ZL1 – supercar performance at a non-supercar price

Categories Chevrolet, Torque Affair


ZL1 Top



Most of us would be perfectly satisfied, or even overwhelmed with a car that has 580 hp direct from factory.  500 hp seems like a lot…but 580??  That’s more than what the vast majority of the cars built today offer.  I, for one, would be thrilled to have a car with that much power, especially a ZL1.

But not Kyle.  He is not satisfied with 580..or even 700 hp!  That’s because he loves drag racing and wants a 10 second quarter mile car or faster!  And his goal is to make the Camaro achieve exactly that.  Completely stock, the car can reach a fourth of a mile in 12.6 seconds which is blazingly fast for those of us who don’t drag race.  But to make your mark in the drag racing world, you need to hit upwards of 130 mph before you get to the quarter mile mark.  Kyle's ZL1

Kyle has added a nitrous kit to his car which boosts rear wheel hp to 630 hp and 700+ lb-ft of torque.  After a few more modifications, the car should be well above those numbers.  I would say he’s definitely on his way to achieving a 10 point something second quarter mile.


You might assume that American muscle is just good for straight line power and nothing else.

But the ZL1 is different.  The car was designed to handle the twisties with ease.  It can run circles around most cars and is quicker than an Audi R8, a 2010 Porsche 911 Turbo S and slightly faster than a Lamborghini Murcielago on the prestigious Nurburgring track.

There is so much technology in this car with lots and lots of sensors and electronics that didn’t exist in Camaros of previous generations.  This is probably the best Camaro GM has built yet.  Yes, Kyle will not only rule the drag strip but also a road course filled with turns one after another.

What really allows the ZL1 to excel on curvy roads is GM’s “Magnetic Ride Control”.  I won’t bore you with the details but in a nutshell magnetorheological (that’s a mouthful isn’t it?) fluid in the shocks thickens if electricity applied thereby adjusting the stiffness of the suspension.  Apparently the damping rate of the suspension adjusts 1000 times per second.

The ZL1 boasts the implementation of the latest and greatest version of the magnetic ride control which explains the ability of the ZL1 to have a great ride during normal driving conditions while effortlessly managing high speed turns.

ZL1 Wheel

The massive 20″ wheels with super wide tires help plant the power down to the ground.

ZL1 Interior

The interior is luxurious with nice touches like suede accents and the seats are very comfortable.  The cabin is on the smaller side which can be deceptive since the car is so big.  The hood is long and the stance is very wide, but you don’t get that feeling from the driver’s seat.

It’s taken a while for Kyle to get used to the dimensions of the car.  The last thing you want to do is damage the air splitter out front!

ZL1 angle

It’s nice to see American car manufacturers finally step it up and build high quality interiors.  I used to own a 1997 Pontiac Grand Prix GT, and man have things come a long way since then.

The ZL1 supercharger whine

As you may have come to expect in my posts, there must be at least one video.

This one is special.  There is not just a 6.2L V8 in there – but also a supercharger.  The whine of the supercharger is intoxicating.  I’m not sure how Kyle can drive this car normally because there is so much power that is instantly available.

Kyle demonstrated how difficult it is to not floor the car at every opportunity.  Check out the video to hear the whine along with the roar of the V8.  Sweet!!

The clips are without nitrous.  I can only imagine what it would be like with nitrous in the system.

The ZL1 is so rare – I hardly ever see it around and I imagine most people probably don’t know what an amazing machine it is.  Kyle is planning to test out its track prowess at the Circuit of the Americas in the near future – I’m sure it can be just as good if not better than many cars I saw at this year’s track weekend.

ZL1 Rear

The Chevy Camaro has never been quite as great as the ZL1.  This goes to show that supercar performance is not limited to actual supercars anymore costing you an arm and a leg.  You could actually buy this car and not have to live with your parents.

Although this car is not cheap by any means, it’s not a ridiculous sum of money either.  The best thing is…this car is rare.  I almost never see a ZL1 anywhere.

Maybe I should keep that a secret…shhhh


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