Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Convertible
The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is an everyday supercar. Motivated by the supercharged LSA small-block V-8 producing 580 horsepower (432 kW), it is the fastest, most capable Camaro ever.
Few production cars can match the ZL1’s performance, and all of its high-velocity achievements were conducted with a stock test vehicle wearing all the street-legal, factory-issued components – and no time-consuming equipment adjustments at the racetrack.
More than just power and raw numbers, the ZL1 features technologically advanced and highly developed chassis and suspension systems. They help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking power to complement its high engine output, and include third-generation Magnetic Ride Control.
“The ZL1 is great at everything and we’re very proud of that,” said Tony Roma, Camaro ZL1 program engineering manager. “You can take it to the drag strip and run 11-second quarter-miles all day long. You can also take it to a road course, where it’s balanced, handles well, and does exactly what you want – including lapping Virginia International Raceway’s Grand Course in under three minutes – and yet the ZL1 is sophisticated enough to use as a daily driver. It’s a supercar you can drive every day.”
Like the coupe, the Camaro ZL1 convertible powered by the 580-hp/432-kW LSA engine, as well as the same advanced powertrain and chassis technologies. And because the architecture for the fifth-generation Camaro was designed to accommodate a convertible model, it gives the ZL1 convertible coupe-like driving dynamics. Four strategic reinforcements enhance the already-stiff body structure to quell the cowl and steering wheel shake common in convertible.
Additional structural reinforcements in the ZL1 convertible are designed to improve noise and vibration characteristics, while also reducing unwanted ride and body motions. They include a hydroformed tube in the A-pillars, an inner reinforcement bracket in the windshield header, a reinforced front hinge pillar and reinforcements inside the rockers.
The bottom line is a convertible designed to preserve nearly all the acceleration, road-holding and performance capabilities of the Camaro ZL1 coupe.
Most production cars are designed with some lift at speed slip through the air for improved fuel economy – but to maintain stability and steering response at the speed the Camaro ZL1 is capable of achieving, it features an aerodynamic design that generates downforce to press the tires against the track.
The aerodynamics helped refine the exterior design to generate downforce for improved handing at speed while minimizing the amount of increased drag that could reduce fuel economy and the vehicle’s top speed. With the computer-assisted design recommendations, full-scale clay models and full-size prototypes were tested in the General Motors’ wind tunnel.
Outside of the aerodynamics laboratory, engineers tested the ZL1’s aero aids on GM’s Milford Road Course, other race tracks and the unique “rolling road” wind tunnel at the Auto Research Center in Indianapolis. When the dust settled and the wind-tunnel blades came to a stop, the Camaro ZL1 produced 65 pounds of downforce at an equivalent 150 mph (241 km/h) – compared to 200 pounds of lift in a Camaro SS – which was offset by an increase of only 40 counts of additional aerodynamic drag.
In addition to the functional design elements, the Camaro ZL1 offers several aesthetic options, including a bright-finish wheel package, exposed-weaver carbon fiber hood insert and a stripe package.
Exterior colors include Summit White, Black, Crystal Red Tintcoat, Victory Red, Rally Yellow, Inferno Orange Metallic, Ashen Grey Metallic and Blue Ray Metallic. The convertible top color choices include black or beige.
Supporting the dynamic track and street performance of the ZL1 is the LSA 6.2L supercharged engine, which is rated at 580 horsepower (432kW) and 556 lb.-ft. of torque (754 Nm), with specific features for the Camaro.
The all-aluminum engine is part of GM’s legendary small-block engine family. For a solid foundation, the engine’s bottom end uses six-bolt main bearing caps that clamp and lock in the forged steel crankshaft to a deep-skirt cylinder block.
A 1.9L Roots-style blower uses an efficient four-lobe rotor set and compact intercooler to deliver boosted air into the high-flow cylinder heads. The engine also draws its breath through a unique induction system, with a low-restriction air filter, dual inlet paths and enhanced airflow through the supercharger housing.
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.
The ZL1 is offered with a six-speed manual or automatic transmission. The Tremec TR6060 “MG9” manual features 30 percent more torque capacity than in the Camaro SS. The higher torque capacity results from a strengthened output shaft, high-strength rear housing, and additional roller bearing. The MG9 has also been tuned for improved shift feel, with a dual-mass flywheel, twin-disc clutch, and triple synchros for smooth, precise shifts.
Similarly, the Hydra-Matic 6L90 automatic has been strengthened to handle the torque and horsepower produced by the 6.2L supercharged small-block. It features a strengthened input gearset with two additional pinion gears, additional clutch plate, and a strengthened output shaft and gearset. To make the ZL1 perform equally well on street and track, the 6L90 features three distinct drive modes.
ZL1 is tailored for high-performance driving and is offered solely with a black interior. Heated leather seats with microfiber inserts and ZL1 logos embroidered on the front head restraints are comfortable and deliver the support required in high-load turns on a racetrack. Microfiber suede is repeated as an accent on the instrument panel, adding a richer look to the interior.
Additional interior features include a thick, flat-bottom steering wheel, alloy pedals, head-up display with unique performance readouts and a “four-pack” auxiliary gauge system featuring a boost readout.
A suede package, including suede microfiber accents on the steering wheel, shift knob and shift boot, is available, along with a power sunroof.
Source: Chevrolet press