the return of an icon
The original Z/28 was introduced in 1967 to compete in SCCA Trans-Am
racing. It featured a smaller, lighter, 302cu.in. (5-liter) V8 for improved weight
balance, plus quick-ratio steering and heavy-duty suspension for track use.
took less than eight minutes, despite
having to overtake slower traffic at times.
The hours are part of the grueling
24-Hour Test, which simulates a full year
of track days or amateur-level
competition at the hands of an owner.
“Passing this test is a requirement for
all cars we call track capable,” said Wayne
McConnell, director of global vehicle
performance. “The test pushes the car at
10/10ths on the track for a total of
24 hours. The only mechanical changes
allowed are replacing the brakes and tires.”
Heart of the Z/28 is the 7-liter LS7
engine. It uses lightweight, race-proven
components such as titanium intake
valves and connecting rods, CNC-ported
aluminum cylinder heads and a forged-steel crankshaft to help produce
505hp and 481lb.ft of torque.
THE magnifiCEn T Ls7
buILT To perform
The mission for Chevrolet’s design team
for the Camaro Z/28, which goes on
sale in spring 2014, was a simple, but
exciting one: make the most track-capable car in Camaro history.
The result, says GM North America
president Mark Reuss is, “a car that
restores the mission of the original Z/28
[see below]. The build sheet is the wish
list of any racer: lightweight, high-revving,
dry-sump LS7 engine; carbon-ceramic
brakes; integrated coolers for track use;
true aerodynamic downforce, and a
significant reduction in curb weight. This
car could only come from Chevrolet, and
could only be called the Z/28.”
As testing at the Nürburgring proved
(see story, left), the Z/28’s increase in
speed over the benchmark Camaro ZL1
comes from three main areas:
l Increased grip: The Z/28 is capable of
1.05G in cornering acceleration, due to
comprehensive chassis revisions.
l Increased stopping power: The Z/28
features Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes
capable of 1.5G in deceleration and
consistent brake feel, lap after lap.
l Reduced curb weight: The naturally-
aspirated Z/28 weighs 300lbs less than
the supercharged ZL1, with savings
ranging from lightweight wheels to
thinner rear-window glass.
“We set out to make the fastest
road-racing Camaro possible that was still
street legal,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro
chief engineer. “While the ZL1 offers
exceptional performance on the street,
the drag strip and the track, the Z/28 is
entirely focused on track performance.”
Like the original, the Z/28 trades ultimate
power and torque for improved weight
balance and track capability. Co-produced
with Corvette Racing, the Z/28’s LS7 puts
out 505hp, compared with 580hp from
the ZL1’s supercharged LSA engine.
True to its mission, the Z/28 only comes
with a six-speed manual transmission and
features an aero package, including a
functional rear diffuser, designed to
produce downforce at track speeds.