Chevrolet Camaro Z/28’s LS7 Is A Swan Song To Naturally Aspirated Engines

Chris Harris is a motoring journalist that knows how to get the best out of any vehicle. The Top Gear host has driven, and drifted, hundreds of cars and is one of the best known journos. So when he says the LS7 motor in the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 is one of the greats, he’s probably right.

On his Instagram account, harrismonkey, Harris first drifts a Z/28 and then fawns over the vehicle. The first video is pretty short and sees Harris do his usual thing of hooning a vehicle, because, well, he’d doo that, wouldn’t he?

The second video is where Harris reveals exactly how he feels about the Z/28. He claims the LS7 engine is one of the best motors ever made. The reasoning behind the bold claim is simple: the Camaro’s V8 makes an amazing sound.

In a world filled with turbocharged and supercharged engines, the Camaro Z/28’s naturally-aspirated 7.0-liter V8 is a breath of fresh air. And the fact that the Z/28 is one of the most capable Camaros ever made doesn’t hurt, either.

With the release of the berserk Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the world kind of forgot about the automaker’s other track monster. While we all patiently wait for the release of the new Z/28, the old-gen vehicle continues to be one heck of a performance bargain.

The Z/28 made its debut at the 2013 New York Auto Show and was lauded as a track-focused beast that happened to be barely comfortable for street use. A lot of automotive magazines and websites, YouTubers, and even automakers have made the exact same claim for a number of cars. Well, the previous Z/28 fitted the description perfectly, as it was as close as consumers could get to actually having something that was very close to a race car with number plates on.

Modern cars are do-it-all vehicles. They are outfitted with a 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot, heated and cooled seats, and massive touchscreens as standard. The Z/28 isn’t like that. It didn’t even come with air conditioning or a radio as standard. And forget about having a peaceful interior; the car barely has any noise insulation.

All of this is meant to make the Z/28 blisteringly quick around the track and more rewarding to drive on a twisty road. Unlike modern cars, there’s no forced induction here: the Z/28 is all-natural, which is clearly an old-school trait.

Under the beefy hood sits a naturally-aspirated 7.0-liter V8 that makes 505 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of torque. No need to wait for a turbo to kick in here. The engine is paired to a six-speed manual transmission, which is also a species on the brink of extinction.

With its old-school mentality and beastly engine, one would have thought that prices for the Z/28 would skyrocket, especially after the release of the new Camaro ZL1. But that doesn’t seem to be the case. A quick look on eBay reveals that an example with just 9,139 miles can be had for $44,432.

Going for one with a little more miles brings the price down, like a like 24,605-mile example we found for $38,210 on Autotrader. Yes, $38,000 is a still a load of money for a car. But that makes the Z/28 cheaper than a 2018 BMW X2. Making the decision between those two vehicles is not so difficult. A harder decision would be having to choose between a Z/28 or a 727-hp Mustang GT from Lebanon Ohio Ford. If it were up to us, we’d still go with the Camaro.

Even with Harris’ seal of approval and low entry price, the Z/28 does have its faults. Unlike modern cars that can do everything, the high-performance sports car is more of a one-trick pony. It’s incredibly fun on a windy road or a on a track, but is harsh and unforgiving on normal roads. Still, as a weekend car to have lots of fun with, the Z/28 is hard to beat.

A lot of aspects of the upcoming Z/28 are still up in the air, but with the old variant buyers know exactly what they’re getting: a hardcore machine that will demolish most competitors on a track, give you loads of fun on the twisties, and sound great doing it.

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  • Six_Tymes

    an awesome car to be sure. I doubt they will produce another, but who knows…

  • Dubble Bubble

    I love the Camaro.

  • chuck2

    Yeah, great for 15K miles before the valve guide issues show up $$.

  • Michael_66589

    Great but where is Silverado with this engine ?

    • Status

      In a pipe dream. The LS block is gone forever.

      • FactChecker90803

        My wife upgraded her 2017 Corvette Grand Sport 7 Speed Manual Coupe, got a Katech Build 427 LT1 street attack engine-705 Hp!!!!!-Yikes.

  • Belthronding Tinuviel

    ..and mankind create a 7.0 american v8.

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