2012 The Camaro ZL1, what car reviews, 2012 The Camaro ZL1 builds upon the highly successful reborn Camaro, albeit with a heavy dose of steroids both in the cosmetic and performance departments – clearly taking direct aim at ford’s Shelby GT500 Mustang.
To do battle, the ZL1 borrows the 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V8 that is commonly found under the hood of the CTS-V models – but this time with even more power – making it the fastest production Camaro ever built.
2012 The Camaro ZL1 specs
The chevrolet camaro ZL1 has returned from the SAE with an official rating of 580 horsepower and 556 lb-ft of torque, beating out the 1969 ZL1’s 427 cubic inch V8 by more than 150 horsepower.
The engine that packs such a ferocious bite is an all-aluminum LSA supercharged small-block chevrolet engine, complete with six-bolt main bearing caps that clamp and lock in the forged steel crankshaft to the deep-skirt block on the engine’s lower end, along with a 1.9-liter Roots-style supercharger that crams air into the engine thanks to a four-lobe set and with the aid of an intercooler.
Chevy says it has modified the LSA engine specifically for the ZL1, including a less restrictive air filter, dual inlet paths and improved airflow throughout the supercharger housing. Chevy also made use of a more efficient intercooler and electric power steering system, all things that help add up to give the ZL1 a power advantage over the similar engine found in the cadillac CTS -V vehicles.Of course, with that much power one needs specially designed transmissions to handle the high output without being prone to failures. To address that, Chevy beefed up its Tremec TR-6060 to MG9-spec, which means it can handle 30 percent more torque. This is achieved through the use of a strengthened output shaft, high-strength rear housing and additional roller bearing.
One very unique feature of the ZL1 is the availability of an automatic transmission. While the notion of adding an automatic transmission may make some enthusiasts cringe, the reality is those with pockets deep enough to purchase this car may very well prefer a six-speed automatic transmission over a do-it-yourself type tranny.
To handle that duty, Chevy has the Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed automatic transmission, which benefits from two additional pinion gears, additional clutch plate and strengthened output shaft and gearset. There are also three drive modes: Drive, Sport and Manual, depending on the driver’s preference at the time.
Magnetic Ride Control
Another major selling point of the ZL1 is the use of GM’s third-generation of Magnetic Ride Control. This technology uses valve-less damping and Magneto-Rheological fluid technology in its shock absorbers to control resistance. Essentially, the system can magnetize particles to change the flow resistance on the fly and adjust the ride from hard to soft, or soft to hard.
The third-gen system uses new twin-wire/dual-coil dampers at all four corners, rather than a single, larger single-core on the outgoing generation. The new system allows for even more precise control and a wider range of comfort levels, allowing up to 1,000 adjustments per second.The MRC system has three preset settings: Tour, Sport and Track.
Performance Traction Management system
The final trick up the ZL1′s sleeve comes in the form of a performance traction management system intended to used on the track or at drag strips. PTM is standard equipment, having been born in the Corvette ZR1.
PTM works by integrating magnetic ride control, launch control, traction control and electronic stability control to work together optimally depending on the environment and task at hand.
There are five pre-set modes:
Mode 1 – Traction control set for wet conditions, with stability
control on and Magnetic Ride Control set on Tour.
Mode 2 – Traction control set for dry conditions, with stability control on and Magnetic Ride Control set on Tour.
Mode 3 – Traction control set on Sport 1, with stability control on and Magnetic Ride Control set on Sport.
Mode 4 – Traction control set on Sport 2, with stability control off and Magnetic Ride Control set on Sport.
Mode 5 – Traction control set on Race, with stability control off and Magnetic Ride Control set on Track. Launch control tuned for VHT-prepped drag strips.
This means the ZL1 can be set to work according to the driver’s preference for just about any situation encountered on the road, track or on the strip.
2012 The Camaro ZL1 price
The chevrolet camaro ZL1 base price is $54,995, there are only six options on the ZL1, starting with the choice of transmission. An extra $1,185 will get you a six-speed automatic with manual shift mode. Adding bright aluminum wheels will set you back $470, as will stripes. A sunroof is priced at $900, while the carbon fiber hood insert is $600. Finally, a suede package for the steering wheel and shifter is $500. Leather interior is standard, along with heated power seats, and a nine-speaker audio system with USB port and Bluetooth.