Two years ago, it was widely expected that the 6th generation of the Chevrolet Camaro would include a ZL1 and a Z28, with the Z28 being the higher performance model of the two. When the ZL1 debut was followed by spy shots of ZL1 test cars with more extreme aero bits, many people expected that to be the new Camaro Z28. Instead, that big aero Camaro is the ZL1 1LE and it is, in every way, the best-performing Camaro of all time.
With the 6g Camaro ZL1 1LE being a beast on the road course and the drag strip, its debut hushed the rumors of the new Z28, but that all changes with the introduction of the C7 Corvette ZR1. With the arrival of the new LT5 V8, there is new hope of a Camaro with greater performance capabilities than the ZL1 1LE – one which could pack 750+ horsepower.
Camaro Z28 with LT5 Power
The 2019 Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 is powered by the new LT5 V8, measuring 6.2 liters, topped by a 2.65 liter supercharged and delivering a combination of 755 horsepower and 715lb-ft of torque. For comparison, the supercharged LT4 in the Camaro ZL1 and the Corvette Z06 “only” makes 650 horsepower and 650lb-ft of torque with its 1.7 liter supercharger, so the LT5 in the ZR1 offers 105 more horsepower and 65lb-ft more torque.
The Camaro ZL1 1LE is a beast on the road course, but in a drag race with the likes of the Dodge Challenger or Charger with the Hellcat Hemi – the Chevy struggles. However, if the company swapped the LT5 in place of the LT4 and renamed the resulting vehicle the Camaro Z28, GM fans would have a real Hellcat killer on their hands. Of course, with some simple chassis tuning, the Z28 would be able to offer comparable handling to the ZL1 1LE while being considerably quicker and faster with all of that extra power.
Will Chevy Do It?
Right now, there is no official indication from General Motors that there will be a Chevrolet Camaro Z28 with or without the new LT5, but think about the fact that the Corvette and Camaro have shared pretty much every modern engine. The LS1, LS2, LS3 and LS7 were all offered in both of Chevrolet’s high performance cars and while the old ZR1’s LS9 wasn’t offered in the Camaro – the closely-related LSA from the Cadillac V-Series was offered rather than the LS9. During the modern era of Chevy performance, the Corvette and Camaro already share the LT1 and the LT4, so it seems unlikely that the ZR1’s LT5 will be a Corvette-only offering.
Should Chevrolet introduce an LT5-powered Camaro, the company will almost certainly give the Corvette ZR1 a year or two to lead the lineup on its own. However, I believe that seeing an LT5-powered Camaro is only a matter time, so Chevy fans could soon have a car which should comfortably outrun the Dodge Hellcat cars.