The Chevrolet Camaro is a pony car produced by General Motors and marketed under the Chevrolet brand. The current model is the fifth distinct generation of the Camaro to be produced since its original introduction in 1967. Chevrolet introduced a new Camaro model, the ZL1, at the 2011 Chicago Auto Show. There are numerous differences between the ZL1 and the normal V6 and SS models. More than 30 percent of the Camaro SS was re-engineered for the Camaro ZL1.
The car features a supercharged 6.2L LSA engine SAE-rated at 580 horsepower (432 kW) and 556 lb.-ft. of torque (754 Nm) – making it the most-powerful production Camaro ever. Power is delivered to the rear wheels by either a six-speed manual TR-6060 or the 6L90 automatic transmission. The manual has a stronger output shaft, a more robust rear housing, and an additional mainshaft roller bearing to provide 30-percent more torque capacity than the automatic transmission used in the Camaro SS. To improve shift quality, there are triple synchros in some gears and a revised linkage. A new dual-mass flywheel is bolted to a high-capacity twin-disc clutch. The automatic has additional clutch plates, a strengthened output shaft, and is programmed with three operating modes: Drive, Sport, and Manual.
The ZL1’s power is complemented by exclusive performance technologies, including the third-generation of Magnetic Ride suspension and Performance Traction Management. Brembo calipers with six pistons per wheel in front and four pistons per wheel in back handle stopping. A duct system delivers air from the grille to the hard-working rotors. The 20-inch forged-aluminum wheels are fitted with second-generation Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar radials (285/35ZR-20 in front, 305/35ZR-20 in back). Damping is provided by Magnetic Ride Control units similar to those that Cadillac and Corvette have long used. This system can sense the need for a damping correction 1000 times per second and make that change in only five milliseconds. The Performance Traction Management (PTM) system was originally engineered for the Corvette C6 ZR1. In addition to modulating engine torque for optimum launch performance in manual-equipped ZL1s, PTM also varies the traction control and suspension damping as needed. The five available modes are for wet, dry, sport with or without stability control, and race-driving conditions.
Additional track-ready features standard on the Camaro ZL1 include coolers for the engine, transmission and rear differential, cooling ducts for the Brembo brakes, and a high-performance fuel system that delivers fuel to the LSA engine under any performance-driving condition. The ZL1’s rear axle includes a high-capacity cast-iron case differential, massive asymmetrical half shafts, and extra-heavy-duty universal joints. To keep the lubricant temperature in line, there’s an oil-to-oil heat exchanger built into the bottom of the differential. Transmission fluid circulates through that heat exchanger and through the radiator to drop operating temps by more than 100 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, the engine is fitted with the same oil-to-coolant heat exchanger used in the Corvette ZR1. The ZL1 has a deeper oil pan, a longer pickup, and a higher-capacity pump than the SS.
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