2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Brings The Thunder With 640HP And Available 10-Speed Auto

Proving that the horsepower wars are far from over, Chevrolet unveiled the new 2017 Camaro sporting the Corvette Z06’s supercharged V8 pushing out an estimated 640hp (477 kW) and 640 lb-ft of torque (868 Nm).

That’s 10hp and 10 lb-ft short of the same 6.2-liter supercharged LT4 V8 found in the Corvette Z06, but a 60hp and 84 lb-ft leap over the previous Camaro ZL1’s 580hp 6.2-liter supercharged LSA powerplant. Not only that, but the new ZL1 underwent a rigorous diet and lost 200 pounds (91 kg) over its predecessor.

While GM hasn’t shared any performance numbers yet, it’s not hard to imagine that the new top dog in the Camaro’s lineup will be faster than the old ZL1 that hit 60mph (96km/h) in 4.0 seconds for the manual and 3.9 seconds for the automatic version with respective top speeds of 180mph (290 km/h) and 184mph (296 km/h).

Speaking of transmissions, a six-speed manual with active rev-matching capability remains the standard option for the 2017 Camaro ZL1, but the big news here is the first application of GM’s brand-new 10-speed automatic with paddle shifters and a 7.39 overall ratio for smaller steps between gears. Co-developed with Ford, the 10-speed automatic will eventually be introduced to eight GM vehicle models before the end of 2018.

Beyond the powertrain, the ZL1 gets a suite of performance technologies, including an updated Magnetic Ride suspension, Performance Traction Management, electronic limited-slip differential, Custom Launch Control and Driver Mode Selector. It rides on 20-inch forged alloys in 285/30ZR20 front and 305/30ZR20 rear Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires, with stopping power coming from a set of Brembo brakes with six-piston front and four piston rear calipers.

“The Camaro ZL1 is designed to excel at everything,” said Mark Reuss, executive vice president of Global Product Development. “It’s a 2+2 coupe offering incredible performance – acceleration, handling and braking – with the highest levels of technology and perfect chassis damping, making it suitable for everyday driving. It will compare well to any sports coupe, at any price and in any setting.”

The ZL1 isn’t shy of its racing pedigree, with GM stating that its exterior was “shaped during more than 100 hours of wind-tunnel testing and on-track validation to improve aerodynamics and cooling for track use”. Nevertheless, the first thing we noticed about the supercharged Camaro is that huge mouth under the slim upper grille; while it may do its job feeding air to the engine and aiding aerodynamics, its aesthetics are on the questionable side.

It also gets a newly designed hood, with a carbon fiber insert and heat extractor, a larger front splitter, unique rockers, a wing-style rear spoiler and wider front fenders.

“The design supports the Camaro ZL1’s exceptional performance and does so with compelling style,” said John Mack, Camaro exterior design manager. “From every angle, the elements coalesce to give the car a purposeful, super aggressive attitude.”

The interior plays along the same tune with standard Recaro front seats, a sueded flat-bottom steering wheel and shift knob, while Chevrolet’s Performance Data Recorder will be available too.

We’ll see the new 2017 Camaro ZL1 for the first time at next week’s New York Auto Show before it goes on sale towards the end of the year.

Photo Gallery


  • JJ

    Just look at that front grill…other than that, love it!

    • lapirk

      grill? its a bloody tunnel. who the hell signs this off i wonder

      • Six Thousand Times

        That’s grille unless you’re talking about brats and burgers.

  • anonym

    … 640bhp? That is ridiculous. And 10-speed? That is 2 too many…

    I want to love it but it’s probably too much for a Camaro. I’d rather have them focus on lightness like Shelby GT350R…

    • SgtBeavis

      Curb Weights for reference:

      2015 ZL1 – 4118 lbs
      2017 ZL1 – 3918 lbs (2015 model weight minus 200lbs)
      2016 GT350R – 3710 lbs

      • donald seymour

        I hope your numbers are right, because I think they are speaking for the previous decrease in the curb weight which is 200 lbs; and not an additional decrease from the new model as you stated.

    • BahamaTodd

      I’m sure a new Z/28 is still in the plans. This competes with the Hellcat and upcoming GT500.

  • Eric Seda

    Awesome Machine

  • Zandit75

    So what will this compete with? The Shelby GT350? Or is it already sitting above it?

    • SgtBeavis

      From a performance standpoint, at least on paper, this thing should blow the doors off a GT350 or GT350R. IMO, pricing is the only question.

      Ford has a bit of a problem. GM didn’t go for benchmarking the Mustang, they’re going for a kill.

      • Force

        Er, no. Ford has no problems whatsoever when it comes to moving Mustangs out of the door. Ford has no sales issues with their Mustangs and the arrival of the new Camaro ZL1 won’t change that either. When Ford created the 350R it created a driving experience arguably rivaled by few. While the new ZL1 has yet to be unleashed, its “benchmark” numbers will no doubt be impressive. Faster 1/4 miles, 0-60s, sustained lateral Gs etc. etc. etc. But these numbers don’t tell the whole story. Recently MT pitted the Z06 Corvette against the Viper ACR. While neither car was considered pleasant for everyday driving, the reviewers unanimously agreed that the Corvette had “way too much power for its chassis” and “was essentially undriveable” and couldn’t be driven “safely” without the computer aids on max. They also conceded that the Corvette was “unfinished” and “unpolished”. That’s not to say they didn’t like the cars, it was that you should think about alternatives before placing your money down on these beasts. Now hopefully GM has addressed these issues with the upcoming ZL1, because in the end, it’s not just about raw power and grip, it’s about the whole package.


    • john1168

      This is WAAAYYYY above the GT350(R). I think this goes after the GT500 (if and when the new one is available) and the Hellcat.

      • Jan Mleziva

        GT350(R) is a different animal than GT500 or Hellcat. It is Z/28 job to compete with GT350R. The ZL1 would be competing against the Hellcat and GT500 (which does not have a descendant).

    • WTF

      The gt350 is as fast as a Camaro SS not even sure why that car is being mentioned here. Its a cheaper alternative to the Camaro Z28, the ZL1 competes with Shelby Gt500 if they ever make another one or the Hellcat which at its huge weight difference probably will be slower than this Camaro.

  • 10 speed gearbox…. get in in Fast and Furious!!!

  • Craig

    The exterior AND interior make me wonder if GM hired some old Pontiac designer.

    • dumblikeyou2

      You’re dating yourself. Badly.

      • Craig

        I’m the only one who WILL date me!

  • Vassilis

    Nice. Although the Z06 is nicer.

  • Bo Hanan

    At 184MPH it’s 1 MPH faster than the Z06. Why?

    • SgtBeavis

      I thought the Z06’s top speed was 200 MPH.

      • john1168

        All the fancy aero stuff (particularly the rear wicker bill spoiler) creates a lot of drag, so the top speed takes a big hit. I don’t know what the top speed is but it’s well under 200. I’m guessing 190-ish? The older ZR-1 hit 206 I think.

    • Tumbi Mtika

      Wrong generation, I think.

  • dumblikeyou2

    Those wheels, so non-GM. A good thing.

  • danno


  • SgtBeavis

    Man I love me some competition.

  • john1168

    This thing is going to be a track monster! I’m not crazy about the huge opening in the front but other than that, this is an awesome car! Personally I think this cars main competition is going to be the Z06 and the Viper. This will have the acceleration of a Hellcat with the handling of the GT350R.
    Where did that auto transmission come from??? The shifts are MUCH quicker than the current 8 speed. If you listen to about the 1:30 mark of the track video, you can hear how quick it shifts from when the paddle is hit to when the transmission actually shifts. I drove a Z06 at a track in Vegas and it seemed like 3/4 of a second went by before the transmission shifted after you hit the paddle. I wonder how long it will take for that 10 speed to make it to the current Corvette and lesser Camaros? The Z06 MUST have that transmission! …..as well as much better cooling.

  • john1168

    “Hard to port! It’s the new ZL-1 and it’s heading right for us!!!”

    • john1168

      …..I think I just dated myself there.

  • Tinky-Winky

    I’m afraid the lower grille isn’t wide enough.

  • Denzel

    I love what Chevy is doing with the camaro! But I’m still pro mustang. I think if mustang had a car like the Corvette to pick off from it would be easier to have parts that are already full proof. Then again that’s what makes the mustang unique kind of. I can’t wait to see what numbers the camaro bring to the track and what mustang does next.

  • Tumbi Mtika

    Are they trying to phase out the Corvette? Why the hell does it have that much power?

  • Big Black Duck

    this car looks too messy on the front end…teh rear looks nice…the interior is great…would pick mustang over this any day…

  • Jan Mleziva

    Give me 2015 looks with the rest of 2017. The new Camaro generation is so messy it is not even funny. There is simply no coherence, it is as if different parts of car were designed by different people without knowing what the others work looks like and then put together

  • Patrick

    I’m a or was a die hard challenger fan/owner, however this camaro blows me away, iwas thinking of trading in my srt8 for a scat pack shaker, not anymore

  • MarketAndChurch

    Can’t wait for the “you know who’s” of the auto world to review this thing. And there’s really no purpose in reviewing this car unless it’s done against the cars this is here to dethrone, because we all already know that this is going to be a beast like the CTS-V.

    I don’t know what Chevy benchmarked this against, but I want to see it take on a 911 GT3 RS, and I know it aint no GT3 RS, but I want to see how close it comes. Or even the normal GT3. Or against an AMG GT.

  • K

    The 2014 zl1 did it in 3.7 seconds idiot