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2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Hits the Track in New Ignition

A better driver's car than the Z06?

A better driver's car than the Z06?

The Corvette is supposed to be the heaviest hitter in Chevrolet’s stable, but after driving the 2017 ZL1, senior features editor Jonny Lieberman believes that crown actually belongs to the Camaro. Find out why on this episode of “Ignition.”

The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 gets the same 650-hp, 650-lb-ft supercharged 6.2-liter LT4 V-8 as the Corvette Z06, but has the benefit of the sweet-handling GM Alpha platform. It also gets its magnetic suspension, summer tires, and electronically locking limited-slip differential from the Camaro 1LE, so the ZL1 is no longer a one-trick pony car. Still, it can definitely go fast in a straight line, as a drag race between the ZL1 and the 1LE shows. After that gross display of horsepower, Lieberman find some back roads to test out the ZL1’s real-world performance. He praises the slick optional 10-speed automatic transmission, and says the Camaro hasn’t experienced the same overheating issues that initially plagued the Corvette Z06, thanks mostly to the ZL1’s 11 heat exchangers.

To find out if the ZL1 is just as good on the track as it is on the street, Lieberman hands the keys over to Randy Pobst for some laps around Willow Springs. Pobst also has good things to say about the 10-speed automatic as well as the car’s handling, which lets him drift with no effort at all. The episode ends with a Head 2 Head-style lap battle between the 10-speed and six-speed manual versions of the ZL1. Find out which transmission is faster and which renowned sports cars the ZL1 beats on the track in the full episode below.