Although official details on the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 have just been released, Motor Trend associate editor Christian Seabaugh got to ride along with Chevrolet’s Mark Reuss in an engineering prototype ahead of its reveal.
Since we’ve already gone over the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1’s specs at length in our First Look, here’s the new high-powered bow-tie muscle car in a nutshell: the nimble, Alpha-platform Camaro meets the supercharged 6.2-liter beating heart of the Chevrolet Corvette Z06 and Cadillac CTS-V. Rated at 640 hp and 640 lb-ft of torque, the LT4 V-8 in the ZL1 is down 10 hp and 10 lb-ft from the Z06, but matches the CTS-V’s ponies with an extra 10 lb-ft over the four-door Cadillac.
The biggest news for the 2017 Camaro ZL1 is its available 10-speed automatic transmission. That’s two more gears than the auto unit in the Z06 and CTS-V. According to Reuss, the Camaro ZL1’s new 10-speed auto shifts faster than a dual-clutch transmission.
As we can see during the laps around Spring Mountain Motorsports Resort and Country Club in Pahrump, Nev., the new 10-speed automatic shoots off lightning-fast shifts. A six-speed manual transmission is standard.
Other 2017 Camaro ZL1 highlights include magnetorheological shock absorbers, an electronically controlled limited-slip differential, a Drive Mode Selector and Performance Traction Management, big Brembo brakes, a Performance Data Recorder, and racing seats.