The limited-production Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 could become a permanent fixture in the brand’s line if its sales continue to grow at the current rate, according to Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser. Chevrolet plans to produce just 3,000 units of the Camaro Z/28 for 2014-15, but demand for the vehicle has been strong. Chevrolet sold all the 450 Z/28 units it built in the 2014 production year, and is expected to deliver between 2,500 and 3,000 units in 2015.
General Motors may decide to keep the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 on its list of product offerings to stave off challenges from a redesigned Ford Mustang and possible Shelby performance version. Chevrolet officials recently rented a racetrack in South Haven and let reporters take the wheel of some Z/28s, with a purpose of giving them a first-hand experience of the car’s track-ready handling and acceleration.
The Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is powered by a 7.0-liter V-8 engine that provides 505 hp, allowing it to accelerate from zero to 60 mph in just 3.9 seconds and reach a top speed of about 170 mph. It fuel economy numbers of 13 mpg city/19 mpg highway.
Despite the power, the Z/28 is easy to drive and handle thanks to its smooth clutch, responsive steering and intuitive shifting for the six-speed manual transmission. According to Oppenheiser, some of the weight-saving modifications in the Z/28 could be adopted in other production Camaros.
The Z/28 has a weight of 3,820 lbs -- 300 lbs lighter than the high-performance ZL-1 and just 118 lbs heavier than the entry-level Camaro V-6.
Chevrolet was able to achieve this weight by employing less sound deadening material in the body, thinner rear glass, smaller wheels and tires, redesigned rear seats and ceramic brake rotors. The 2014 Z/28 carries a starting price of $75,000, including shipping and gas guzzler tax.
The new 2014 Chevrolet Camaro marks the most significant redesign of the vehicle since the fifth-generation Camaro was unveiled as a concept car in 2006.
Tom Peters, Camaro exterior design director, remarked that the 2014 iteration of the car represents an opportunity for designers to apply what they learned from listening to customers and from their continuous development of high-performance models. He added by searching for functional and beautiful solutions, they create a new Camaro that is genuinely Chevrolet, as marked by simplicity, power and honesty.
Compared to its predecessor, 2014 Camaro is provided with a design that greatly modified its front and rear end, giving the new vehicle a wider, lower and more modern look. Its front fascia now has a wider lower aperture and a narrower upper opening. The Camaro RS comes with visually updated "halo ring" HID headlamps. The Camaro SS, meanwhile, comes with a functional hood vent that could reduce aerodynamic lift and heat. On the rear, the new 2014 Camaro is marked by sculptural decklid, horizontal lamps and diffuser.
On the other hand, the Camaro Z/28 is provided with full aerodynamic package that could generate the needed downforce at track speeds. The front end of the Z/28 is marked by a large splitter and an underbody panel. When viewed from the sides, the Z/28 reveals fender flares over the front and rear wheels, as well as extended rocker panels. The rear end features an aggressive rear spoiler and a functional diffuser.