Almost 12 seconds quicker than previous ZL1

Unveiled only six months ago, the new Chevy Camaro ZL1 has yet to hit showrooms, but the supercharged muscle car has already set a new lap record on the Nurburgring track. Chevrolet has just reported that the high-performance coupe lapped the "Green Hell" in seven minutes and 29.60 seconds, a time that makes it the quickest Camaro ever on the Nordschleife loop. Specifically, the new ZL1 is 11.67 seconds quicker than its predecessor and 7.8 ticks faster than the previous-generation Camaro Z/28.

"To be almost 12 seconds quicker than the 5th-Generation ZL1 is a testament to the advanced design and technology of the new ZL1,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “From the improved aerodynamics, mass reduction and 650-horsepower LT4 to the Magnetic Ride Control, electronic limited-slip differential and Custom Launch Control, the ZL1 was designed to take on the world’s most challenging track, making it right at home on any track, road or drag strip anywhere."

The new Camaro ZL1 is also quicker than an impressive number of track-bred sports cars or older supercars, including the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG GT, the most recent Porsche 911 GT3, and the Ferrari 458 Italia. More importantly, the muscle car achieved its impressive lap time with minor modifications over the standard model. Tweaks include a roll cage, Sparco racing seats with six-point harnesses, and data acquisition equipment. Chevy also said it used the all-new 10-speed automatic transmission set to "Track" mode for optimum gear shifting.

Although it’s the quickest Camaro ever, the new ZL1 isn’t the fastest Chevy on the ’Ring. That title goes to the C6-generation Corvette ZR1, which in 2012 lapped the race track in seven minutes and 19.63 seconds. The previous-generation Corvette Z06 is also quicker than the ZL1.

Continue reading for the full story.

Why it matters

Although there are no ’Ring times for supercharged Shelby Mustangs or the Dodge Challenger Hellcat to compare it to, it’s safe to assume that the Camaro ZL1 is the most potent muscle car in production on Germany’s iconic race track. While the Corvette and Dodge Viper have managed to lap the "Green Hell" in less than seven minutes and 30 seconds years ago, the Camaro’s time is definitely impressive, more so for being the first muscle car to join the 7:30-minute club.

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 here.

Press Release

Chevrolet today unleashed a time-attack video of the 2017 Camaro ZL1 lapping the Nürburgring Nordschleife in a blistering 7:29.60. The new ZL1’s lap time is 11.67 seconds quicker than the previous ZL1’s fast lap.

“To be almost 12 seconds quicker than the 5th-Generation ZL1 is a testament to the advanced design and technology of the new ZL1,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “From the improved aerodynamics, mass reduction and 650-horsepower LT4 to the Magnetic Ride Control, electronic limited-slip differential and Custom Launch Control, the ZL1 was designed to take on the world’s most challenging track, making it right at home on any track, road or drag strip anywhere.”

The only changes made to the ZL1 were the installation of data acquisition equipment, a roll hoop and Sparco racing seats with six-point harnesses. Otherwise, the car was production stock and included the following:

6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V-8 making 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque
All-new 10R90 10-speed automatic transmission (set to Track mode to enable Performance Algorithm Shift calibration, providing optimal gear selection without the need to manually select gears)
FE4 Suspension with Magnetic Ride Control
Performance Traction Management
Forged 20-inch wheels with Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 tires
Brembo brakes with front 15.4-inch rotors and six-piston calipers and rear 14.4-inch rotors and four-piston calipers
Lift-reducing front fascia elements with cooling ducts and Chevrolet “flowtie”
Full underbody shielding
ZL1-specific rear spoiler and diffuser
11 heat exchangers

“Many fast laps around the Nordschleife are dramatic, with lots of oversteer and steering input,” said Drew Cattell, Camaro ride and handling engineer and driver of the hot lap. “Not so with the ZL1, which is extremely planted and stable, almost calm. With Magnetic Ride and great overall chassis balance, the ZL1 is all about being inch perfect at every turn and carrying a lot of speed.”

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