Camaro ZL1 Delivers 580 Horsepower and Exclusive Technologies
Supercharged, 6.2L LSA V-8 delivers 580 horsepower (432 kW) and 556
lb.-ft. of torque (754 Nm)
ZL1 power complemented by exclusive Magnetic Ride Control and
Performance Traction Management
Track-capable standard equipment includes high-performance fuel
system, as well as engine, transmission and differential coolers
DETROIT – The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1's supercharged 6.2L engine is
SAE-rated at 580 horsepower (432 kW) and 556 lb.-ft. of torque (754
Nm) – making it the most-powerful production Camaro ever.
The ZL1's outstanding power is complemented by advanced powertrain and
chassis technologies, including exclusive Performance Traction
Management and third-generation Magnetic Ride Control.
"The Camaro ZL1 delivers supercar performance and technology in
the sports-car segment," said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief
engineer. "For sheer power, the ZL1 delivers more horsepower
than a Ferrari 458, more torque than an Aston Martin DB9 V12, and a
better power-to-weight ratio than a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS.
"The Camaro ZL1 also features exclusive chassis and traction
technologies," Oppenheiser said, "to offer the best of all
worlds – including balanced handling for the track, acceleration for
a drag strip, and the comfort of a daily driver."
The most-powerful production Camaro ever
The 2012 Camaro ZL1's surpasses the advertised power of the legendary
1969 Camaro ZL1's 427 cubic-inch big block by more than 150
horsepower (112 kW) – while meeting modern emissions requirements.
And, the new ZL1 is backed by General Motors' five-year /
100,000-mile powertrain warranty.
"The torque is going to make the ZL1 a car you won't want to get
out of," said John Rydzewski, assistant chief engineer for small
block engines. "Not only will the ZL1 have more power and torque
than the competition, we're making it available with an optional
automatic transmission, to appeal to a wider group of sports car
The all-aluminum LSA supercharged V-8 is part of GM's legendary
small-block engine family. For a solid foundation, the engine's lower
end uses six-bolt main bearing caps that clamp and lock in the forged
steel crankshaft to the deep-skirt block. Its 1.9L Roots-style blower
uses an efficient four-lob rotor set and compact intercooler to
deliver boosted air into the high-flow cylinder heads.
For the Camaro ZL1, the LSA features a unique induction system, with a
lower-restriction air filter, dual inlet paths, and improved airflow
through the supercharger housing. Other changes include a
higher-efficiency supercharger intercooler and electric power
steering system, which consumes less engine power than
The ZL1 will be offered with either a six-speed manual or automatic
transmission. The Tremec TR-6060 "MG9" manual features 30
percent more torque capacity than in the Camaro SS. The higher torque
capacity results from a strengthened output shaft, high-strength rear
housing, and additional roller bearing. The MG9 has also been tuned
for improved shift feel, with a dual-mass flywheel, twin-disc clutch,
and triple synchros for smooth, precise shifts.
Similarly, the Hydra-Matic 6L90 automatic has been strengthened to
handle the torque and horsepower produced by the 6.2L supercharged
small block. The 6L90 features a strengthened input gearset with two
additional pinion gears, additional clutch plate, and a strengthened
output shaft and gearset. To make the ZL1 perform equally well on
street and track, the 6L90 features three distinct drive modes:
Drive: The shift pattern is calibrated for optimal fuel economy,
including second-gear starts, while the shift feel is tuned for a
smooth driving experience. Engaging the tap-shift feature on the
steering wheel or shift lever engages temporary manual mode.
Sport: The shift pattern is calibrated for more aggressing driving,
including first-gear starts for maximum performance. The shift feel
is also more aggressive, with a performance algorithm that holds the
transmission in lower gears during aggressive driving.
Manual: Here, the 6L90 offers the driver true manual control, with no
automatic up shifts, and staged upshifts for incredibly fast shifts
and maximum performance.
Other track-ready features of the ZL1 include:
An engine-oil cooler, identical to the system on the Corvette ZR1. The
integral liquid-to-liquid system is so effective that both the manual
and automatic transmissions are deemed to be fully track-capable with
the standard factory-installed cooling package.
A rear-differential cooler, which pumps transmission fluid to a heat
exchanger, reduces temperatures in the differential by more than 100
A high-performance fuel system delivers fuel to the LSA engine under
any performance driving condition. For example, the system features
additional fuel pickups on the primary side, and the secondary fuel
pickup is moved outboard for continuous fuel access during high-g
cornering under low fuel conditions.
Magnetic Ride Control 3.0 adjusts damping 1,000 times per second
The Camaro ZL1 will feature the third-generation of Magnetic Ride
MRC employs valve-less damping and Magneto-Rheological (MR) fluid
technology. MR fluid is a suspension of iron particles in a synthetic
fluid. When the system is activated, the particles are magnetized and
aligned into fibrous structures, changing flow resistance. By
controlling the current to an electromagnetic coil inside the piston
of the damper, the system varies the suspension firmness to match the
road and driving conditions.
"Traditional suspension systems at some point compromise ride
quality for road-holding grip and body control," said
Oppenheiser. "With Magnetic Ride Control, we can offer customers
the best of both worlds: A comfortable ride that makes the ZL1
appropriate as a daily driver and the incredibly precise body control
that makes the ZL1 so enjoyable on the track."
For the third-generation, MRC uses new twin-wire/dual-coil dampers at
all four corners. The smaller dual-coil system – with one coil at
either end of the damper – replaces the larger single-core design of
the previous generation.
The new design allows even more precise control of the electrical
current (and magnetic flux), allowing greater range between the
softest setting for ride comfort and the firmest setting for track
driving. The new dual-coil design also enables faster response, with
damping levels now adjusted up to 1,000 times per second – about one
adjustment per inch of vehicle travel at 60 mph – making the system
exceptionally responsive to changing driving and road conditions.
There are three settings for MRC in the ZL1: Tour, Sport, and Track.
Exclusive Performance Traction Management for the race course, and the
The Camaro ZL1 will also offer Performance Traction Management (PTM)
as standard equipment, which is exclusive to General Motors. First
introduced on the Corvette ZR1, PTM is an advanced system that
integrates magnetic ride control, launch control, traction control
and electronic stability control, to enhance performance on the
racetrack and drag strip.
For example, the launch control feature (manual transmission only)
automatically modulates engine torque for the best possible
acceleration without excessive wheel spin. When the driver pushes the
throttle to the floor, the system holds a predetermined engine speed
until the driver releases the clutch. Then, the system modulates
engine torque 100 times per second to maximize the available
traction. The system is capable of approaching a skilled driver's
best effort and repeats it consistently.
Similarly, on a road course, the driver can apply full throttle when
exiting a corner and PTM will automatically manage acceleration
dynamics to maximize exit speed based on available traction.
Five PTM performance levels or modes are available to accommodate the
given ambient and track conditions, driver experience/vehicle
familiarity and driver comfort levels. They include:
Mode 1 – Traction control set for wet conditions, with stability
control on and Magnetic Ride Control set on Tour.
Mode 2 – Traction control set for dry conditions, with stability
control on and Magnetic Ride Control set on Tour.
Mode 3 – Traction control set on Sport 1, with stability control on
and Magnetic Ride Control set on Sport.
Mode 4 – Traction control set on Sport 2, with stability control off
and Magnetic Ride Control set on Sport.
Mode 5 – Traction control set on Race, with stability control off and
Magnetic Ride Control set on Track. Launch control tuned for
VHT-prepped drag strips.
"Like the Magnetic Ride Control, the Performance Traction
Management system improves the ZL1 experience as a daily driver and
on the track," said Oppenheiser. "By offering five distinct
modes of traction management, the driver can select what's best for
them based on their experience and the driving conditions. As a
result, novice drivers will find the ZL1 is very enjoyable to drive,
while expert drivers will find PTM supplements their driving skill
without interfering with their intentions."