2018 Chevrolet Camaro SS Trans Am TA4-Spec Race Car
Near-stock SS with ZL1 1LE partsby Ciprian Florea, on
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
Horsepower @ RPM:455
Torque @ RPM:455
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
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.
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.
Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Read our full review on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE.
Read more news on the 2017 SEMA Show.