2016 New York Auto Show: 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible packs plenty of power

Article by Andrew Christian, on March 27, 2016

The debut of the new 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible at the 2016 New York Auto Show was certainly highly anticipated. Avid fans will be excited to know that Chevrolet will commence sales of the new Camaro ZL1 convertible in early 2017.

This convertible version of the Camaro boasts of a performance comparable to its coupe sibling as it is underpinned by a modular and rigid body architecture designed to support a high-performance convertible.

Since the models only have a few minor structural variations, the convertible is able to inherit the track-honed chassis and driver control systems of the coupe version.

Contributing to the superb handling capability of the new 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible is its lightweight yet stiffer structure as well as an updated Magnetic Ride suspension and an electronic limited-slip differential.

Its other notable features include Performance Traction Management and Custom Launch Control. The new convertible also has the following as standard: a dual-mode exhaust, Driver Mode Selector and advanced connectivity features.

Interestingly, the new 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible comes with track capability as standard, including features like 11 heat exchangers for optimal powertrain cooling. This means that customers do not need to avail of an optional racing package just to render the ZL1 ready to race on the track.

Taking care of deceleration and stopping power are Brembo brakes with six-piston monobloc front calipers – all featuring the ZL1 logo – as well as massive 15.35-inch (390 mm) two-piece front rotors. The new 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible rides on distinct 20-inch forged aluminum wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires -- 285/30ZR20 front and 305/30ZR20 rear – featuring a compound and construction made just for the Camaro.

Meanwhile, Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development, remarked that the new Camaro ZL1 is designed to excel at everything.

He dubbed the new Camaro ZL1 as a 2+2 coupe that offers incredible performance in terms of acceleration, handling and braking while providing high levels of technology and perfect chassis damping. He also described the Camaro ZL1 as a car that is ‘fast with finesse,’ since it is well-balanced and features superb damping and isolation for optimal performance and driver confidence.

Exterior Design

Interestingly, the form of the new Camaro ZL1 prioritized functionality, leading to a superb performance. For instance, the shape of the new ZL1 underwent over 100 hours of wind-tunnel testing and on-track validation in a bid to enhance its aerodynamics and cooling for track use.

Moreover, the ZL1 boasts of a number of exterior features that should help manage airflow. Its lower grille opening allows greater airflow when compared to the Camaro SS while the upper grille comes with a new interpretation of the “flow-tie” open bowtie insignia.

Additionally, 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible is fitted with a new hood featuring a carbon fiber insert and heat extractor.

Some of its exterior features that boost aerodynamics and achieve high-speed stability are a larger front splitter, a wing-style rear spoiler, distinct rockers and wider front fenders.

Interior Design

On the other hand, the interior of the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible is home to standard Recaro front seats and a suede flat-bottom steering wheel as well as a shift knob.

Customers may also avail of Chevrolet’s Performance Data Recorder. John Mack, Camaro exterior design manager, remarked that the design of the new Camaro ZL1 allows for its exceptional performance while paving way for a compelling style. He added that all its elements merge together to give the new Camaro ZL1 a “purposeful, super aggressive attitude.”

Powertrain

Power comes courtesy of a new supercharged LT4 6.2L V-8 Small Block engine that features intake and exhaust systems customized for Camaro.

This V-8 engine is able to develop up to 640 hp (477 kW) of output and 640 lb-ft (868 Nm) of torque and is paired to either a six-speed manual transmission with active rev matching or an available paddle-shift 10-speed automatic.

Moreover, the new 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible features a stronger power-to-weight ratio than the previous model – it weighs 200 pounds less but still offers around 60 hp more output and 80 more pound-feet of torque.

Featuring very quick responses on both up- and down-shifts, the 10-speed automatic boasts of a 7.39 overall ratio for smaller steps between gears, thereby allowing the LT4 engine to stay at optimal rpm levels during acceleration, especially when exiting corners.

This allows the new 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 convertible to complete laps at a faster time. This marks the first time that the new quick-shift 10-speed gearbox is used on a Chevrolet vehicle. For now, this 10-speed gearbox is specifically calibrated for the ZL1 although GM plans to employ this transmission in eight vehicle models by the end of 2018.

Press Release

CHEVROLET CAMARO ZL1 CONVERTIBLE DEBUTS AT NEW YORK AUTO SHOW

The 2017 Camaro ZL1 is poised to challenge the most advanced sports coupes in the world in any measure – with unprecedented levels of technology, refinement, track capability and straight-line acceleration.

“The Camaro ZL1 is designed to excel at everything,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development. “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.”

Acceleration for the ZL1 is delivered with a new supercharged 6.2L V-8 engine estimated at 640 hp (477 kW), and either a six-speed manual transmission with active rev matching or an all-new 10-speed automatic. Handling capability starts with the lightweight, stiffer structure of the all-new sixth-Gen Camaro, married with Magnetic Ride suspension and an electronic limited-slip differential. Standard technologies include Driver Mode Selector, dual-mode exhaust and advanced connectivity features.

The Camaro ZL1 goes on sale late this year.

Designed for Performance

Functionality defines the Camaro ZL1’s form, with the exterior shaped during more than 100 hours of wind-tunnel testing and on-track validation to improve aerodynamics and cooling for track use. Accordingly, its exterior elements all play a part in managing airflow over, under and through the ZL1.

“The design supports the Camaro ZL1’s exceptional performance and does so with compelling style,” said John Mack, Camaro exterior design manager. “From every angle, the elements coalesce to give the car a purposeful, super aggressive attitude.”

The lower grille opening, for example, offers greater airflow compared to the Camaro SS, and the upper grille incorporates a new version of the “flow-tie” open bowtie insignia. There’s also a new hood, with a carbon fiber insert and heat extractor that pulls hot air from the engine compartment. Additional changes include a larger front splitter, unique rockers, a wing-style rear spoiler and wider front fenders – all tuned to improve aerodynamics for greater high-speed stability.

Inside, there are standard Recaro front seats, along with a sueded flat-bottom steering wheel and shift knob. Chevrolet’s Performance Data Recorder is available.

Fast with finesse

A cohesive suite of performance technologies tailors ZL1’s performance for street and track. Features include an updated Magnetic Ride suspension, Performance Traction Management, electronic limited-slip differential, Custom Launch Control and Driver Mode Selector. It also has a stronger power-to-weight ratio than its predecessor, weighing 200 pounds less, while offering approximately 60 more horsepower and 80 more pound-feet of torque.

The result is a one-of-a-kind driving experience.

“Driving the Camaro ZL1 is best described as ‘fast with finesse,’” said Reuss. “It is beautifully balanced, with perfect damping and isolation for optimal performance and driver confidence in virtually any situation – from the Pacific Coast Highway to Willow Springs to Pomona.”

Additional chassis features include:

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.
Supercharged performance and new 10-speed automatic

Underhood, the ZL1 features a supercharged LT4 6.2L V-8 Small Block engine, with intake and exhaust systems tailored for Camaro. It is rated at an estimated 640 horsepower (477 kW) and 640 lb-ft of torque (868 Nm).

The LT4 is backed by a standard six-speed manual transmission or all-new, available paddle-shift 10-speed automatic. The 10-speed automatic has 7.39 overall ratio for smaller steps between gears. It enables the LT4 engine to remain at optimal rpm levels during acceleration, particularly when exiting corners, for quicker laps and lightning-quick responses on both up- and down-shifts.

This is the first Chevrolet application of the new quick-shift 10-speed, with unique calibrations and hardware developed exclusively for the ZL1. By the end 2018, GM will introduce the new 10-speed automatic in eight vehicle models.

Finally – and unlike some competitors – there’s no need to purchase an optional package to make the ZL1 track ready. Track capability comes standard, with features including an impressive 11 heat exchangers for optimal powertrain cooling.

UPDATE: Chevrolet today revealed the 2017 Camaro ZL1 convertible. It offers comparable performance to the coupe model, thanks to the Camaro’s modular and rigid body architecture, which was designed at the outset to support a high-performance convertible. As a result, only a few minor structural differences separate the coupe and convertible models, enabling the coupe’s track-honed chassis and driver control systems to carry over unchanged. The Camaro ZL1 convertible goes on sale in early 2017.

 

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