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Six reasons to buy a Camaro ZL1 now

by Luke Peters
Monday, January 22, 2018

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Camaro ZL1
Camaro ZL1

No doubt about it: the Camaro is intense. For good reason. The first generation of Camaro blew the world by storm all the way back in 1966. Chevy had 52 years to perfect their “baby.” Anyone who dares to get behind the wheel of one of these bad boys knows this. (Not that you need many reasons to buy one, as we’ll take a look at now.)

1. Price

Except for the Chevrolet Corvette, nothing comes close to the sheer speed of Camaros, that’s evident. (We’ll talk more about speeds in a bit.) But for the low price of $63,000 for the 2018 ZL1 coupe, you’d be hard-pressed to find a car this fast at that price. This is a small price to pay for a car that just may change your life. Need a stronger reason than price alone?

2. It’s Powerful

Want the opportunity to feel like the most powerful drive on the road? The 2018 Camaro comes with six-speed manual transmission and a 6.2-liter supercharged, 650-hp LT4 V8 engine.. Jake Lingemen, of Autoweek.com, says the 2018 Camaro ZL1 1LE is “one angry package.” He’s not wrong (and not just for all the Camaro accessories), going so far as to call it Chevrolet’s most powerful engine. What this all translates to is sheer  power at the wheel as you roar down the road. You’re now King of Road in the Pony Car realm. (Of course the Corvette, and other supercars like a Ferrari or McLaren, are faster but they cost a lot more)

3. It’s Fast

Ever feel the need to pack up and leave town for a while? The Camaro will get you anywhere you want to go in no time. How? It’s LS1 5.7L v8 packs 350 lb*ft. of torque. (Which is a real impressive wallop of power blasting you backwards at speeds of 60mph (97km/h) in 5.0 seconds). The 2018 Camaro reaches top speeds of 162mph (260 km/h). As if that weren’t enough: if you feel gutsy enough to attach nitrous, you’ll be looking at nearly 450-500-hp. Last June a stock ZL1 lapped the Nurburgring in 7m16.04s – almost 2 seconds faster than Porsche 911 GT2 RS (see video below). The German’s jaws dropped. The German's went back to the drawing board and came back in September of 2017 with a modified version of the 911 GT2 RS and lapped in 6m47.3s but the car costs $300K - Almost $1/4 million more than the ZL1!

4. It’s Plain Fun to Drive

Other Pony Cars will only see this view of the ZL1
Other Pony Cars will only see this view of the ZL1

Go ahead and give the Camaro a test drive. Hundreds of thousands of people (over the decades, since the introduction of the first Camaro in 1955) know how much adrenaline races through your veins when you get behind the wheel. The car “hugs” the road and it’s lap time around Nurburgring, where handling is every bit as important as straight-line speed, proves this car is one trick ‘pony.’ This means you’ll effortlessly maneuver curves to the point you’ll feel like a tiger approaching its prey. It’s hard not to let that kind of expert driving skill go to your head and fill you with ego. Even if you’re going out for a Sunday drive or a timeless road trip out on the winding backroads, The Camaro makes any drive feel like a vacation.

5. More Valuable Over Time

For all the hoopla about the Camaro, there’s one original (and disarming) reason I personally enjoy them the most: they are practical. 4 seats with child seat locks and the back seats fold down in half (revealing a deep trunk). The largest reason they’re practical is because they don’t depreciate much over a period of time and become more valuable as collector items in future years. And it’s build quality means you’ll spend less money on maintenance and repair costs for Camaros. (Compared to other pony cars like the Mustang.) Saving you money over the years (thanks, American steel)! Camaros are a one-two punch.

Hook A Dozen Eyes

Feel free to disagree with me here, but… the ZL1 Camaro is so sexy it hurts. People who drive these cars cement their status in the community. Feel like turning heads? Anyone seen driving in a Camaro ZL1 must be respected and awed – this car is that hypnotic and mesmerizing. Look for yourself: am I wrong?

Conclusion

Chevrolet has been manufacturing Camaros for a little more than five decades.. People love these cars, and you’ve just seen a few of the reasons why that is. The Camaro is an American classic and the ZL1 just tops the cake - You’ll be hard-pressed to find anybody to disagree with that.

2018 Camaro ZL1 Specifications

EPA FUEL ECONOMY

City

14 (manual)
12 (automatic)

Highway

20 (manual)
20 (automatic)

 

FUEL TANK CAPACITY

19 gal. / 72 liters

 

ENGINES

Type:

6.2L LT4 Supercharged V-8, VVT with Direct Injection

Bore & stroke
(in / mm):

4.06 x 3.62 / 103.25 x 92

Block material:

Cast aluminum

Cylinder head material:

Cast aluminum

Valvetrain:

Overhead-valve, two valves per cylinder

Fuel delivery:

Direct, high-pressure fuel injection

Horsepower
(hp / kW @ rpm):

650 / 485 @ 6400 (SAE certified)

Torque
(lb.-ft. / Nm @ rpm):

650 / 868 @ 3600 (SAE certified)

 

TRANSMISSION & AXLE

Type:

TREMEC six-speed manual with Active Rev Match (standard)
Hydra-Matic 10-speed automatic (available)

Final Drive Ratio:

3.73 (manual)
2.85 (automatic)

 

CHASSIS & SUSPENSION

Front Suspension:

ZL1: MacPherson-type strut with dual lower ball joints, monotube struts and direct-acting stabilizer bar; with Magnetic Ride Control
ZL1 1LE: Multimatic DSSV® (Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve) dampers; adjustable camber plates

Rear Suspension:

ZL1: Independent five-link with montube shocks and direct-acting stabilizer bar; monotube Magnetic Ride Control
ZL1 1LE: Multimatic DSSV® (Dynamic Suspension Spool Valve) dampers; three-way adjustable stabilizer bar

Steering Type:

ZF rack-mounted electric, power-assisted and variable ratio rack-and-pinion

Turning Circle
(ft. / m):

38.4 / 11.7

Brake Type:

Four-wheel disc with four-channel ABS

Brake Rotor Size (in / mm):

Front: 15.35 / 390 vented, with six-piston monobloc calipers
Rear: 14.4 / 365 vented, with four-piston fixed calipers

Wheel Size:

ZL1 front: 20-in. x 10-in. forged aluminum
ZL1 rear: 20-in. x 11-in. forged aluminum
ZL1 1LE front: 19-in. x 11-in. forged aluminum
ZL1 1LE rear: 19-in. x 12-in. forged aluminum

Tire Size:

ZL1 front: 285/30ZR20 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3
ZL1 rear: 305/30ZR20 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3
ZL1 1LE front: 305/30R19 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R
ZL1 1LE rear: 325/30R19 Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3R

 

EXTERIOR DIMENSIONS

Wheelbase
(in. / mm):

110.7 / 2811

Overall Length
(in. / mm):

188.3 / 4784

Overall Width
(in. / mm):

74.7 / 1897

Overall Height
(in. / mm):

52.4 / 1330

Track (in. mm):

Front: 63.4 / 1610
Rear: 62.6 / 1591

 

INTERIOR DIMENSIONS

Headroom
(in / mm):

38.5 / 978 (front – coupe)
38.5 / 978 (front – conv.)
33.5 / 852 (rear – coupe)
33.4 / 850 (rear – conv.)

Legroom
(in. / mm):

43.9 / 1115 (front)
29.9 / 759 (rear)

Shoulder Room
(in. / mm):

55 / 1398 (front)
TBD (rear)

Hip Room
(in. / mm):

54.5 / 1386 (front)
TBD (rear)

 

WEIGHTS & CAPACITIES

Curb Weight
(lb. / kg):

3883 / 1761 (coupe w/manual)
3944 / 1789 (coupe w/automatic)
4113 / 1866 (conv. w/manual)
4148 / 1882 (conv. w/automatic)
3820 / 1732 (ZL1 1LE – est.)

EPA passenger volume (cu. ft. / L):

93 / 2633

Cargo volume
(cu. ft. / L):

9.1 / 257 (coupe)
7.3 / 206 (conv.)

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