Hennessey Camaro - Corvette race
Patrick Rall's picture

Watch a New Camaro ZL1 Race a C7 Corvette Z06 with Impressive Results

Since the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 was first introduced with the same supercharged LT4 engine as the C7 Corvette Z06, there has been speculation as to how much faster the lightweight Corvette would be when compared to the heavier muscle car – but thanks to the folks at Hennessey, we don’t have to speculate anymore.
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The folks at Hennessey Performance are known for their tuning efforts with General Motors products, so it should come as no surprise that John Hennessey and his team have access to one of the first 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 coupes to hit the streets. Of course, Hennessey also has access to a Corvette Z06 and access to a race track, so before modifying this black Camaro ZL1 – Hennessey decided to pit the two LT4-powered monsters head to head to see which is quicker.

Camaro ZL1 –vs- Corvette Z06
The video below shows the racing action between a 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 and a 2016 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Both cars are equipped with a stock LT4 V8 with 650 horsepower and 650lb-ft of torque and both cars are equipped with a manual transmission, although the Camaro has a 6-speed gearbox and the Corvette has the 7-speed unit. Of course, the Corvette also weighs a few hundred pounds less, so when you combine the basic facts – same power, steeper gearing in the Corvette, less weight in the Corvette – it seems like the Corvette will likely smoke the Camaro.

However, that is not the case.

John Hennessey and his operations manager “Patrick” took to the track in these high performance Chevys for a series of roll races, where they would come around a short right hand turn at roughly 40 miles per hour and when they got to a specific mark – they would both hammer the throttle. Both cars would be in 2nd gear for the start of the run and they raced for a bit more than a quarter mile…roughly 1400ft according to John Hennessey’s comments in the video.

In each race, the Camaro ZL1 stayed pretty much right alongside the C7 Corvette Z06. Even though the Corvette has more aggressive transmission gearing and a better power to weight ratio, the Camaro ZL1 was able to stay “on” the Corvette for the duration of this roll race. In other words, the Corvette won the races, but it was never able to put daylight between itself and the Camaro, so while John Hennessey believes that the Z06 might pull away on a longer, higher speed race – a quarter mile roll race reveals a very close match between the two supercharged Chevrolets.

While we would expect that the drivers in action here are skilled with the manual transmission, it is worth noting that driver skill could lead to different results in other races between these two cars. If the driver of the Corvette was a bit slower through the gears than the Camaro driver, the ZL1 could most certainly win a race like this. With that in mind, I am looking forward to the first heads-up racing video showing a Camaro ZL1 and a Corvette Z06 – both with the automatic transmissions – as it could lead to a different outcome when the muscle car has the new 10-speed self-shifting gearbox.

In the meantime, crank up your speakers and enjoy this video of the 6th gen Camaro ZL1 racing against the C7 Corvette Z06.


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