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Found 13 results

  1. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 1-29-2019 Chevrolet has added the new 10-speed automatic transmission to its hottest Camaro, the ZL1 1LE. GM says that experienced racers can shave seconds off lap times on longer high-speed circuits with the new automatic by comparison to the 6-Speed manual. Although our staff has not tested this generation of the Camaro ZL1, we have tracked the prior generation with the manual. It was for sure the limiting factor in quicker times for this writer. By comparison, we drove the Lexus RC F with its race-tuned 8-speed auto and were amazed at how well modern track-tuned automatic transmissions can match the gears to the particular needs of the vehicle at any given point on the track. These modern automatics rev-match downshifts and wil keep the vehicle at the perfect point in the RPM range for maximum thrust in all scenarios. “This transmission is optimized for speed,” said Camaro Chief Engineer Mark Dickens. “With unique Track Mode calibrations and 10 gears, you are always in the perfect gear when rolling on or off the throttle. You may not be a professional race car driver, but now you can shift like one.” Steve Majoros, director of Chevrolet passenger car and crossover marketing, expanded on that, saying, “Adding an automatic transmission is another example of the Camaro portfolio delivering what customers want. This ultimate 1LE is another appealing option that is true to its racing heritage.” The new 10-speed becomes available on the Camaro ZL1 1LE in February. What say you GM-Trucks faithful? Would you opt for the automatic in a car you planned to track, or would you prefer the 6-speed stick?
  2. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 5-22-2017 Have you ever stepped back and wonder why GM and other automakers bother to make super-special sports car editions almost nobody really buys? The idea is called the halo effect and the cars or trucks the automakers create are called "halo cars." GM has a couple right now, the Corvette Z06 and the Camaro ZL1. Do they really work? Why, yes, they do, and here is some proof. Before we get into that though, remember, all a halo car can really do is generate interest. That's its job. Not to sell itself. Heck, Camaro sales are down about 8% this year, GM had six months supply on hand going into 2017, and it shut down the factory that builds them. But that's not the fault of the ZL1. As a halo car, it is kicking ass. People love to read about the 199 MPH Camaro. I love testing it, and I love writing about it. So too do most of the media with any soul. The car is amazing, and it is a love-fest. Behind the scenes though, there are people who do more than fire of flowery sentences about the Camaro's success. People who make a living based on how many readers go on-line to read car stories on shopping sites for example. People like Libby Murad-Patel. She's the Strategic Insights & Analytics VP at Jumpstart Automotive Media. The company reports periodically on which models light up the shopping sites. According to Jumpstart's recent report, Chevrolet’s share of shopper interest increased to 8.9% in April, up from 8.7% the previous month. This surge put GM ahead of Ford as the top brand for "shopper interest" in the month in April. The reason, according to Jumpstart, is the Camaro ZL1. Even the launch of the Dodge Demon could not stop the Camaro's interest generation. The company reports that, "Camaro was the number-one shopped vehicle on Jumpstart’s portfolio of websites in April (up from sixth-most shopped in March). Interest can be attributed to organic research as well as editorial coverage from this year’s New York Auto Show (where both vehicles were revealed)." We wanted a little more detail on how the Camaro ZL1 made an impact as a Halo car, so GM-trucks.com reached out to Ms. Murad-Patel. We asked if it was true that this kind of fan activity generates sales for a company, or if it is mostly brand and model loyalty that is the result. Ms. Murad-Patel replied, "Even when we see huge spikes in performance car shopper interest across our sites, we don’t expect that those consumers are going to run out and buy them at the same rate (even in a good month, the combined sales totals for these muscle cars usually amounts to less than 2% of the total sales volume). What this does tell us is that the romantic idea of cars is stronger than ever; the excitement that the Challenger Demon SRT and the 2018 Camaro ZL1 generated really drives this home. It’s kind of an interesting juxtaposition that in the midst of this age of great technological innovation—especially growth in autonomous tech and driving—that consumers are still nostalgic for American muscle and really crave legacy performance." The Camaro is doing just fine in sales despite the slight slowdown in year-to-date sales. With over 8,000 sold in April, the Camaro remains one of the top-selling performance cars in America. Those sales, and perhaps more than a few other GM car sales, are due in some part to a unique low-volume car most of us will never see in person in any given year, the Camaro ZL1. Author note: GM-Trucks.com is not affiliated with Jumpstart Automotive Media.
  3. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 2-20-2017 The answer is "YES!", when the wind is at its back. GM recently took the new ultimate Camaro to the High Speed Oval at Germany’s Automotive Testing Papenburg GmBH proving ground. Top-speed runs are always the average of two runs, one in both directions. That accounts for wind speed on the day of the run. The new Camaro ZL1 laid down two official times of 202.3 mph in one direction and 193.3 in the other. That averages to 198 MPH. GM says this was an un-modified production ZL1, not a "ringer." Chevy said, "The Papenburg testing was conducted on the ZL1’s production Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 tires with pressure set at 44 psi, the recommended setting for extended high-speed driving. The car’s only deviations from stock were mandatory safety equipment and data logging equipment." Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, summed up the Camaro succinctly after the event, saying, “This test caps an impressive list of performance stats for the Camaro ZL1, which was designed to excel at everything. It’s the most capable — and fastest —Camaro ever.”
  4. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-24-2016 The all-new 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 just ran a lap that was 12 seconds quicker than the prior-generation ZL1. The new time is 7:29.60. These are official numbers from GM and should not be confused with less reliable reporting on 'Ring lap times. <<Watch the video here>> GM offered some comments from the engineers who were in attendance and supported the run. Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, said, “To be almost 12 seconds quicker than the 5th-Generation ZL1 is a testament to the advanced design and technology of the new ZL1. From the improved aerodynamics, mass reduction and 650-horsepower LT4 to the Magnetic Ride Control, electronic limited-slip differential and Custom Launch Control, the ZL1 was designed to take on the world’s most challenging track, making it right at home on any track, road or drag strip anywhere.” Drew Cattell, who drove the lap and is a ride and handling engineer at GM, said, “Many fast laps around the Nordschleife are dramatic, with lots of oversteer and steering input. Not so with the ZL1, which is extremely planted and stable, almost calm. With Magnetic Ride and great overall chassis balance, the ZL1 is all about being inch perfect at every turn and carrying a lot of speed.” GM reports that there weren't any non-stock performance changes made to the car that ran the lap. A quick list of some of the features of the new ZL1 include: -6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V-8 making 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque -All-new 10R90 10-speed automatic transmission (set to Track mode to enable Performance Algorithm Shift calibration, providing optimal gear selection without the need to manually select gears) -FE4 Suspension with Magnetic Ride Control -Performance Traction Management -Forged 20-inch wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 tires -Brembo brakes with front 15.4-inch rotors and six-piston calipers and rear 14.4-inch rotors and four-piston calipers -Lift-reducing front fascia elements with cooling ducts and Chevrolet “flowtie” -Full underbody shielding -ZL1-specific rear spoiler and diffuser -11 heat exchangers
  5. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 10-24-2016 When I found this video tonight, after publishing the short story earlier, I loaded it by clicking on the Youtube Link and then switched to another open window on the computer. Listening to the car, I thought "Man that driver can heel-toe like a demon! I wonder if he is using the auto-rev match feature on the stick" Nope. The car can match revs pretty well though. That is the new 10-speed auto transmission with Performance Algorithm Shift calibration set to track mode making all that lovely noise. Watching closely, I dont see the driver downshifting or upshifting with the paddles.
  6. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 8-8-2016 Hold onto your hats. Chevy has just released the performance numbers of the all-new Camaro ZL1 and also gives us the rest of the Camaro line's numbers for comparison. The zero to sixty MPH is the easiest to understand. The ZL1 can make that sprint in just 3.5 seconds. The SS 1LE can do it in 4.2 seconds. The LT 1 LE does it in 5.2 seconds. The 2017 Camaro ZL1 runs the quarter mile in 11.4 seconds and can corner at above 1 g. Although there are faster muscle cars on the market at this price point, aside from the Corvette, it is hard to name one that the Camaro ZL1 would not leave behind in the first turn on any racetrack. Chevy says the 2017 Camaro ZL1 will be priced at $62,135 for coupe models and $69,135 for convertibles not including destination charges. The 1LE package is a $6,500 on the V-8-powered 1SS. It is a $4,500 MSRP adder on Camaro V-6 LT coupe models.
  7. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 5/17/2016 The expectation is that with every additional new item on any performance vehicle the new part is great. The new Chevy 10-speed automatic transmission may well be, but having had some time in a ZL1 Camaro, the first car it will be used in, I want to know why. On paper, it sure sounds good. "Faster shifting than a Porsche PDK." That sounds like a good thing for sure. Chevy says, "Testing has shown faster upshift times than the Porsche PDK dual-clutch transmission. In fact, the 1-2 upshift is 36-percent quicker than the PDK, while the 2-3 and 3-4 upshifts are 27-percent and 26-percent quicker, respectively." Hard to argue that a faster shift in a sports car isn't a great thing, particularly on the way up the gears. Same size as the outgoing eight-speed trans. Another GM quote says, "Creative packaging solutions, which had to accommodate another clutch in comparison to the eight-speed, allow the 10-speed to be the approximate size of Camaro’s other eight-speed transmission." Hey, with a wider gear spread and a better highway gear for more fuel efficiency, why not? On the other hand...Why do I care about the highway fuel efficiency of my track-ready Camaro ZL1? Sure, I want the faster up-shifts, but couldn't that have been achieved with the same 8-speed? Here's my problem with a 10-speed auto in an ultra-high performance car. I don't want more gears. I cannot understand what to do with 10 gears in a supercharged car with insane torque and 640 hp. I have driven the ZL1 at media track days on multiple occasions. The track is considered long. On that track I never-ever use any gear above 4 in any Chevy performance car, be it a Corvette, Camaro ZL1 or Z28, or CTS-V. So on the track, the added six gears are useless to me. Around the track are the best mountain roads in the Northeast. They have an incredible speed limit of 55 MPH (show me a higher speed limit on any non-highway road East of the Mississippi). These are not highways, but one lane in each direction rural roads with sharp turns, long sweepers, and awesome elevation changes. On these roads, I love to use the paddle shifters to control the torque and put the car in the gear I want. I don't need more than three gears here, but I might use as many as four. Again, why do I need 10? I asked Chevy by e-mail if there is a lock-out like Lexus uses on its performance vehicles that locks out the trans above a certain gear. The point of that is to negate having to downshift from 10 to 3 if you want to control the shifts using the paddles. "No" was the answer. Chevy says it will put this rear-drive style trans into more vehicles in two years. That means your truck. Tell me why a truck with 10 gears is better than one with six. Then tell me why a CVT isn't better than 10. I'm a person with an open mind.
  8. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 3/24/2016 Can the 2017 Camaro ZL1 Convertible be topped? Not from this fan's viewpoint. Just prior to our media group and our favorite test track deciding that 600 hp convertibles with journalists inside driving top-down without helmets might be a bad thing, my companion and I had the pleasure of wringing out the last-gen ZL1 in exactly that fashion. Any track day in any car is amazing, but top down, wind in your hair flooring one of the most powerful convertibles ever built? That is pretty much as good as it gets. Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development was there that day and he and I sat together at lunch. I guess if it gets any better that is how. He is a pretty big fan of the new 2017 ZL1, and said this week, “The Camaro ZL1 is designed to excel at everything. 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.” Please read about the new ZL1 here at our recent overview. Chevy is adding just few things to the ZL1 drop-top: ◾Unique 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with 285/30ZR20 front and 305/30ZR20 rear tires ◾Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires with a compound and construction developed exclusively for the Camaro to offer exceptional grip on the track ◾Brembo brakes with six-piston monobloc front calipers – featuring the ZL1 logo – and massive, 15.35-inch (390 mm) two-piece front rotors. Chevy promises the track-ready convertible Camaro ZL1 will be available in about a year.
  9. Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development was there that day and he and I sat together at lunch. I guess if it gets any better that is how. He is a pretty big fan of the new 2017 ZL1, and said this week, “The Camaro ZL1 is designed to excel at everything. 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.” Please read about the new ZL1 here at our recent overview. Chevy is adding just few things to the ZL1 drop-top: ◾Unique 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with 285/30ZR20 front and 305/30ZR20 rear tires ◾Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires with a compound and construction developed exclusively for the Camaro to offer exceptional grip on the track ◾Brembo brakes with six-piston monobloc front calipers – featuring the ZL1 logo – and massive, 15.35-inch (390 mm) two-piece front rotors. Chevy promises the track-ready convertible Camaro ZL1 will be available in about a year.
  10. Our experience with the all new Camaro has been outstandingly positive. Just last fall, GM-Trucks.com drove a 2016 Camaro SS over 1,600 miles from Minneapolis to Salt Lake City in an epic road trip. The SS turned out to be a strikingly composed vehicle. In our time with the last generation Camaro ZL1, we were equally impressed but the vehicle's extra weight made it harder to control on the track. This generation is over 200-lbs lighter. The all new ZL1 will dial this lighter generation pony car up to the proverbial "11". Specialized bodywork on the ZL1 improve aerodynamics and cooling. A larger front splitter, unique rockers, larger rear spoiler and wide front fenders are designed to keep the Camaro ZL1 stable at high speeds. A special "flow-tie" Chevrolet bowtie insignia is open to allow more airflow to the engine compartment. Inside the ZL1 has standard Recaro front seats, a suede flat-bottom steering wheel, and suede shift knob. Chevrolet's performance data recorder (PDR) is also available. The ZL1 also comes with unique 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with exclusive Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires [285/30ZR20 Front / 305/30ZR20 Rear]. Those huge tires will get help stopping with massive 15.35 inch rotors squeezed by six-piston Brembo brakes up front. 11-heat exchangers throughout the Camaro ZL1 make this four-person car track ready straight from the dealership. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.
  11. Zane Merva Executive Editor, GM-Trucks.com 3/16/2016 Just when you thought the sixth generation Camaro could not get any better, Chevrolet has announced that the high-performance ZL1 variation will make a return for MY-2017. Powered by a 640-horsepower supercharged LT4 6.2L V8 engine, the ZL1 will come in a customer's choice of a 6-speed manual or 10-speed automatic. Our experience with the all new Camaro has been outstandingly positive. Just last fall, GM-Trucks.com drove a 2016 Camaro SS over 1,600 miles from Minneapolis to Salt Lake City in an epic road trip. The SS turned out to be a strikingly composed vehicle. In our time with the last generation Camaro ZL1, we were equally impressed but the vehicle's extra weight made it harder to control on the track. This generation is over 200-lbs lighter. The all new ZL1 will dial this lighter generation pony car up to the proverbial "11". Specialized bodywork on the ZL1 improve aerodynamics and cooling. A larger front splitter, unique rockers, larger rear spoiler and wide front fenders are designed to keep the Camaro ZL1 stable at high speeds. A special "flow-tie" Chevrolet bowtie insignia is open to allow more airflow to the engine compartment. Inside the ZL1 has standard Recaro front seats, a suede flat-bottom steering wheel, and suede shift knob. Chevrolet's performance data recorder (PDR) is also available. The ZL1 also comes with unique 20-inch forged aluminum wheels with exclusive Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires [285/30ZR20 Front / 305/30ZR20 Rear]. Those huge tires will get help stopping with massive 15.35 inch rotors squeezed by six-piston Brembo brakes up front. 11-heat exchangers throughout the Camaro ZL1 make this four-person car track ready straight from the dealership. Pricing and availability have yet to be announced.
  12. John Goreham Contributing Writer, GM-Trucks.com 9/18/2015 OK Camaro nation, which of the off-the-hook Camaros is this? The person who filmed it says it is the 2017 ZL1. It could very well be. Or it could be Z/28. Or it could be a twin-turbo powered 3.6-liter V6 Camaro, or... The list is endless. What clues do you see to suggest it is or is not a ZL1? In the past has meant a 6.2-liter supercharged engine, but who is to say it will in the future?
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