CHICAGO – 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 launch at the beginning of 2012. 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.
When we first saw these photos, we were pretty sure this Camaro-shaped vehicle was a Chevrolet, but someone managed to deftly tape over the trunklid badge. How could we be sure? Then we noticed the bow tie on the door, and came to the airtight conclusion that this car is indeed a Chevy. But what’s under the hood?
Luckily, in another sticker-related misstep, someone opened the door and revealed one of the most poorly placed communiqués we’ve ever seen: a tag on the dash that confirms that this is a Camaro Z28—a vehicle often rumored but not officially announced. Even better, the sticker reveals that this mule is powered by a supercharged 6.2-liter V-8 backed up by a six-speed automatic transmission. Chances are very good that this is the Cadillac CTS-V’s LSA powerplant, which is rated there for 556 hp and 551 lb-ft of torque, as opposed to the higher-powered LS9 V-8 from the Corvette ZR1. Chances are equally good that the Camaro Z28 also will be offered with the CTS-V’s six-speed manual. So, in a sense, you can think of the Z28 as the bow-tie version of the CTS-V coupe, and the ultimate in attainable Chevy awesome.