The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 debuted at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. It is the highest-performing Camaro and the most technically advanced car ever developed in its class. The new ZL1 continues the momentum of Camaro, propelling it into an entirely new realm of leading-edge performance technology. It is planned to launch at the beginning of 2012.
Motivated by a supercharged V-8 engine producing an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW), the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will be the fastest Camaro ever offered by Chevrolet. And more than just power, the ZL1 features technologically advanced and highly developed chassis and suspension systems that help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking power to complement its high engine output. Rigorous development of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is ongoing, and official estimates of the car's capabilities will be released later in 2011, as testing nears completion.
"Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design, and is a type of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously," said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. "It's the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we've chosen a name from the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history."
The ZL1 name is derived from the all-aluminum racing engine of the same name, which was developed in the late 1960s and installed into a handful of regular-production 1969 Camaros. Only 69 were built with the engine, but they've achieved mythical status among enthusiasts, as they represented the pinnacle in Camaro performance - until now. The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 model is designed to be a major leap forward for the Camaro, bringing a new level of performance capability to the segment.
The menacing, retro-flavored sheetmetal of Camaro is backed up by a powerful 3.6-liter V6 -- mated to either a six-speed automatic or manual transmission -- and produce an uprated 323 horsepower (up 11 horsepower) and 278 lb-ft of torque.
Chevy says the added power comes from a new cylinder head design, an improved intake port design, longer-duration intake camshafts, new fuel pump with isolated fuel rail, new and improved fuel injectors and camshaft cap and throttle body design improvements.
While boasting more power than the V6 version of the Ford Mustang, the V6-powered and automatic-equipped Camaro Coupe returns slightly lower fuel economy with 30 mpg on the highway (up front 29 at launch), compared to the Mustang's 31 mpg, along with 19 mpg in the city. The manually-shifted Camaro is rated at 17/28 mpg.
Interior changes include a revised instrument panel layout, new instrument graphics and trim, a new steering wheel design and a power lift feature for the front passenger seat. There is also an available Rear Vision Package, which addresses the limited rearward visibility issue when backing up by adding a rearview camera system to the park assist functionality.
There is, however, a problem. The auto costs £41,495 (manual is £39,999), which seems offensively pricey for something that trades on affordable fun. It gets worse when you notice the wobbly seat stitching and frail trim - something not endemic of other Euro GM cars. Then there's the inconvenience of left-hand-drive, cramped rear legroom, dim fuel economy...
But, let's face it, buying a muscle car in the UK transcends judgement - it's all about visual pheromones and cultural connotations. And, of the current over-priced, under-built crop available in the UK, at least it handles.source:topgear.com,leftlanenews.com,netcarshow.com