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.
The new 2012 Camaro ZL1 from Chevrolet is making its mark for two important reasons. First is that it is considered as the highest-performing Camaro to come from the brand and second, it is seen to be the most technically advanced vehicle of its segment. Through the ZL1, Camaro expects that the success experienced by the Camaro will be continued with the latest offering expected to thrust the range to new levels when it comes to cutting-edge performance technology.
In developing the ZL1, the brand made sure that the main objective was to bring something new to the class. Specifically, this would be a Camaro that would deliver excellent driving dynamics on the road while being able to achieve outstanding lap times on the race track. To make this possible, a number of its latest engineering systems are present in the Camaro.
In addition, new technologies were integrated as well like electric power steering. Another new technology worth mentioning is the Magnetic Ride Control, which is currently the sole suspension system in the world that has the fastest reaction time. As if to provide a hint to its abilities, the name ZL1 was taken from the racing engine, made entirely of aluminum, having the same name.
This same engine was originally made during the latter part of the 1960s and fitted inside some of the regular production 1969 Camaros. While merely 69 units of the engine were actually made, it managed to become a legend especially among the enthusiasts as it symbolized the best of what the Camaro had to offer. With the 2012 ZL1 though, all that is expected to change.
This newest offering from Chevrolet is seen as a big leap forward for this well-loved model as it introduces a new level of performance potential to its class. Powering it will be the supercharged V8 engine capable of 550 hp (410 kW) making this the fastest Camaro there is. The ZL1 though is more than just about power as the suspension systems and chassis fitted on it are considered as one of the most highly developed and even technologically advanced systems ever built.
These features can deliver handling that is balanced while being track-ready. Meanwhile, its braking power more than complements the high output provided by the engine.
The ZL1 is still being honed and the projects that the official estimates for its abilities will be revealed sometime 2011, especially once testing is almost finished. Having officially debuted during the 2011 Chicago Auto Show, the new 2012 Camaro ZL1 is set to launch by 2012.