2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 confirmed to reach top speed of 198 mph

Article by Christian A., on February 23, 2017

How fast can a 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 actually go? Considering the amount of power lurking underneath its line-laden bonnet, the 2017 Camaro ZL1 is capable of achieving a top speed that goes beyond 200 mph (322 km/h). But then, nothing is official unless Chevrolet exerts effort to prove how fast the Camaro ZL1 could go.

With nothing but top speed as the goal, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 took the challenge and proceeded to the High Speed Oval of Automotive Testing Papenburg GmbH in Germany. Keep in mind that this particular 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is nearly all stock – as the modifications made only involved the addition of mandatory safety equipment and data logging equipment.

Take note that even a stock Camaro ZL1 already features several special performance-enhancing parts -- balanced enough to reduce lift while not affecting drag. Chevrolet fitted the 2017 Camaro ZL1 with special aerodynamic elements like a stanchion rear spoiler that is considered to be capable of delivering a lift/drag ratio better than a blade-style rear spoiler. Moreover, the carmaker fitted the 2017 Camaro ZL1 with a patent-pending auxiliary transmission oil cooler cover that could lower front-end lift without affecting drag. Chevrolet also tuned the coupe’s front-to-rear aero balance to offer better high-speed stability.

Of course, the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is empowered by 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V8 engine that is tuned to deliver up to 650 hp of output and up to 650 lb.-ft. of torque. As standard, this V8 engine in the Camaro ZL1 is paired to a standard six-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match. However, in this top speed challenge, an all-new 10-speed automatic transmission was installed to send power to the wheels. The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 sits on 20-inch forged aluminum wheels wrapped in Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 summer-only tires (pressure set at 44 psi) measuring 285/30ZR20 on the front and 305/30ZR20 at the rear. Stopping power comes from Brembo brakes with six-piston Monobloc front calipers and two-piece rotors.

Papenburg’s proving ground was considered as ideal for testing and confirming the top speed of the Camaro ZL1. The 7.6-mile (12.3 km) high-speed oval comes with 2.5-mile (4 km) straights and 1.3-mile (2.15 km) turns with 49.7-degree banking on the top lane. This steep banking should allow test drivers to pilot the ZL1 around the oval without having to depress the accelerator pedal in the turns.

The results? In the direction favorable to the wind, the 2017 Camaro ZL1 managed to achieve a top speed of 202.3 mph. In the direction against the wind, the coupe returned a max speed of 193.3 mph. The top speeds from these runs were averaged, resulting to a confirmed max velocity of 198 mph (318 km/h).

Likewise, Chevrolet was able to confirm that the 2017 Camaro ZL1 could sprint from zero to 60 mph in just 3.5 seconds and run a quarter mile in 11.4 seconds at 127 mph. Moreover, the 2017 Camaro ZL1 achieved up to 1.02gs in cornering. It also could decelerate from 60 mph to standstill in 107 feet (35 meters).

Press Release

Slide over to the next lane. The Camaro ZL1 Coupe has a top speed of 198 mph (318 km/h).

Slide over to the next lane. The Camaro ZL1 Coupe has a top speed of 198 mph (318 km/h).

Chevrolet tested the max velocity of the ZL1 (with 10-speed automatic) on the High Speed Oval at Germany’s Automotive Testing Papenburg GmBH proving ground. Compensating for wind speed, the top speed is the average achieved from running the ZL1 in both directions on the 7.6-mile (12.3 km) loop — 202.3 mph in one direction and 193.3 mph in the other direction.

“This test caps an impressive list of performance stats for the Camaro ZL1, which was designed to excel at everything,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “It’s the most capable — and fastest —Camaro ever.”

The Papenburg testing was conducted on the ZL1’s production Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 tires with pressure set at 44 psi, the recommended setting for extended high-speed driving. The car’s only deviations from stock were mandatory safety equipment and data logging equipment.

Papenburg’s high-speed oval features 2.5-mile (4 km) straights and 1.3-mile (2.15 km) turns with 49.7-degree banking on the top lane. The steep banking allowed Chevrolet test drivers to run the ZL1 flat out around the track without lifting off the throttle in the turns.

“The ZL1 was developed with high-speed performance in mind, incorporating a balanced aerodynamic package that reduces lift without significantly affecting drag,” said Oppenheiser. “After testing the car in standard settings, which produced the 198-mph average, we set the front and rear camber adjustments to 0 degrees and the tire pressures to the maximum allowable sidewall pressure, and saw the ZL1 average over 200 mph.”

Special aero features include a stanchion rear spoiler that offers an advantageous lift/drag ratio compared to a blade-style rear spoiler, and a patent-pending auxiliary transmission oil cooler cover that reduces front-end lift with no drag penalty. The front-to-rear aero balance was also fine-tuned for high-speed stability.

Additional performance capabilities of the ZL1 Coupe tested with the available 10-speed automatic transmission include:

0-60 mph in 3.5 seconds
Quarter mile in 11.4 seconds at 127 mph
1.02g max cornering
60-0 mph braking in 107 feet (35 meters).
The 650-horsepower, supercharged LT4 engine powering the ZL1 is matched with a standard six-speed manual transmission with Active Rev Match or an available, all-new 10-speed automatic transmission. Additional features include:

Magnetic Ride Control
Electronic limited-slip differential (coupe only)
20-inch forged aluminum wheels
Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 summer-only tires measuring 285/30ZR20 in front and 305/30ZR20 in the rear*
Brembo brakes with six-piston Monobloc front calipers and two-piece rotors
The 2017 Camaro ZL1 starts at $63,435 for a coupe with the manual transmission (price includes $995 destination and $1,300 gas guzzler tax) and $65,830 for a coupe with the 10-speed automatic (price includes $995 destination and $2,100 gas guzzler tax).

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