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Patrick Rall's picture

Dreaming of a New Camaro Z/28 in Chicago

When the new Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 failed to make an appearance at the 2017 Detroit Auto Show, GM performance fans looked to Chicago as the next possible location – and tomorrow is the day that we will find out if the new Z/28 will debut in the Windy City.
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It is widely expected that General Motors will eventually roll out a new Z/28 version of the 6th generation Chevrolet Camaro. We have already seen what is believed to be a Z/28 test mule crashing at the Nürburgring and it has been rumored that the new Z/28 will debut for the 2018 model year, but with that new model year quickly approaching, GM still hasn’t said anything about the next high performance Camaro trimline.

In fact, GM hasn’t said anything relating to the future of the Z/28, but they also haven’t offered any indication as to what Chevrolet will introduce tomorrow in Chicago. This has led some to believe that GM will introduce the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 and while I am skeptical, I don’t think that a new Z/28 debut is out of the question.

Chevrolet’s 3:30 Press Conference
Chevrolet has a press conference scheduled for tomorrow afternoon at the 2017 Chicago Auto Show and so far, they haven’t offered any idea as to what they might be introducing. However, it is possible that they could use that slot to introduce the new Camaro Z/28, as it wouldn’t be the first time that Chevy debuted big muscle in Chi-Town.

At last year’s Chicago Auto Show, Chevrolet introduced the then-new Camaro 1LE package, which is a road-handling performance package applied to either the V6 or V8 Camaro. The next Camaro Z/28 will be a more extreme take on the Camaro SS 1LE, offering what will likely be the best road-handling performance of any Camaro ever – it not every muscle car before it. The Z/28 would make for a fitting follow-up to last year’s debut of the 1LE.

Back in 2011, Chevrolet used the Chicago Auto Show to introduce the first modern Camaro ZL1 and every year, the Chicago Auto Show features a large Chicago dealership association area which is always packed with modified Camaros and Corvettes.

In short, Chicago is clearly a town that likes the Camaro and General Motors has used that interest as the basis for some big debuts in the past decade.

New York is Still a Possibility
I should point out that the 5th generation Camaro Z/28 made its formal debut at the New York International Auto Show, so GM could be saving the debut of the new Z/28 for the Big Apple. The only problem with the NY debut is that with Dodge introducing a higher performance version of the Hellcat Challenger in New York, the Camaro will have to fight for headline time and attention.

If we don’t see the Camaro Z/28 in Chicago or New York, it really only leaves Los Angeles later this year. That seems too late for a 2018 Camaro Z/28, so if the new track beast is coming for the 2018 model year – I believe strongly that it will debut tomorrow in Chicago or in April at the New York Show.

Debuting the new Camaro Z/28 tomorrow in Chicago would give it unrivaled attention from the performance car crowd, so it seems to make sense – provided that there is actually a Z/28 coming for 2018.

At 3:35pm Central tomorrow, we will know for sure. Stay tuned.


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