the ZL1's brake pedal operates with a firmness befitting a performance car.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG

The highest praise we can lavish on the ZL1's efficiency is that the coupe came somewhat close to matching its 20-mpg EPA-estimated highway fuel economy on our 200-mile test route. Granted, many cars exceed their EPA ratings in this test, so in that context the ZL1's 17 mpg might seem lacking. We haven't tested a convertible version, but its identical mechanicals promise equally weak fuel economy.

Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo

Likes: Quietest interior noise levels among racy rivals, loaded with standard infotainment features. Dislikes: Same restricted outward visibility and tight back seat as lesser Camaros, 1LE package locks the rear seatbacks upright.

Safety and Driver-Assistance Features

Although the regular Camaro scored a five-star rating from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the ZL1 variant has not yet been tested either by that agency or by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). It also lacks driver-assistance technology such as automated emergency braking and lane-departure warning. The few assists that are available include:

  • Standard blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert
  • Standard forward-collision warning
  • Standard rear parking sensors

Warranty and Maintenance Coverage

The ZL1's coverage is fairly typical for the industry save for its standard two-year, 24,000-mile complimentary scheduled-maintenance plan.

  • Limited warranty covers 3 years or 36,000 miles
  • Powertrain warranty covers 5 years or 60,000 miles
  • Complimentary maintenance is covered for 2 years or 24,000 miles

Major redesigns occur every five years or so; not much changes in between. Dividing them into generations provides more meaningful distinctions in the shopping process.

September 2017 By K.C. COLWELL Multiple Photographers View 31 Photos

View 31 Photos  

From the September 2017 issue

General Motors must have authorized overtime for its performance and badge-making departments over the past few years. Witness the sustained, affordable excellence of all those SS, 1LE, Z51, Z06, Z07, ZR1, ZL1, and Cadillac V-series models the corporation keeps cranking out. Now comes a car that combines two of those GM-speak codes, ZL1 and 1LE, but the sticker price doesn’t seem to cover the sum of the parts.

The ZL1 1LE enhancements stretch the Camaro’s performance envelope like a balloon ready to pop. Never mind the Corvette Z06–derived LT4 supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 that is good for 650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque. Or the functional carbon-fiber wing (a first for GM production cars) designed in a Formula 1 wind tunnel. The wing has the same effect as 300 pounds of lead ballast at 150 mph. Or the gaping front end that swallows 106 cubic feet more air per minute than a regular ZL1 at 87 mph. Or the chin splitter and dive planes on the cheeks. Instead, for just a moment, fixate on our measurement of the Camaro’s maximum lateral acceleration: 1.18 g’s. That kind of steady-state grip puts the 1LE in an elite group. Indeed, there’s only one car we’ve measured with more stick and that’s the Corvette Z06 equipped with the Z07 package (1.19 g’s). Everything else lets go sooner, period.

This super Camaro will also bring its 3842 pounds to a halt from 70 mph in 141 feet, besting the 3710-pound Ford Mustang Shelby GT350R by five feet. To make the 1LE’s chassis this capable, GM had partners. Goodyear supplies the Eagle F1 Supercar 3R rubber, and this is the first car to wear these DOT-legal track meats, here in size 305/30ZR-19 (front) and 325/30ZR-19 (rear). They wrap around forged-aluminum wheels that are one inch smaller in diameter and thus, along with the tires, save a total of 13 pounds in precious rotating inertia and unsprung mass compared with the ZL1.

The other half of the chassis performance comes from Canadian supplier Multimatic in the form of aluminum-bodied spool-valve dampers. Not only do they provide an elegant way to vary damping force, but the inverted struts with a ball-jointed top mount provide a means to get race-car-like negative camber out of the front end. Together, the four dampers are about 23 pounds lighter than the ZL1’s steel-bodied magnetorheological dampers. The rear subframe and its multilink suspension are isolated—if you want to call it that—from the body by rigid aluminum pucks instead of rubber bushings, and the rear anti-roll bar is adjustable to three positions. Locking down the rear end and firming up the front means you can feel every crack in the road, and even the slightest variation in lateral thrust, with clarity and precision.

All these settings allow owners to fine-tune their cars to their home tracks. At Area 27, a 3.0-mile circuit in British Columbia designed by Jacques Villeneuve, we ran 40-plus laps in the 1LE. It was the iron-rotor brakes, which carry over from the regular ZL1, and not the tires that kept us from turning more than five hot laps at a time; the pedal gets a little long on the fifth lap. Even so, few cars feel as stable while braking in corners as the 1LE. Throw a downshift in there, and the car never gets unsettled. In corners, the tires claw for grip like a cat scurrying up a tree. Where you expect understeer, you get a neutral car, and too much throttle on exit causes the rear end to step out, either gently if you finesse it or aggressively if you’re being deliberately foolish.

The 1LE's rear wing produces downforce (at 150 mph) roughly equal to the weight of one baby elephant plus one Kelly Ripa riding in the trunk of the car.

This Camaro will do a zero-to-60-mph run in 3.5 seconds (all in first gear, mind you) with the eight-piece band blaring a Motown anthem. An 11.7-second quarter-mile at 124 mph is in the jukebox, too. That’s just a couple tenths of a second off the ZL1 automatic’s time. Some of the swiftness is a dividend of the 62 pounds saved (manual-to-manual) by the 1LE conversion, though it isn’t quite enough to make up for the better and quicker shifting of the roughly 100-pound-heavier automatic.

While the chassis mods make for a fantastic track car, the 1LE’s ride is a little jarring for daily use as its springs are three times stiffer than those of the ZL1. Matt Scrase, Camaro’s performance variant manager, admits that he wanted to make the car a bit more extreme by ditching the trunk lining, for example. But he was thwarted by GM product planners mindful of history, who desired a 1LE that was true to its gen-three Camaro roots as an add-on to the existing equipment, not a give-and-take option. Unlike the gen-five Z/28, this 1LE has all the features of the ZL1, including heated and ventilated front seats, a heated steering wheel, and an 8.0-inch infotainment display.

One thing you won’t see in a ZL1 1LE is an automatic transmission. The manual ’box is identical to the ZL1’s six-speed except for a shorter sixth gear (0.68:1 versus 0.54:1). There are only a few tracks this side of Bonneville that even need sixth, and one of those is the Nürburgring Nordschleife, where a ZL1 1LE turned a lap in just over seven minutes and 16 seconds—more than 20 seconds quicker than the Z/28 and 13 quicker than the gen-six automatic-equipped ZL1.

That ’Ring time puts the ZL1 1LE in the company of virtual vaporware like the Gumpert, the Radical, and the Donkervoort (yes, that’s a car company). The best part of this package is its asking price: $71,295. Nearly everything else at this performance tier is two to three times pricier. The next closest performer is, surprise, a Z06 with the Z07 package, but it’s still $20K more expensive. Chevy hasn’t just made performance strides, it’s made performance-per-dollar strides, too. Just don’t tell the accounting department it can charge a lot more for this track animal.

Photos Build and Price Shop Local Cars View All Features and Specs

VEHICLE TYPE: front-engine, rear-wheel-drive, 4-passenger, 2-door coupe

PRICE AS TESTED: $72,595 (base price: $71,295)

ENGINE TYPE: supercharged and intercooled pushrod 16-valve V-8, aluminum block and heads, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 376 cu in, 6162 ccPower: 650 hp @ 6400 rpmTorque: 650 lb-ft @ 3600 rpm

TRANSMISSION: 6-speed manual

DIMENSIONS:Wheelbase: 110.7 inLength: 188.3 inWidth: 74.7 in Height: 52.0 inPassenger volume: 85 cu ftTrunk volume: 9 cu ftCurb weight: 3842 lb

C/D TEST RESULTS: Zero to 60 mph: 3.5 sec Zero to 100 mph: 7.9 sec Zero to 150 mph: 18.7 sec Rolling start, 5-60 mph: 3.9 sec Standing ¼-mile: 11.7 sec @ 124 mph Top speed (drag limited, mfr's claim): 190 mph Braking, 70-0 mph: 141 ft Roadholding, 300-ft-dia skidpad: 1.18 g

EPA FUEL ECONOMY: Combined/city/highway: 16/14/20 mpg

2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1 convertible has 640-hp of open-top muscle

MSRP: $25,000 MSRP: $44,855 MSRP: $59,140 2019 Honda Pilot Drivers' Notes 13 cars you can legally import in 2019 2020 BMW 4 Series convertible spy shots Autoblog's top photographs of 2018 Watch Tesla Model 3 get built First 2019 Hyundai Nexo FCEV delivered 1 2

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