2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: official details, photos and specs

Article by Christian A., on February 9, 2011

GM unveiled today the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, a new car which promises to be the most technically advanced car ever developed in its class. The ZL1 is powered by the LSA 6.2L supercharged engine, delivering an impressive 550 horsepower (410kW) and 550 lb.-ft. of torque (677 Nm).

Some of the features which contribute to the engine’s performance are the balanced, lightweight reciprocating assembly, the high-strength hypereutectic pistons, the sixth-generation Eaton supercharger with four-lobe rotors and the piston oil squirters. Due to the fact that the new Camaro ZL1 uses electric power steering, the engine doesn’t incorporate a conventional hydraulic power steering pump and this means that the performance is enhanced.

The engine is mated to a high-performance Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission, fitted with a dual-mass flywheel and twin-disc clutch for easy operation and shift smoothness. Moreover, we have a dual-mode exhaust system, which alters the sound level and character in response to engine rpm. The new drivetrain was revised with a stronger driveshaft and rear axle system, featuring a larger and stronger cast iron differential housing, stronger axles and heavy-duty limited-slip differential.

The suspension features completely revised tuning and the inclusion of segment-exclusive Magnetic Ride Control. Regarding the braking system, Brembo was the company chose to provide the 14.6-inch (370 mm) two-piece front rotors have six-piston calipers and the 14.4-inch (365 mm) rear rotors have four-piston calipers.

Regarding the design, the new car features a redesigned front fascia and aluminum hood with carbon fiber insert. Moreover, the front fascia features a front splitter and new vertical fog lamps, while the hood comes with front-mounted air extractors that direct air precisely over the car. The rear end offers a diffuser and spoiler.

The exterior design is completed by the 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, lighter than the ones used by the Camaro SS and wrapped in high-performance Goodyear Supercar F2 ties developed specifically for the ZL1. Inside, the ZL1 features a redesigned steering wheel, alloy pedals, Head-Up Display with unique performance readouts and the “four-pack” auxiliary gauge system featuring a boost readout.

According to the manufacturer, all of the Camaro exterior colors will be available for the ZL1, but the interior will only be offered in black. The ZL1 will include the same content as the current 2SS package, which means we will find six-way power driver and passenger seats, unique instrument panel and door panel inserts and ZL1-logo sill plates, steering wheel audio controls with instrument panel and door panel inserts; and ZL1-logo sill plates, wireless PDIM and USB-port, Boston Acoustics premium audio system, rear parking assist and rear camera system.

Press Release

ZL1: Chevrolet Camaro Enters The Realm Of Advanced Performance Technology

The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 debuted today at the Chicago Auto Show. It is the highest-performing Camaro and the most technically advanced car ever developed in its class. The new ZL1 continues the momentum of Camaro, propelling it into an entirely new realm of leading-edge performance technology. It is planned to launch at the beginning of 2012.

Motivated by a supercharged V-8 engine producing an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW), the Camaro ZL1 will be the fastest Camaro ever offered by Chevrolet. And more than just power, the ZL1 features technologically advanced and highly developed chassis and suspension systems that help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking power to complement its high engine output. Rigorous development of the ZL1 is ongoing, and official estimates of the car’s capabilities will be released later in 2011, as testing nears completion.

“Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design, and is a type of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “It’s the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we’ve chosen a name from the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history.”

The ZL1 name is derived from the all-aluminum racing engine of the same name, which was developed in the late 1960s and installed into a handful of regular-production 1969 Camaros. Only 69 were built with the engine, but they’ve achieved mythical status among enthusiasts, as they represented the pinnacle in Camaro performance – until now. The 2012 ZL1 model is designed to be a major leap forward for the Camaro, bringing a new level of performance capability to the segment.

The central goal of the car’s development was creating something new – a Camaro intended to reach optimal lap times on top road-racing circuits and excellent driving dynamics on the street. To achieve that goal, engineers evolved many of the existing Camaro’s systems, as well as incorporated new technologies such as electric power steering and Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system.

Camaro ZL1’s design communicates and supports its performance mission. Rather than using decorative elements, ZL1 is visually differentiated from other current Camaro models with elements vital to the car’s elevated capabilities.

“Everything about the ZL1’s design is directly related to its technology and serious performance, especially aerodynamics,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, Global Design. “Our designers’ goal was to execute that function-oriented design with beautifully sculpted forms, creating an imposing, powerful persona. Function becomes the aesthetic. The intent is a car that delivers on the attitude it projects.”

Major elements of the ZL1’s design are a new front fascia and hood with air extractors, designed in tandem to create aerodynamic downforce to aid handling. The car’s hood includes a signature center section constructed of carbon fiber and rendered in satin black finish. New rocker panels, wide tires, 20-inch wheels and exhaust tips portray the car’s handling and power.
The ZL1 badge appears on the grille, hood and the brake calipers, all key areas portraying the technology within.

Tech overview
Supporting the dynamic track and street performance of the ZL1 is the LSA 6.2L supercharged engine, which will produce an estimated 550 horsepower (410kW) and 550 lb.-ft. of torque (677 Nm), with specific features for the Camaro. Built on GM’s legendary all-aluminum, small-block V-8 architecture, the LSA features an intercooled supercharger system, premium heat-resistant aluminum-alloy cylinder heads and other details designed to ensure its exceptional performance is delivered with smoothness and refinement. Components and design elements that contribute to the LSA’s performance include:

  • Balanced, lightweight reciprocating assembly
  • High-strength hypereutectic pistons
  • Sixth-generation Eaton supercharger with four-lobe rotors
  • Piston oil squirters.

Because the Camaro ZL1 uses electric power steering, the engine does not incorporate a conventional hydraulic power steering pump on its accessory drive system. This enhances performance, because no engine power is used to turn a steering pump pulley.

Camaro ZL1 is a complete high-performance car, not just a Camaro with more power. Key technical highlights include:

Transmission – The high-performance Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual is matched with the LSA engine. It is the “MG9” version of the transmission, with a higher torque capacity. It is used with a dual-mass flywheel and twin-disc clutch for easy operation and shift smoothness. A new, shorter-throw shifter actuates the gear changes.

Exhaust – ZL1 is equipped with a dual-mode exhaust system, which alters the sound level and character in response to engine rpm. First used on the legendary Corvette, and specifically tuned for Camaro ZL1, the dual-mode exhaust will give the car a signature sound.

Drivetrain – It is revised with a stronger driveshaft and rear axle system, featuring a larger and stronger cast iron differential housing, stronger axles and heavy-duty limited-slip differential. This patent-pending system is designed to ensure that ZL1’s tremendous power is delivered smoothly to the ground.

Suspension – The suspension features completely revised tuning and the inclusion of segment-exclusive Magnetic Ride Control. ZL1’s Magnetic Ride system will include driver selectable modes (Tour and Sport) tailored for the preferred style of driving. It uses advanced magneto-rheological science to produce shock damping with the highest level of precision, enabling body control optimized for excellent performance in everyday driving as well as track situations. This technology appears on only a small roster of some of the world’s finest performance cars. Other chassis elements are redesigned to support the car’s high-performance limits. Rear stabilizer bars have drop links repositioned outboard of the control arms. This makes the bars more effective in controlling body roll in turns, with crisp response to driver commands.

Brakes and Steering – Camaro ZL1 features an advanced track-capable braking system, developed in conjunction with experts from Brembo. The large 14.6-inch (370 mm) two-piece front rotors have six-piston calipers; the 14.4-inch (365 mm) rear rotors have four-piston calipers. ZL1 marks the entry of a new electric power steering system to Camaro. It is being developed to ensure precise control and feedback to the driver, with greater variability of effort for high-performance driving.

Exterior – ZL1’s signature from the front is the redesigned fascia and aluminum hood with a raised, carbon fiber insert. The fascia includes a front splitter and new vertical fog lamps. The fog lamp area includes air intakes designed for brake cooling. The hood features front-mounted air extractors that direct air precisely over the car. Visually, this center section, in satin black carbon fiber, communicates the car’s high-performance intent as a visual contrast to the car’s exterior color. Functionally, the air extractor is a key in connecting airflow closely to the bodywork, creating aerodynamic downforce. The carbon fiber center section reduces the mass of the hood. High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and fog lamps are standard. The rear of the car includes a diffuser and spoiler, also functional elements that enhance the car’s aerodynamics.

Wheels and Tires – New-design, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, which are lighter than the 20-inch wheels used on the Camaro SS, are used with new Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G:2 tires developed specifically for the ZL1.

Interior – ZL1 is tailored for high-performance driving. The front seats feature microfiber suede inserts. Other enhancements include a redesigned steering wheel, alloy pedals, Head-Up Display with unique performance readouts and the “four-pack” auxiliary gauge system featuring a boost readout.

Production details
All of the Camaro exterior colors will be offered with the ZL1, but black is the only interior color. The unique exterior features are complemented with a black center section on the hood. Inside, the Camaro ZL1 has heated leather seats with microfiber inserts and ZL1 logos embroidered on the front headrests. Microfiber suede is repeated as an accent on the instrument panel, adding a richer look to the interior. The ZL1 will include the same content as the current 2SS package and include the following new or unique features:

  • Six-way power driver and passenger seats
  • Unique instrument panel and door panel inserts; and ZL1-logo sill plates
  • Steering wheel audio controls with Bluetooth capability
  • Wireless PDIM and USB-port
  • Boston Acoustics premium audio system
  • Rear parking assist
  • Rear camera system (displayed in the inside rearview mirror).

Engineers have already driven Camaro ZL1 prototypes extensively at demanding road courses in the U.S. and Germany, with final testing being completed through the balance of 2011.

If you liked the article, share on:

Pin It

Comments

Recommended

A new body configuration will be added to Nissan’s Titan and Titan XD large pickup trucks starting in the 2017 model year. The Japanese carmaker announced at the 2017 Chicago...
by - February 21, 2017
Believe it or not, Mopar has been a part of the automotive world for 80 years. Yes, Mopar is celebrating its 80 years of existence this 2017, and as part...
by - February 21, 2017
If you are wondering why this Alfa Romeo SUV being shown at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show looks so familiar, wonder no more. Well, it is because it is identical...
by - February 14, 2017
What does Chevy’s all–new Redline Series have to say about this? Nissan always takes the lead in designing trim packages for self-expression. As soon as Nissan first came out with...
by - February 13, 2017
Both the Toyota Sequoia and the Toyota Tundra may be tough vehicles but they don’t lack style. But how could we make these two vehicles – some of the largest...
by - February 13, 2017
Facebook

Youtube Channel

Tip Us
Do you have a tip for us?
Did you film an important event?
Contact us
Newsletter
Subscribe to our newsletter!
Subscribe
Galleries