Camaro ZL1 Will Deliver 580 Horsepower, Arrives Just Five Years After The Car With Which It Is Intended To Compete

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth

The automotive world has been eagerly awaiting the Camaro ZL1 ever since it was announced earlier this year. This stunning riposte to the 2007 Shelby Mustang could easily become the HHR to the Mustang’s PT Cruiser. In its excitement, however, Chevrolet forgot to invite TTAC to the media event in which the Camaro ZL1 specs were introduced. Therefore, what you are about to read will be stolen quoted entirely from Eric Tingwall’s post on the Automobile blog last night.

To make it worth your while, however, I will make a few snarky comments in-between quotes. Click the jump and help us pay the bills around here!

Quoth Tingwall,

The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will be more powerful than the Cadillac CTS-V with an output of 580 hp at 6000 rpm and 556 lb-ft of torque at 4200 rpm from the supercharged 6.2-liter V-8… The 350-pound weight gain from Camaro SS to ZL1 is right in line with the fattening that a CTS coupe experiences on its way to becoming a CTS-V. Chevy representatives were reluctant to talk about any numbers other than power or torque—top speed, 0-to-60 time, and price were all off the table—at a media event on Wednesday, but they did subtly reveal the ZL1’s mass when they splashed the car’s weight-to-power ratio on the screen. At 7.24 pounds per hp, the ZL1 would weigh 4,199 pounds.

Oh, that’s not so much. Just think of it as a Shelby Mustang with two full-sized adults in the back seat. Or towing a 380-pound trailer. Or a trunk full of taxpayer cash.

That didn’t stop the ZL1 team from taking a direct shot at the GT500, though…. The ZL1, they say, is ready for track abuse straight from the dealership floor

FROM A GT500, THAT IS. Get it? It’s ready for track abuse… from a GT500. Like, the GT500 will beat it around a track. Gosh. That sounded better when it was in my head.

with its standard transmission and rear-differential cooler and cooling ducts for the front brakes.

The C5 Z06 was infamous for overheating its transmission on-track; this is likely a direct result of that experience.

It’s unlikely that the Chevy’s hottest muscle car will undercut Ford’s on pricing, as chief engineer Al Oppenheiser told us

“Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” Wait. Wrong guy.

the ZL1 will be priced relative to the GT500 just as the six- and eight-cylinder Camaros are priced against comparable Mustangs. The Chevys typically land about $1500 to $2000 more than the Fords, so we’d expect a price near $52,000 for the ZL1 based on the GT500’s $49,605 starting sticker.

Then we have some business about the Camaro using the CTS-V’s hyper-expensive-to-service-or-replace suspension, and also having a new swaybar mount.

In a perfect world, we’d have the chance to run the ZL1 around Mid-Ohio back-to-back with a GT500, using our own Traqmate. Opportunities like that are likely to be saved for the color mags who can be trusted to draw an advertising-friendly conclusion to the whole thing (“There are no real losers in this battle”). Nevertheless, we will keep our fingers crossed, and keep you all posted.

Jack Baruth
Jack Baruth

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2 of 74 comments
  • Beefmalone Beefmalone on Sep 09, 2011

    You mean GM didn't invite you guys to a media event? TTAC? Really??? Do you want some cheese with that whine?

  • Nick Nick on Sep 13, 2011

    I'd buy one if I had tons of cash (and if I fit), however, it's quite a porker.

  • Vatchy And how is the government going to recoup the losses from gas taxes and EV incentives? They are going to find another way to tax us. Maybe by attaching a GPS device to every car and charging by the mile.
  • Kwik_Shift And the so-called GND / TGR experts were so sure of themselves.
  • Verbal It seems there is an increasing number of cases where the factories send out software updates to fix their products in the customer fleet. Either their software engineers don't know what they're doing, or the factories are using their customers as beta testers, or both.
  • Kwik_Shift "But wait...there's more!"
  • Buickman Corruption vs Ineptitude.