The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Patrick Rall's picture

The Camaro ZL1 stakes its claim as a supercar on the Ring

You rarely think of an American muscle car as fitting into the category of a supercar but with a recent trip to the famed Nürburgring, the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 turned out lap times on par with some of the most well known (and most expensive) supercars in the world with a stunning time of 7:41.27.

General Motors announced yesterday that they had conducted their own testing with the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 at Germany’s massive Nürburgring Nordschleife and the result – a time of 7:41.27 – puts this new super-Camaro on par with the likes of some of the highest performance vehicles of all time. While there might be over 40 vehicles that have turned in better lap times around the huge German race course, when you consider the vehicles that the ZL1 beat out the time of 7:41 becomes a great deal more impressive.

Ranking just below the 2012 Camaro ZL1s time of 7:41.27 you find models like the 2009 Corvette ZR1, the Porsche 911 GT3, the Lamborghini Murciélago LP670-4 SuperVeloce, the Audi R8 V10, the Pagani Zonda S, and the Mercedes Benz SLS AMG. Ranking just above the ZL1, you see cars like the Porsche 911 Turbo S, the Ford GT, the Lexus LFA and the Ferrari 430 Scuderia – all of which are within a few short seconds of the Camaro ZL1s time. These are all cars that cost a tremendous amount more than the new ZL1 and it should also be pointed out that the Camaro ZL1 is the highest ranking American car that is not a Chevrolet Corvette, Dodge Viper or the Ford GT. The only other American muscle car on the list is the 2010 Camaro SS that turned a best time of 8:20, which shows the amazing improvements made to the Camaro when moving from the SS to ZL1 trimlines.

This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as the 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1 features the high performance Cadillac CTS-V (also on the Nürburgring list with a time of 7:59) but with extra power added along with the high tech magnetic ride control system found on the Corvette ZR1 and Corvette Z06 which set times of 7:19.63 and 7:22.68, respectively. General Motors has yet to offer up video or any more information but various discussions online indicate that the ZL1 that set this time of 7:41 had company test driver Aaron Link behind the wheel. Based on the gorgeous videos that GM has produced of the ZR1 and Z06 turning out their best times on “the Ring”, we can expect videos of the Camaro ZL1 storming around the famous German track once the company makes their official announcement.

Even without video, the bottom line is that the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has gone to the most intricate road course in the world and shown that it deserves consideration among the world’s most amazing high performance vehicles. With a time of 7:41.27, the Camaro ZL1 has staked its claim for being the best performing American muscle car of all time although rumors of a new, higher performance Ford Shelby GT500 for the 2013 model year could change things a bit. Hopefully, Ford will get their new 600+ horsepower super-Stang to the Nürburgring once it nears production for 2013.

Other High Performance News:
Camaro outsells the Mustang, Challenger, 370Z in September
Official: the 2010 Dodge Viper runs The Ring in 7:12 with video
The 2012 ZR1 smashes the Viper ACR’s ‘Ring record – with video
Lexus LFA Nürburgring Edition shatters production car ‘Ring record
The Chevrolet Corvette Z06 sets a new best at the ‘Ring

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