2014 Camaro Z/28 wheel
Patrick Rall's picture

The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Features a Special High Grip Wheel Design

During the internal track testing of the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, the engineering team found that the new Z/28 accelerates and brakes so hard that it was spinning the tires on the rims – forcing GM to come up with a way to keep the tires where they belong during high performance driving.
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The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is powered by an LS7 V8 that sends 505 horsepower and 481lb-ft of torque to the rear wheels with a set of super sticky Pirelli P Zero Trofeo R tires helping to put that power to the ground. Those high performance tires also help the race-spec Brembo carbon ceramic brake setup to stop as quickly as possible. The problem is that the high performance engine and high end brakes combined with the sticky Pirelli tires were causing the tire to spin on the rim. During hard acceleration, the rear tires were rotating around the wheel and the same problem was happening to the front tires during hard braking.

You might be wondering why it matters if the tires of the 2014 Camaro Z/28 rotate around the tire and there are actually several answers. First of all, when the tire rotates around the rim, there is a chance that the friction can unseat the valve stem and that could cause a sudden loss of air pressure. That did not happen during GM’s testing of the Z/28, but they did see that the tires were rotating more than 360 degrees during the course of a lap around the road course. When someone is racing in the Camaro Z/28 and the rim is spinning in the tire, that is acceleration force that is being lost and under hard braking – the distance needed to stop can be increased as the front tires turn on the rims.

In other words, having the tire spin on the rim can reduce the performance and reliability of the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 in more than one way so the automaker had to make sure that this didn’t happen. In the drag racing world, the cars use beadlock rims to make sure that the tires stay in place and other folks who want big traction on a budget will actually drill holes through their rims and run sheet metal screws into the bead of the tire. It sounds crazy…but it works. The problem with either of these drag racing methods on the new Z/28 is that the beadlock components add weight to the rims and just screwing the rims to the tires can cause vibration or premature tire failure under periods of hard cornering.

To fix this problem without adding weight or reducing the reliability of the new Camaro Z/28, the engineering team media blasted the inner bead of the lightweight wheels to make them rougher. This added roughness prevents the Pirelli’s from spinning on the rims without causing any vibration or adding weight. The result is improved braking distances, improved acceleration times and improved durability over the course of a long road race. This is just one more way that the team responsible for the 2014 Camaro Z/28 did everything in their power to make this the most track capable Camaro of all time.

Check out the video below for a quick look at the unique high grip rims of the 2014 Camaro Z/28.

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