Being inducted into the highly exclusive “11-second” club is no easy feat. The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is now officially a member after engineers took a showroom-stock Camaro ZL1 automatic and found that it could attain an 11.93-second/116-mph quarter-mile elapsed time run. They also determined that a Camaro ZL1 manual can have an 11.96-second ET at 117 mph.
Very few production vehicles can run a quarter-mile as fast as the ZL1. Even fewer can go from zero to 60 in 4 seconds, hit a top speed of 184 mph and finish one lap n the famous Nürburgring in 7:41.27. And these are all with the street-legal, factory-issued components and with no time-consuming equipment adjustments at the racetrack. Tony Roma, Camaro ZL1 program engineering manager, said that the ZL1 is ”great at everything.”
He said that it can be taken to the drag strip or to a road course where it’s balanced and offers great handling and responsiveness such as lapping Virginia International Raceway’s Grand Course in less than three minutes. Nevertheless, the ZL1 is sophisticated enough to use as a daily driver.
To put it in perspective, the Camaro ZL1 is so fast that drivers who experiment with “drag radial” tires or full racing slicks could find themselves moving too quickly for a majority of NHRA-sanctioned racetracks, where a five-point roll bar is needed for vehicles that can go 11.49 or quicker.
The 11.93-second ET achieved in a stock ZL1 tested by the engineers featured the factory-issued Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G:2 tires specifically developed specifically for it. This puts the car at just a 0.44-second away from that extra racing safety requirement.
The original, special-order 1969 Camaro ZL1s continue to be held in high respect for their iconic performance on the drag strip. Chevrolet realized that customers for the new edition would surely test its straight-line mettle in quarter-mile increments. The ZL1 gets special modifications only for the drag strip. About 30% of the Camaro team had re-engineered 30% of a Camaro 2SS.