Changes are slim from 2018, but could it get a power boost to battle the Shelby GT500?
When Chevrolet unveiled its facelifted 2019 Camaro earlier this year, the fearsome ZL1 wasn’t invited to the party. We then saw an M-plate ZL1 back in July, still wearing the same front fascia as the older model but with the new Camaro’s rear bumper and taillights. That car was completely undisguised, just as this latest ZL1 sighting is. The difference this time around is that we have the hardcore 1LE version out and about, identified by its wings and aero bits up front and that wicked black spoiler on the trunk.
Once again, the front fascia appears identical to the outgoing model. Perhaps engineers can’t get the same aerodynamic advantages for the ZL1 using the new front face, or maybe the automaker heard some of the criticism regarding the new look for the SS model and is doing a bit of backpedaling. There’s also the possibility that Chevrolet wants its range-topping muscle car to have a distinctive look from its siblings. Whatever the case, it certainly appears the new ZL1 will be a familiar face when it officially goes on sale.
That is, it will be familiar from the front. The rear still gets the new 2019 Camaro treatment with an updated bumper cover and taillights. The rearview camera for the 1LE is also relocated to the shark fin on the roof – it was integrated into the spoiler for the standard ZL1 but the massive rear wing apparently required a different camera location. Whether it will move up top on the final production version of the ZL1 remains to be seen.
We haven’t heard anything to suggest the powertrain will change. That means 650 horsepower (485 kilowatts) from its supercharged LT4 V8, driving the rear wheels through either a six-speed manual or 10-speed auto. With a new 700-plus horsepower Shelby GT500 waiting in the wings, however, we wouldn’t be surprised if Chevy decides to add a bit more boost before the ZL1 becomes official.
As for when that will happen, we can only guess it will be soon. As we move into auto show season, an official announcement in a couple months ahead either the LA or Detroit shows seems quite likely.