When the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was introduced at the Chicago Auto Show, we were told that it would be powered by the same supercharged V8 from the Cadillac V-Series and that the power would be in the area of 550 horsepower. Well, based on comments by Camaro Chief Engineer Al Oppenheiser we can expect that the 2012 ZL1 will offer more than 550 horsepower – although there was no indication as to how much. Figure, the same supercharged V8 makes 556 horsepower in the Cadillac V-Series sedan, wagon and coupe so when the sources say ‘more than 550hp’ it could be as little as 556 horsepower or perhaps GM has a bigger surprise for the industry when the Camaro ZL1 hits the market. The closest competition in the American segment is the 2012 Mustang GT500, which offers 550 horsepower so anything over the originally quoted figure will give the Camaro a leg up on its cross-town rival.
Helping the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 aim much higher than just other muscle cars will be the magnetic selective ride control system originally offered on the Corvette ZR1 supercar and like the high performance Vette, the Camaro ZL1 will include the Performance Traction Management system. This integrates the adjustable high tech suspension system with launch control to make for one of the most advanced suspension systems available in the world. This system has allowed the Corvette ZR-1 to set an American production record at the famed Nürburgring race course in Germany and while the Camaro is slightly heavier, we can expect to see amazing numbers of its own when it hits the streets and race tracks around the world.
Finally, as an interesting piece of information, the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will be offered with an automatic transmission and yes – we are as surprised as you are by this news. The ZL1 will no doubt be one of the best handling and most powerful cars on the road when they begin production early next year thanks to driver’s aides like the performance traction system and fitting this super-Camaro with an automatic transmission could help it appeal to a larger (albeit less coordinated) group of buyers.
For more official information on the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, click here for the ZL1 page on the Chevy website!
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