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Fastest Chevy Camaro gets blown 477kW V8

Zed one: Chevrolet’s fastest-ever Camaro also gets GM’s first 10-speed automatic transmission.

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 kicks sand in the face of European supercars with huge grunt


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16 Mar 2016

CHEVROLET has revealed a Ferrari-bashing version of its Camaro coupe, packing a stonking 477kW of power and 868Nm of torque from the most potent version of its LT4 6.2-litre supercharged V8.

The new-generation Camaro ZL1, which will go on sale in North America later this year, also marks the debut of General Motors' long-awaited 10-speed automatic transmission in a package that the American company says delivers unprecedented levels of technology, refinement, track capability and straight-line acceleration.

Showing off the flagship 2+2 coupe to journalists in the United States, GM executive vice-president of global product development Mark Reuss said the latest Camaro ZL1 could take on the world’s best.

“It’s a 2+2 coupe offering incredible performance – acceleration, handling and braking – with the highest levels of technology and perfect chassis damping, making it suitable for everyday driving,” he said.

“It will compare well to any sports coupe, at any price and in any setting.” No performance figures have yet been released, but journalists who were given track rides in the car by Mr Reuss and GM president Dan Ammann could attest to the startling power of the new Camaro range flagship.

The latest LZ1 has 51kW more power and 114Nm more torque than the previous generation that was also significantly heavier.

Compared with the ZL1’s 477kW and 868Nm, Ferrari’s 6.3-litre V12 FF produces 486kW and 683Nm.

Apart from a major powertrain upgrade, the new ZL1 gets a bigger lower grille with a lower lip than that on the Camaro SS to improve aerodynamics.

Even the Chevrolet bow tie badge on the grille is flow through – or “flow tie”, as Chevrolet dubs it – to improve air induction under the bonnet and out through a bonnet-mounted carbon-fibre hood vent.

The front fenders are wider to help cover the wider wheels, while the boot gets a wing spoiler to keep the back wheels on the tarmac.

The new automatic transmission, which is set to grace eight GM models, has paddle shifters providing what GM describes as “lightning responses”.

A six-speed manual gearbox is also available.

To keep the powertrain cool, 11 heat exchanges are included as standard equipment, as GM expects many of the ZL1s to end up at track days.

The ZL1 rides on the Magnetic Ride suspension and 20-inch forged alloy wheels with 285/30ZR front tyres and 305/30ZR rear tyres.

Standard fittings include Recaro sports seats, dual-mode exhaust and advanced connectivity.

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