Near-stock SS with ZL1 1LE parts

The sixth-generation Chevrolet Camaro arrived in 2015 with a redesigned exterior, new tech, and new engines and, in just a couple of years, it spawned many new versions. While the Z/28 has yet to make a comeback, Chevy introduced a new ZL1, and it revised the 1LE package for every variant available. In 2017, Chevy took things up a notch and combined the stock SS with upgrades found in the ZL1 1LE to create a very potent race car for the TA4 class of the Trans Am series. And, it brought it to the 2017 SEMA Show.

Although the SEMA Show is usually about modified road cars, the Camaro SS Trans Am TA4 feels at home in Las Vegas. That’s because unlike most race cars, it’s heavily based on the production Camaro SS coupe. This isn’t surprising, as the Trans Am series has been fielding production-based race cars since day one. And, there’s a very logical explanation as to why this track-only car was brought to SEMA.

Developed for Todd Napieralski, this race car was built in 2016 in cooperation with Chevrolet Performance and Total Performance Racing. Back then, the ZL1 1LE components were mostly concept parts, but since then they have been incorporated in the production Camaro ZL1 1LE and many are now available for purchase from Chevrolet Performance. That means that any race car enthusiast with a sixth-generation Camaro SS can use them to build a more competitive race car or even a TA4-spec Trans Am coupe. Pretty cool, huh?

Continue reading to learn more about the Chevrolet Camaro SS Trans Am TA4-Spec Race Car.

  • 2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS Trans Am TA4-Spec Race Car
  • Year:
    2018
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
    V8
  • Transmission:
    six-speed manual
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    455
  • Torque @ RPM:
    455
  • Displacement:
    6.2 L
  • Price:
  • car segment:
  • size:
  • Purpose:
  • body style:

What makes the Chevrolet Camaro SS Trans Am TA4-Spec Race Car special

  • ZL1 1LE front fascia
  • ZL1 1LE rear wing
  • Race-spec seat
  • Rear-seat delete
  • Multimatic DSSV Lowering and Handling Suspension Upgrade system
  • ZL1 1LE-Spec Suspension Upgrade system
  • ZL1-spec, solid-mounted rear cradle mounts
2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS Trans Am TA4-Spec Race Car Exterior
- image 741875
ZL1 1LE front fascia
Although it's called a Camaro SS, this car is actually a full-fledged ZL1 as far as looks go

Although it’s called a Camaro SS, this car is actually a full-fledged ZL1 as far as looks go. Sure, there are a few tiny details that differ, but when seen from up front, this coupe is at least 90 percent a ZL1. It even has a ZL1 badge. The front fascia and fenders are taken off the supercharged model, as are the grille, front splitter, and the dive planes at the corner. It also comes with a ZL1 extractor hood, but the huge vent seen on the ZL1 is gone, which makes sense since the SS is a naturally aspirated model.

The bumper seems to be a bit different at the corners, but you have to look really close to notice anything. But while the front section has ZL1 written all over it, the rear is more of a Camaro SS with a big wing. Sure, the wing makes a big difference, but the dual exhaust layout sets this car apar from the more menacing, twin-pipe ZL1. Still, it’s a solid upgrade if you want ZL1 looks with naturally aspirated power.

The interior features a heavily bolstered driver's seat and a rear-seat delete

There’s no word and photos of what’s inside the cabin, but since it’s a race car, it’s safe to assume that Chevy made some changes in order to make this SS eligible for Trans Am racing. While it doesn’t appear to have a full roll cage, it has a heavily bolstered driver’s seat while the passenger seat and the rear bench have been removed in order to save weight. Almost everything else is likely to be the same since TA4-class vehicles are heavily based on production models.

Under the hood, the race car is actually a stock Camaro, using the same 6.2-liter V-8 engine as the production model. The unit cranks out a solid 455 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque and mates to the standard six-speed manual transmission. The race car also uses the stock Brembo brakes and the limited-slip differential.

2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS Trans Am TA4-Spec Race Car Exterior
- image 741874
ZL1 1LE rear wing
Under the hood, the race car is actually a stock Camaro

On the other hand, the chassis benefits from a number of ZL1 1LE upgrades. First up is the Multimatic DSSV Lowering and Handling Suspension Upgrade System. Developed specifically for the ZL1 1LE, this suspension system features Multimatic DSSV dampers combined with front and rear coil springs and a performance-spec front sway bar. Ride height is reduced by up to 0.4 inches, and the system offers a 22-percent decrease in roll gradient, as well as a 24-percent increase in front spring stiffness. The front ride height is also adjustable for corner weighting and track use, with the ability to quickly switch between street and track camber settings.

The chassis benefits from a number of ZL1 1LE upgrades

Next up is the ZL1 1LE-Spec Suspension Upgrade System, a kit that adds front ride links, front handling links, rear upper and lower trailing links and rear knuckles, as well as stiffer bushings and ball joints to reduce suspension flex. Compared to the Camaro SS, the upper and lower trailing links are a whopping 71-percent stiffer, while the rear link inner bushings are 58-percent stiffer. There’s also a four-percent reduction in roll gradient in addition to the Multimatic Lowering and Handling Suspension upgrade.

Finally, the race car was equipped with ZL1-spec, solid-mounted rear cradle mounts, which help reduce deflection in the rear suspension for enhanced stability and more direct handling.

Needless to say, it’s a package I’d like to see become available for the road-going Camaro SS too.

References

Chevrolet Camaro

2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
- image 669656

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.

2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE High Resolution Exterior
- image 706859

Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE.

2017 SEMA Show – Preview
- image 741107

Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.

Press release

For more than 50 years, SCCA Trans Am has pitted production-based race cars in one of motorsports’ most exciting and enduring road-racing series. One of the standout competitors today is Todd Napieralski, who drives this Camaro SS racecar in the Trans Am TA4 class. He drove it to a second-place finish at Road America last year, in its first outing.

Part of Napieralski’s competitive edge with the Camaro comes from ZL1 1LE chassis and suspension components that enhance the car’s road-holding and handling capabilities. When built last year with the cooperation of Chevrolet Performance and Total Performance Racing, the ZL1 1LE components were mostly concept parts, but they have been incorporated in the production Camaro ZL1 1LE and many are available for purchase from Chevrolet Performance. That means any racer with a Gen Six Camaro SS can use them to build a more competitive racecar.

CAMARO SS PRODUCTION COMPONENTS

LT1 6.2L V-8 engine
Six-speed manual transmission
Brembo performance brakes
Limited-slip differential

CHEVROLET PERFORMANCE PARTS

ZL1 1LE-Spec Multimatic DSSV® Lowering and Handling Suspension Upgrade System (P/N 84352121) — Forged on the track and developed for the track-capable ZL1 1LE, this suspension system features Multimatic DSSV® dampers, combined with front and rear coil springs, and a ZL1 1LE-spec front sway bar. Ride height is reduced by up to 10mm and the system offers a 22 percent decrease in roll gradient, as well as a 245 percent increase in front spring stiffness. The front ride height is also adjustable for corner weighting and track use, with the ability to quickly switch from street to track camber settings.
ZL1 1LE-Spec Suspension Upgrade System (P/N 84352119) — This kit complements the ZL1 1LE-Spec Multimatic Lowering and Handling Suspension Upgrade System (P/N 84352121). This off-road-only, track-tested system offers racers front ride links, front handling links, rear upper and lower trailing links and rear knuckles, as well as stiffer bushings and ball joints to reduce suspension flex. Compared to the Camaro SS, the upper and lower trailing links are 71 percent stiffer, while the rear link inner bushings are 58 percent stiffer. There’s also a 4 percent reduction in roll gradient in addition to 1LE Spec Multimatic Lowering and Handling Suspension Upgrade System enhancement.
ZL1-spec solid-mounted rear cradle mounts — These mounts help reduce deflection in the rear suspension, for enhanced stability and more direct handling.
ZL1 rear spoiler — This aggressive ZL1-style spoiler kit can reduce vehicle lift on the track for Camaro LS, LT and SS models when used with the Camaro SS accessory ground effects or front splitter package.

ZL1 1LE CONCEPT PARTS

ZL1 1LE front fascia and front fenders
ZL1 1LE grille
Front splitter and dive planes
ZL1 extractor hood

The Camaro TA4-Spec race car joins approximately 20 additional Chevrolet models this week at the SEMA Show, Oct. 31-Nov. 3. Follow the action at ChevySEMA.com, #CHEVYSEMA, @ChevroletPerformance on Instagram and Chevrolet Performance on Facebook.

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