ZL1 Camaro Coming Soon – Chevrolet Enters The Realm of Advanced Performance Technology at Bob Maguire Chevrolet


The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 debuted today at the Chicago Auto Show. It is the highest-performing Camaro and the most technically advanced car ever developed in its class. The new ZL1 continues the momentum of Camaro, propelling it into an entirely new realm of leading-edge performance technology. It is planned to arrive at Bob Maguire Chevy in the beginning of 2012.

The all-new, 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is powered by the LSA 6.2L supercharged V-8 engine that produces an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW) and 550 lb.-ft. of torque (745 Nm).  This high powered machine is officially in the Chevrolet Production Pipeline, which means that it will be here at Bob Maguire Chevrolet in Bordentown, NJ in just a few months!

Motivated by a supercharged V-8 engine producing an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW), the Camaro ZL1 will be the fastest Camaro ever offered by Chevrolet. And more than just power, the ZL1 features technologically advanced and highly developed
chassis and suspension systems that help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking power to complement its high engine output. Rigorous development of the ZL1 is ongoing, and official estimates of the car’s capabilities will be released later in
2011, as testing nears completion.

The LSA is the most powerful engine ever offered in a Camaro, eclipsing even the original ZL1 engine from 1969 that inspired the name of the new, maximum-performance model. Built on GM’s legendary small-block V-8 architecture, it features an intercooled supercharger system, premium heat-resistant aluminum cylinder heads and other details designed to ensure its exceptional performance is delivered with smoothness and refinement.

“The LSA is the ultimate engine for the ultimate Camaro,” said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for small-block engines. “It has a broad power band that matches the Camaro ZL1’s performance capabilities at every notch on the tachometer.”

Components and design elements that contribute to the LSA’s performance include:

  • Balanced, lightweight reciprocating assembly
  • High-strength hypereutectic pistons Sixth-generation Eaton supercharger with four-lobe rotors
  • Center-feed fuel system
  • Piston oil squirters.

A Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual transmission is matched with the LSA. It uses a 240-mm dual-mass flywheel matched with a 240-mm twin-disc clutch system to provide excellent shift smoothness.

Compared to the Cadillac application, the LSA used in the Camaro features the following unique components and details:

  • Black intercooler housing with unique heat exchanger and plumbing to accommodate the Camaro engine compartment
  • Cast stainless steel exhaust manifolds for enhanced thermal management
  • Camaro-specific oil pan
  • Revised accessory drive with unique alternator and air conditioning compressor
  • Idler pulley in place of the conventional power steering pump pulley, because of the use of electric power steering
  • Special engine cover in red.

Supercharged power delivery

The LSA engine’s sixth-generation Eaton supercharger, with high-helix, four-lobe rotors, enables a broad range of power through the rpm band, giving the engine great low-end torque and excellent horsepower at higher rpm.

“The design of the supercharger’s rotating internal components extends its effective range, giving the engine a wide, flat power band that is usable at all rpm levels,” said Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer. “Whether at low speeds or on the highway, the feeling of power is instant, strong and sustained.”

Heavy-duty and lightweight reciprocating components support the engine’s high-rpm, supercharged performance. The parts are housed in an aluminum cylinder block that features nodular iron, six-bolt main caps. Cast iron cylinder liners – measuring 4.06 inches (103.25 mm) in bore diameter – are inserted in the aluminum block and they are finish-bored and honed with a deck plate installed. The deck plate simulates the pressure and minute dimensional variances applied to the block when the cylinder heads are installed, ensuring a higher degree of accuracy that promotes maximum cylinder head sealing, piston ring fit and overall engine performance.

Nestled inside the LSA’s deep-skirted cylinder block is a forged steel crankshaft that delivers a 3.62-inch (92 mm) stroke. It features an eight-bolt flange – the outer face of the crankshaft on which the flywheel is mounted – that provides enhanced clamping strength. Other non-supercharged GM 6.2L engines have a six-bolt flange. A torsional damper mounted to the front of the crankshaft features a keyway and friction washer, which is designed to support the engine’s high loads.

Connected to the crankshaft is a set of lightweight powder-metal connecting rods and hypereutectic pistons, which, when combined with the cylinder heads, delivers a 9.1:1 compression ratio. The alloy of the pistons was selected for its strength and heat resistance properties, while the cast design provides inherent quieting advantages over other piston materials, such as forged aluminum.

“Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design, and is a type of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “It’s the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we’ve chosen a
name from the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history.”

The ZL1 name is derived from the all-aluminum racing engine of the same name, which was developed in the late 1960s and installed into a handful of regular-production 1969 Camaros. Only 69 were built with the engine, but they’ve achieved mythical status
among enthusiasts, as they represented the pinnacle in Camaro performance – until now. The 2012 ZL1 model is designed to be a major leap forward for the Camaro, bringing a new level of performance capability to the segment.

The central goal of the car’s development was creating something new – a Camaro intended to reach optimal lap times on top road-racing circuits and excellent driving dynamics on the street. To achieve that goal, engineers evolved many of the existing
Camaro’s systems, as well as incorporated new technologies such as electric power steering and Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system.

Camaro ZL1’s design communicates and supports its performance mission. Rather than using decorative elements, ZL1 is visually differentiated from other current Camaro models with elements vital to the car’s elevated capabilities.

“Everything about the ZL1’s design is directly related to its technology and serious performance, especially aerodynamics,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, Global Design. “Our designers’ goal was to execute that function-oriented design with beautifully
sculpted forms, creating an imposing, powerful persona. Function becomes the aesthetic. The intent is a car that delivers on the attitude it projects.”

Major elements of the ZL1’s design are a new front fascia and hood with air extractors, designed in tandem to create aerodynamic downforce to aid handling. The car’s hood includes a signature center section constructed of carbon fiber and rendered in satin
black finish. New rocker panels, wide tires, 20-inch wheels and exhaust tips portray the car’s handling and power.

The ZL1 badge appears on the grille, hood and the brake calipers, all key areas portraying the technology within.

Tech overview:

Because the Camaro ZL1 uses electric power steering, the engine does not incorporate a conventional hydraulic power steering pump on its accessory drive system. This enhances performance, because no engine power is used to turn a steering pump pulley

Transmission – The high-performance Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual is matched with the LSA engine. It is the “MG9” version of the transmission, with a higher torque capacity. It is used with a dual-mass flywheel and twin-disc clutch for easy operation
and shift smoothness. A new, shorter-throw shifter actuates the gear changes.

Exhaust – ZL1 is equipped with a dual-mode exhaust system, which alters the sound level and character in response to engine rpm. First used on the legendary Corvette, and specifically tuned for Camaro ZL1, the dual-mode exhaust will give the car a
signature sound.

Drivetrain – It is revised with a stronger driveshaft and rear axle system, featuring a larger and stronger cast iron differential housing, stronger axles and heavy-duty limited-slip differential. This patent-pending system is designed to ensure that ZL1’s
tremendous power is delivered smoothly to the ground.

Suspension – The suspension features completely revised tuning and the inclusion of segment-exclusive Magnetic Ride Control. ZL1’s Magnetic Ride system will include driver selectable modes (Tour and Sport) tailored for the preferred style of driving. It
uses advanced magneto-rheological science to produce shock damping with the highest level of precision, enabling body control optimized for excellent performance in everyday driving as well as track situations. This technology appears on only a small
roster of some of the world’s finest performance cars. Other chassis elements are redesigned to support the car’s high-performance limits. Rear stabilizer bars have drop links repositioned outboard of the control arms. This makes the bars more effective in
controlling body roll in turns, with crisp response to driver commands.

Brakes and Steering – Camaro ZL1 features an advanced track-capable braking system, developed in conjunction with experts from Brembo. The large 14.6-inch (370 mm) two-piece front rotors have six-piston calipers; the 14.4-inch (365 mm) rear rotors
have four-piston calipers. ZL1 marks the entry of a new electric power steering system to Camaro. It is being developed to ensure precise control and feedback to the driver, with greater variability of effort for high-performance driving.

Exterior – ZL1’s signature from the front is the redesigned fascia and aluminum hood with a raised, carbon fiber insert. The fascia includes a front splitter and new vertical fog lamps. The fog lamp area includes air intakes designed for brake cooling. The
hood features front-mounted air extractors that direct air precisely over the car. Visually, this center section, in satin black carbon fiber, communicates the car’s high-performance intent as a visual contrast to the car’s exterior color. Functionally, the air
extractor is a key in connecting airflow closely to the bodywork, creating aerodynamic downforce. The carbon fiber center section reduces the mass of the hood. High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and fog lamps are standard. The rear of the car
includes a diffuser and spoiler, also functional elements that enhance the car’s aerodynamics.

Wheels and Tires – New-design, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, which are lighter than the 20-inch wheels used on the Camaro SS, are used with new Goodyear Supercar F2 ties developed specifically for the ZL1.

Interior – ZL1 is tailored for high-performance driving. The front seats feature microfiber suede inserts. Other enhancements include a redesigned steering wheel, alloy pedals, Head-Up Display with unique performance readouts and the “four-pack” auxiliary
gauge system featuring a boost readout.

Production details

All of the Camaro exterior colors will be offered with the ZL1, but black is the only interior color. The unique exterior features are complemented with a black center section on the hood. Inside, the Camaro ZL1 has heated leather seats with microfiber inserts
and ZL1 logos embroidered on the front headrests. Microfiber suede is repeated as an accent on the instrument panel, adding a richer look to the interior. The ZL1 will include the same content as the current 2SS package and include the following new or
unique features:

  • Six-way power driver and passenger seats
  • Unique instrument panel and door panel inserts; and ZL1-logo sill plates
  • Steering wheel audio controls with Bluetooth capability
  • Wireless PDIM and USB-port
  • Boston Acoustics premium audio system
  • Rear parking assist
  • Rear camera system (displayed in the inside rearview mirror).
  • Engineers have already driven Camaro ZL1 prototypes extensively at demanding road courses in the U.S. and Germany, with final testing being completed through the balance of 2011.

We are less then a year away from truly experiencing the greatness of this vehicle so reserve your Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 today at Bob Maguire Chevrolet – Located at 237 US Highway 130 in Bordentown, NJ 08505.

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2 responses

  1. Fantastic article, I can’t wait for more! I will check back regularly 🙂

    1. Thanks Charlie! Happy to hear you like our blog! We’ll keep adding posts!!

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