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Chevrolet re-launched the Camaro from oblivion in 2010 and, from the driver's seat at least, that car underwhelmed. Built on GM's global rear-drive platform, known internally as Zeta, the Camaro's bones originated from Holden of Australia, where tastes in vehicle setup tend to differ from ours. The Camaro's stateside development time was virtually zero, so the US engineering team washed their hands of it and sent the largely Australian-spec slice of Americana to dealerships.Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Then Chevrolet unlocked the engineer's toy box. Four years later, we have this—a monster. The Z/28 is a low, stiff, single-minded demon, a crazed caricature of a track car, a menace to practicality and civility. A masterpiece.
To build this track-purposed Frankenstein, Chevrolet started with Zeta, took away unnecessary weight like trunk trim, sound-insulation, and A/C (it weighs less than the already-lightened SS 1LE). Then engineers added trick aero bits like a rear spoiler with a Gurney flap and front splitter (all of it good for 150 lbs of downforce at 150 mph). They rounded out the package by adding a Torsen limited-slip differential, massive carbon-ceramic Brembo brakes, and the very trick dynamic-suspension-spool-valve, or DSSV shocks.Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
DSSV is a fundamentally different kind of shock absorber. Instead of oil passing through deflecting discs, DSSV dampens motion of the wheel through a precisely cut hole in an internal rod that becomes more exposed as suspension travel increases. Admittedly, this is engineer jargon. What's important to know: DSSV is very accurate, consistent, and expensive. It's also near magic on the track. Oh, we almost forgot the mega-grippy Pirelli PZero Trofeo R tires, 305/30ZR19s at each corner.
This raid on the top-shelf parts bin creates impressive numbers. The Z/28 is a 192-inch long, 77-inch wide box that holds nearly 1.1g in corners; an almost two-ton slug of iron that decelerates at up to 1.5g; a 505-hp old-school muscle car that costs $75,000, $17,350 more than the 580-hp ZL1.Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Advertisement - Continue Reading Below
Sitting down in the Z/28, it still feels like an everyday Camaro, until you turn the key and bring the 7-liter screamer to life. The 505-hp V8 growls at the start and settles into a low, Trans-Am-racer-like rumble. It's the business. Clutch in, select first, and smile that no automatic option exists for this car. Heading down the hot pit of Barber Motorsports Park, I wonder how the Z/28 will change direction and, more importantly, will it stop?
Then I hit the gas, accelerating through second gear, third, fourth; hitting 120 mph just as I cross the 3-marker for Turn 5. I stomp on the brakes, hoping I don't need to use the run-off, breath held and—wait, am I stopped?
Yes, completely, and only at the 1-marker. The brakes are that good. Despite multiple attempts, they didn't fade on track once, even slightly. With stopping power available as reliably as a Tokyo bullet train, the brakes inspired confidence, as did their phenomenal balance. By the third lap, the Z/28 coaxed me into flicking left at full-throttle into the high-speed esses, never going much slower than 90 mph and pulling well over 1 lateral g. No sweat.
Every lap was faster than the one before. I felt like I was jogging with a pitbull that's in much better shape than me. The faster I went, the Z/28 kept pace. When the limit of grip did finally arrive, it came predictably. The Z/28 isn't merely fast, it's easy-fast. And that's what impresses the most.
When the Z/28 first arrived, I asked: Why the Camaro? Why not apply this same logic to a more purpose-built sports car like, I don't know, a Corvette? But after experiencing what a $75,000 Camaro really is, the answer is both cliché and fantastic—why not?
2014 Camaro Z-28 Performance Results
|Barometer||30.13 in HG|
|0-30 mph:||1.8 sec|
|0-60 mph:||4.0 sec|
|0-100 mph:||8.8 sec|
|0-130 mph:||14.9 sec|
|60 Foot:||2.1 ft|
|¼ mile ET:||12.2 sec|
|¼ mile TS:||118.3 mph|
|60-0 mph:||115 ft|
|80-0 mph:||187 ft|
2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28
Powertrain: 7.0-Liter Naturally Aspirated V8
Peak Power: 505 hp, 481 ft-lb
Drivetrain: 6-speed Manual transmission, RWD
Length/Width/Height: 192.3/76.9/52.4 inches
Wheelbase: 112.3 inches
Curb Weight: 3856 pounds (53% front, 47% rear)
Tire: Pirelli PZero Trofeo R, 305/30ZR19
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Source : http://www.roadandtrack.com/new-cars/first-drives/reviews/a7420/first-drive-2015-chevrolet-camaro-z-28/