The latest Chevy Camaro isn’t a pure muscle car any more. It’s a great sports car with massive V-8 power—and that’s why we named it Motor Authority’s Best Car To Buy 2016.
But the Camaro isn’t done yet. This year it’s getting its first serious performance edition in the 2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1.
MORE: Read about the Chevy Camaro
Corvette power in a Camaro body? That’s exactly what Chevy will unleash on the streets—and on the track—later this year.
The new Camaro ZL1 packs an unbelievable 640 horsepower and 640 pound-feet of torque. It all comes courtesy the same supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 found in the Corvette Z06 and the hot Cadillac CTS-V. It’s up 60 hp from the previous ZL1, which reeled off 1/4-mile times in the 11-second range. And it weighs 200 pounds less, Chevy says.
All that power is wedged into a chassis that’s lighter and handles better than today’s Mustang. But wait, there’s more. A rev-matching 6-speed manual is still standard, but the Camaro ZL1 will be the first GM vehicle to sport its new 10-speed automatic transmission.
The hardware hits keep coming. The Camaro’s excellent handling gets a big boost from magnetic shocks and an electronic limited-slip differential. The ZL1 has its own selectable driving modes, and its traction control has been remapped for performance driving.
Launch control comes standard on the ZL1, and it’ll help preserve some of the 20-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 tires. Big Brembo brakes round out the package, with 6-piston calipers in front, 4-piston calipers in back.
You’ll be able to spot a ZL1 Camaro from a distance. It wears a body kit with a big front splitter, wider front fenders, and a lip spoiler on the trunk. The engine draws air through the Chevy bowtie logo, and pulls it out through a heat extractor in the hood. Inside, the ZL1 gets a flat-bottomed suede-covered steering wheel and Recaro bucket seats.
Will the ZL1 scorch the streets quicker than the Corvette? And will it blow past $75,000 on its way to the Chevy showroom? We’ll know more later this year after a first drive.