Mule Camaro gets introduced to the ’Ring’s protective barriers

Only a few days after our spy photographers captured a Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 prototype doing some test runs around the Nürburgring, the same prototype has found itself on the headlines once again for an entirely different reason. In the middle some hot laps, the Camaro Z/28 found itself acquainted with one of the ‘Ring’s protective barriers.

Fortunately, the damage to the test mule doesn’t appear to be extensive, at least as far as its body is concerned. The only parts that got really dinged up are the passenger side bumper, fender, and door. The hood on that side appears to have been nudged too. It’s unclear if the car received any chassis or suspension damage but the way it crashed into the barriers – the car did lift off the ground for a few seconds – makes it likely that it got some nicks in areas and sections we couldn’t see.

As to how the car crashed in the first place, multiple looks at the video either points to the driver making some kind of miscalculation on the exit of the curve or the car’s brakes just didn’t work. You can clearly the see the rear wheel locking up, which ultimately send the Camaro careening into the barriers. The driver and his passenger managed to get out of the car in stride so that’s another thing to be thankful about. As for the Camaro Z/28 prototype, it was immediately covered up and transported back to the garage, safe and out of reach from the prying eyes of our trusty spy photographers.

Continue after the jump to read the full story.

Why it matters

With the hype surrounding the third-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 being billed as the Chevy’s answer to the Shelby GT350R, a lot is riding on the car to live up to expectations. I don’t want to be stating the obvious, but seeing that video of the test mule crashing into the Nürburgring isn’t the kind of first impression I imagined the Camaro Z/28 will have. To be fair, it’s a prototype so I’m not going to hold it against the fire too much. It’s just that I expected it to have cleaner runs than that, knowing full well that Chevrolet was using all of the information it could gather to help in the development of the car. From the looks of things, it did get a lot of info, albeit not the kind it expected.

On a separate note, the Camaro Z/28 is the second time we’ve seen a test mule crash in the Nürburgring in the past month. Back in April 2016, a similarly camouflaged Audi TT RS suffered the same fate, forcing Audi to quickly cover up the damaged TT RS and call a halt to the proceedings.

Here’s to hoping that we don’t see any more of these accidents in the ‘Ring anytime soon. Not only does it make me feel bad, but I can’t imagine how much of a setback these crashes can have on their testing and development times.

Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

Read our full review on the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 here.

Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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