By on August 8, 2016

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

General Motors just released pricing and performance figures for its 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, and unless Ford comes up with a hotter Mustang, it looks like Dodge still holds the domestic performance crown.

Billed as the most powerful production Camaro ever, the 650-horsepower ZL1 comes with an MSRP of $62,135 for coupe models, $69,135 for drop-tops. Lower-end models stand to benefit from Chevy’s 1LE performance package.

Paired with the optional 10-speed automatic transmission, the ZL1’s supercharged 6.2-liter V8 rockets the top-dog Camaro to 60 miles per hour in 3.5 seconds, and hits the quarter-mile in 11.4 seconds — about two-tenths of a second behind the Challenger Hellcat.

Acceleration figures for the Hellcat vary depending on who tests it, so despite overlap in 0-60 times, Dodge can still claim the fastest quarter-mile.

With stock tires and an non-prepped surface, GM says the ZL1’s lateral acceleration will hit 1.02 g while cornering. Obviously, this is a ride begging for the track.

If 62 grand (plus taxes and fees) is too steep, Chevy will add the 1LE package to your V6 or V8 Camaro for $4,500 and $6,500, respectively. Featuring many go-fast goodies, the V6 package also contains the FE3 suspension borrowed from the Camaro SS, while V8 customers gain the ZL1’s electronic limited-slip differential and FE4 suspension with Magnetic Ride dampers.

Zero-to-60 times for 1LE-equipped models are 5.2 seconds for the V6 and 4.2 seconds for the V8.

The ZL1 may be faster than anything Ford sells (barring the uber-rare GT), but the Mustang handily beats the Camaro in the all-important sales race. Chevy’s pony car struggled to find buyers this year, so we’ll wait and see if the ZL1 ignites a burning desire among performance car buyers.

While its performance figures muscle in on the Hellcat’s turf, the ZL1 undercuts the Dodge’s price by about $2,000.

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54 Comments on “2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: Slightly Slower and Cheaper Than a Hellcat...”

  • avatar

    How much to replace the ramen grille with something else?

  • avatar

    While its performance figures muscle in on the Hellcat’s turf, the ZL1 undercuts the Dodge’s price by about $2,000.

    That assumes no dealer markup. Which is about as likely as the International Olympic Committee taking a walk down to the beach in Rio and drinking their fill of the ocean with a straw.

  • avatar

    “It looks like Dodge still holds the domestic IN-A-STRAIGHT-LINE performance crown.”

    I fixed it for you.

    • 0 avatar

      Fixed the title too

      2017 Chevrolet Camaro Zl1: Slightly Slower and Cheaper Than a Hellcat IF THE HELLCAT DRIVER CAN MANAGE TO LAUNCH WITHOUT BURNOUT

      • 0 avatar

        Isn’t the whole point of Hellcat’s to have the coolest burnouts of all time?
        And I have seen a Hellcat(the same guy/car) drag race a GTR, and a Caddy CTS-V. The GTR left him like he was standing still. The Caddy also beat him, just barely. But both times the Hellcat had problems hooking up, and there was a lot of tire smoke. Huge tire smoke from both the Caddy and Hellcat. It was kind of awesome. The inner 12 yr old in me was very happy.

      • 0 avatar

        AND there are no turns whatsoever.

        This thing pulls over 1g – a Hellcat could only dream of that.

  • avatar
    Dan R

    How do they expect people to buy Cadillacs when the same company produces this?

  • avatar

    Now if it just had larger windows so I could actually see to drive the thing . . . While we’re at it, can we make it 700 pounds lighter too?

    • 0 avatar

      700 pounds lighter compared to what???

      It is just a few pounds +/- from the current Mustang. At 3000 pounds you’re at the weight of an ’89 Ford Probe GT.

      Are you expecting aluminum and carbon fiber AND some semblance of creature comforts like – a radio – AND a 3 season car, and $62K?!?!?

      If you want 700 pounds lighter, and 600+ HP the Italians have some lovely models they can sell you starting in 6-digit land.

      • 0 avatar

        My apologies. Thought you were comparing to the Hellcat, so I edited this post. I’m no expert, but a quick search shows 4400 lbs for a Hellcat and around 3500-3600 for a Mustang. Mustang is only about 100 lbs heavier than the Camaro.

  • avatar

    Is there any upgrade that makes it possible to see outside?

  • avatar

    Not sure why they bothered to field a model with any less than 708 horsepower…

  • avatar

    Muscle cars used to be about cheap fun.

    $70K for a base ZL1 Camaro convertible? I never thought that GM would make a Camaro that made the AMG C63 look like good value for money.

    • 0 avatar

      There are lesser models available. And the C63 AMG is a good value. Maybe not money wise but in smiles per mile.

    • 0 avatar

      These cars are the modern equivalent of the Boss 429s, Daytona Coupes, and well ZL1s of the 60’s and early 70’s. However if you solely judge (as most regular people do) the value of a performance car by HP/Price then the ZL1 is shaping up to be a good deal. I’ve been looking into selling my GT500 to get the money up for a decent down payment on a 2017 GT350 and a Ruby Red car (400 dollar paint option) with stripes (475 dollar option) and either the electronics package (3,000 dollar option) if you want all the bells with the Recaro seats or The convenience package (3,000 dollar option) if you want the heated and cooled 6 way drivers and IIRC 4 way passenger seats at almost a 61,000 dollar car and it “only has” 526 horsepower.

      The SS is cheap muscle car fun. 40k may seem like its a lot of money but when you factor in inflation and the innate predilection for letting people devalue their labor they are still fairly affordable, especially given the level of performance todays crop of average muscle is capable of.

      • 0 avatar

        Personally I’d keep saving and get the upcoming GT500, which is basically going to be a twin turbo GT350R. It will do everything the ZL1 does and more, and actually look good doing it.

  • avatar

    GM serms to be throwing the established pony car playbook into the trash. Historically the manufacturers cook up a sporty-looking coupe that’s still somewhat practical as an only car, can be sold at reasonable prices due to lots of part-sharing with other models and shipping a large percentage of non-performance variants. The rip-snorting V8s sold the image, but needed the economies of scale the non-performance versions provided to justify their existence.

    With this generation of Camaro, the platform is shared with low (by GM standards) production models, the car has become increasingly impractical, GM slanted the early-production product mix heavily towards the performance versions, has reduced total production by reducing fleet sales, and now is doubling-down on high performance by releasing a Hellcat fighter.

    Either GM’s figured out a different strategy for being profitable in this space, or they’ve completely lost the plot. Place your bets on which one it is. I’d have to guess it’s the latter.

    • 0 avatar

      Back in the day, the musclecars were big engines in consumer rides.

      Today, the consumer is driving a Camry or a CUV. The RWD platform that also got a 3 on the tree and I-6 doesn’t exist anymore.

      I think of my CTS as a “bitchin’ Camaro” because I have the same engine, trans and brakes…in a lux package.

      Still can’t see outside :)

  • avatar

    Hmmmm, power wars eh?

    Okay, I want to see Mazda jump into this game.

    Let’s see a 25% power bump for the MX-5. Racing camshaft, bigger ports, aggressive ECU tune, free-flowing exhaust, 190-195bhp.

    Would be far more enjoyable on 99% of roads than the Challenger, Camaro and Mustang.

    • 0 avatar

      The thing is there is no reason why the 2.0 liter Mazda engine only makes 150hp. Remember when Honda got 250hp out of their non-turbo in the S2000? I am sure you could easily get that 190 with little work in the Miata. Which would be awesome. If I fit in a Miata.

      • 0 avatar

        I’m certain it’s 155bhp for a few reasons:
        1. Low octane rating of North American fuel (160bhp+ in Europe as it can run a higher compression ratio)
        2. Emissions requirements – tightened since S2000 days
        3. Tractability – gentle idle, good low speed response, reliability
        4. Cost (less exotic materials).

        It’s why I feel as though 190bhp is achievable for a hot tune where some crackling on the over-run is expected (and enjoyed!)

        • 0 avatar

          It’s only got 155 HP because it’s an economy car engine lifted straight from the Mazda 3, not a high revving sports car engine designed just for one car.

          • 0 avatar

            Aye, which is why you can get a fantastic sports car for $25k.

            Let’s point back to number 3 and number 4.

    • 0 avatar


      Naw, there are people who like being pinned against the door as they go around a turn and then trade that for being pinned in the seat as they rocket on to a straight road.

      With modern traction and stability control systems being practically invisible and the sort of rubber they put on cars now even 600 plus horsepower is fairly manageable.

      I know I've said it here before but this isn't your daddy's 650 horsepower. Hell this isn't even like the 600 horsepower of a decade ago.

      Imagine if the Terminator Cobras and first gen Vipers had an honest 600 crank horsepower from the factory in their day let alone anything from the 60's and 70's

      • 0 avatar

        It’s not just about being pinned in the seats – it’s about feeling exactly what each of the tires is doing through your hands and your arse. The car rotating around you.

        A two tonne sledgehammer with 700bhp is just that. It’s a sledgehammer. Throttle down, traction control kicks in, sledgehammer in back. Slow for corner. Try to make it round, then throttle down, traction control, sledgehammer repeats. One-trick pony (pun intended :))

  • avatar

    Why would anyone buy this ZL1 when for about 55k-60k in Atlanta market, a really nice Corvette can be had. And Corvette to my eyes looks beautiful, the best vette design since C4. I saw an Admiral Blue color this past weekend, brand new color, and no extra charge. BMW would charge 2k extra for that color.

    At the end of the day, this is still a Camaro, while a Vette is the absolute tops of GM and domestics, refined interior, looks, great performance. Stingray all day, every day, or Mustang for pony car (with Challenger second).

  • avatar

    “Obviously, this is a ride begging for the track.”

    It’s where it belongs.

  • avatar

    It’s no wonder that Ford leads the sales race. The Camaro feels like you sitting in a coffin.

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