Video: 2012 Camaro ZL1 laps the Nurburgring in 7:41.27

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 10, 2011

A video of the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has been released, proving its capability to run a lap at Nürburgring Nordschleife for a record of 7:41.27, which the automaker says is on par with a Porsche 911 Turbo S and a Lamborghini Murciélago.

Chevrolet said that this is about 40 seconds quicker than the lap taken by a Camaro SS in the ‘Ring in 2009. Motor Trend said that the ZL1 used was a production-spec model filled with testing equipment, a roll cage, fire extinguisher, and a five-point racing harness for added safety.

Camaro Performance Engineer Aaron Link had set this lap. Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser said that the ZL1’s lap time is a “tremendous accomplishment.” He said that this record serves as validation that the Camaro ZL1 is “track-ready from the showroom.”

The 2012 Camaro ZL1 is powered by a 580-hp supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 engine. Both manual and automatic transmissions will be offered, with six speeds each. It comes with Brembo brakes, Magnetic Ride adaptive suspension, and the Performance Traction Management that was first used on the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1. The 2012 Camaro ZL1 will go on sale in spring 2012.

While some may think that the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is just another Camaro but with more power, perhaps it would be better to take a closer look at how this version is on another level – in terms of performance – compared with the regular model. First off, the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is provided with the MG9 version of the high-performance Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission, which boasts of a higher torque capacity.

This high-peformance gearbox is complemented by a dual-mass flywheel and twin-disc clutch, thereby allowing for easy operation and smoother shifting. Gear changes are implemented through a new, shorter-throw shifter. Meanwhile, the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 features a patent-pending drivetrain that has been revised by employing a stronger driveshaft and rear axle system. This system now comes with a larger and stronger cast iron differential housing as well as stronger axles and heavy-duty limited-slip differential.

Supporting and complementing the strong body of the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is a revised tuned suspension system with Magnetic Ride Control, a technology that is present in only some of the finest performance cars in the world. This Magnetic Ride Control employs advanced magneto-rheological science to deliver very precise shock damping to pave way for an optimized body control that could dish out superb performance in any driving conditions and track situations.

This Magnetic Ride system – featuring driver selectable modes: Tour and Sport – is supported by a cast of redesigned chassis elements that enhance the Camaro ZL1’s high-performance nature. These elements include rear stabilizer bars’ drop links that are now positioned outboard of the control arms, making the bars more efficient in controlling body roll in turns. Braking is managed by an advanced track-capable braking system that Chevrolet developed in collaboration with Brembo.

The braking system for the new Camaro ZL1 features 14.6-inch (370-mm) two-piece rotors with six-piston calipers on the front, 14.4-inch (365-mm) rotors with four-piston calipers at the rear. On the other hand, the new Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is specified with a new electric power steering system that helps ensure precise control and driver feedback.

Camaro ZL1’s billing as a complete high-performance car is furthered by the fact that it is provided with a dual-mode exhaust system that could change the sound level and character according to engine rpm. This dual-mode exhaust system had its debut on the Corvette, and has been specifically tuned for Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to provide a signature sound.

Press Release

Camaro ZL1 Laps Nuburgring in 7:41.27

The 2012 Camaro ZL1 recently recorded a 7:41.27 lap at the Nurburgring. That is nearly 40 seconds quicker than a Camaro SS tested at the legendary German track in 2009. Measuring 12.9 miles (20.8 km) and including some 154 turns, the Nurburgring's Nordschleife ("north loop") is widely considered the world's most-demanding course.

The Camaro ZL1 used for the lap was a production-intent model, with no performance modifications, driven by Camaro Performance Engineer Aaron Link. The Camaro ZL1 recorded its time of 7:41.27 from a flying start.

"The Nurburgring is unlike any track in the world," said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. "Each lap includes fast straights, sweeping off-camber turns, hairpin corners, and elevation changes. In order to do well on the 'Ring, the car has to do everything well – including acceleration, braking, and lateral grip. Breaking an eight-minute lap in a 2+2 production car is a tremendous accomplishment, and validates that the Camaro ZL1 will truly be track-ready from the showroom."

More than 30 percent of the Camaro SS was re-engineered for the Camaro ZL1, which arrives at U.S. dealerships in the first quarter of 2012.

The Camaro ZL1 features a supercharged 6.2L "LSA" engine SAE-rated at 580 horsepower (432 kW) and 556 lb.-ft. of torque (754 Nm) – making it the most-powerful production Camaro ever. Power is delivered to the rear wheels by either a six-speed manual or automatic transmission.

The ZL1's power is complemented by exclusive performance technologies, including the third-generation of Magnetic Ride suspension and Performance Traction Management.

Additional track-ready features standard on the Camaro ZL1 include coolers for the engine, transmission and rear differential, cooling ducts for the Brembo brakes, and a high-performance fuel system delivers fuel to the LSA engine under any performance-driving condition.

"The ZL1's full capability is evident at the Nurburgring," said Link. "One of the best moments is coming through 'Fuchsröhre', or Foxhole. The ZL1 accelerates at an unbelievable rate down through the tunnel of trees, and into a sweeping left-hand corner flat out in fifth gear. You have to have an extremely well-mannered, confidence-inspiring car to take any corner at 160 mph without lifting off the throttle – and the ZL1 was just brilliant."

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