Today is an epic day for Camaro fanboys as Chevrolet has officially announced the return of the legendary Z/28 to the 2014 model line up. Honestly though, we all knew this was coming but I don’t think anyone expected the new Z/28 to be as bad-ass as this! This thing looks like a track beast and Chevrolet is touting it as such, calling it the “most track-capable Camaro ever.” A significant statement considering what they did with the ZL1.
Although the Z/28 is not meant to replace the ZL1 by any means. Instead it fits in the space between the new SS and the ZL1. The Z/28 borrows elements from its upstairs and downstairs neighbors but still sits in an area of its own. Chevy started off by making the new Z/28 light. As in 300lbs lighter than the ZL1. This was accomplished by ditching the on-board inflation system (except in states where its required by law), using thinner rear-window glass, utilizing a smaller battery, removing sound deadening from the interior, removing the carpet from the trunk, ditching the HID headlights, and finally making air conditioning a stand alone option.
Quite a diet no? After they shed the fat it was time to build the muscle so Chevrolet dropped in the same 7.0 liter LS7 V8 first used in the Corvette Z06. For the new Z/28 Camaro the engine has been tuned to an (estimated) 500HP and 470 ft-lbs of torque. To help bring all that power to a stop, a Brembo-produced carbon ceramic brake system is implemented.
To keep the Pirelli PZero tires stuck to the asphalt a full aerodynamic package is fitted to the new Z/28 which features an evil looking front lip spoiler, rear deck-lid spoiler and functional diffuser pieces on the rear bumper.
It all equates to something pretty damn awesome. I can’t wait to see the first road tests for this beast! For now click the thumbnails below for official pics. Below that is the press release including a full spec sheet.
NEW YORK – Chevrolet today introduced the restyled 2014 Camaro line at the New York Auto Show, including the return of the Z/28, the most iconic model in Camaro history.
The 2014 Camaro models feature a revised exterior design that integrates high-performance aerodynamics for more efficient cooling and stability at high speeds. The new Camaro Z/28 also features a full aerodynamics package that creates downforce at speed, which helps make it the most track-capable offering in Camaro’s history.
“As the ultimate track-capable Camaro, this car restores the mission of the original Z/28, and serves as a testament to the expertise of Chevrolet as the best-selling brand of performance cars,” said Mark Reuss, president, GM North America. “The build sheet is the wish list of any racer: lightweight, high-revving, dry-sump LS7 engine; carbon-ceramic brakes; integrated coolers for track use; true aerodynamic downforce, and a significant reduction in curb weight. This car could only come from Chevrolet, and could only be called the Z/28.”
The first Camaro Z/28 was introduced in 1967, created to compete in the Sports Car Club of America’s Trans-Am 2 class. It featured a smaller, lighter, 302-cubic-inch V-8 for improved weight balance, as well as quick-ratio steering and a heavy-duty suspension for track use. In keeping with its road-racing focus, the 1967 Camaro Z/28 was not available with an automatic transmission or air conditioning.
While the new Camaro Z/28 is not intended to compete in a specific race series, it is solely focused on track capability. In initial testing, the Camaro Z/28 is three seconds faster per lap than the Camaro ZL1. That extra speed comes from three areas:
Increased grip: The Z/28 is capable of 1.05 g in cornering acceleration, due to comprehensive chassis revisions
Increased stopping power: the Z/28 features Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes capable of 1.5 g in deceleration, and consistent brake feel, lap after lap
Reduced curb weight: The naturally aspirated Z/28 weighs 300 pounds less than the supercharged Camaro ZL1, with changes ranging from lightweight wheels to thinner rear-window glass
Like the original, the 2014 Camaro Z/28 is offered only with a manual transmission. In a nod to modern convenience, air-conditioning is available, but only as an option.
“We set out to make the fastest road-racing Camaro possible that was still street-legal,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer. “While the Camaro ZL1 offers exceptional performance on the street, the drag strip, and the track, the Z/28 is entirely focused on the track performance. The Z/28 will be too track-focused for most drivers, but offers road-racers one of the most capable track cars ever offered from an automaker.”
The new 2014 Camaro line will arrive at Chevrolet dealers later in 2013. The Camaro Z/28 is expected to be appearing at track events across the United States in spring 2014.
High-performance aerodynamics highlight changes for 2014 Camaro
The 2014 Camaro represents the most significant redesign since the introduction of the fifth-generation Camaro as a concept car in 2006.
“The 2014 Camaro is our opportunity to apply what we have learned listening to our customers, and our continuing development of high-performance models,” said Tom Peters, Camaro exterior design director. “We look for solutions that are both functional and beautiful so that the result is genuine Chevrolet – simple, powerful, honest, and more than expected.”
Compared to the previous model, the design represents a strong visual change front and rear, resulting in a wider, lower, more contemporary appearance. The front fascia features a wider lower opening, and a narrower upper opening that also updates the appearance of the iconic “halo ring” HID headlamps on the Camaro RS package. The functional hood vent on the Camaro SS helps reduce heat and aerodynamic lift. Moving to the rear, the sculptural decklid, horizontal lamps and diffuser complete the powerful statement.
The Camaro Z/28 also features a full aerodynamic package designed to produce downforce at track speeds. At the front, the Z/28 features a large splitter, connected to an underbody panel that further reduces lift. In profile, the Z/28 features fender flares over the front and rear wheels, as well as extended rocker panels that contribute to aerodynamic stability. An aggressive rear spoiler and functional diffuser complete the aerodynamic package.
On the interior, the Camaro Z/28 features trim in a distinctive, matte-metallic finish named Octane, the ZL1 flat-bottomed steering wheel, and standard Recaro seats with microfiber suede inserts. The new seats (also available on the coupe versions of the SS and ZL1 models), feature aggressive bolsters for high-performance driving, as well as seat cutouts inspired by the five-point harnesses found on racing seats. To save weight, both front seats incorporate manual adjustment.
The rear seats of the Z/28 have also been modified for weight reduction. A total of nine pounds (four kilograms) was saved by eliminating the seat-back pass through, as well as using high-density foam in place of the rigid structure of the seat back and steel mesh of the seat bottom.
“Unlike the Ford Mustang Boss 302, we felt it was important to keep the 2+2 configuration of the Camaro Z/28 as Chevrolet already has a world-class two-seat sports car in the Corvette,” said Oppenheiser. “By modifying the construction of the rear seat, we were able to reduce the overall weight of the Z/28 while still preserving the flexibility of 2+2 seating.”
7.0L, LS7 the heart of the Camaro Z/28’s track-capable performance
Like the original, the new Camaro Z/28 forgoes ultimate horsepower and torque for improved weight balance and track performance.
In 1967, the most-powerful engine available in a factory Camaro was a 396 cid V-8 with 375 horsepower. To prepare the Camaro Z/28 for road racing, engineers specified a lighter, 302 cid V-8, officially rated at 290 horsepower. While the 302 was not the choice for drag racers, it proved ideal for sports-car racing.
Today, the most-powerful engine offered is the Camaro ZL1’s supercharged 6.2L LSA, which delivers 580 horsepower. The heart of the 2014 Camaro Z/28 is the lighter, naturally aspirated 7.0L LS7 first introduced in the Corvette Z06.
“The LS7 is ideal for road racing because it delivers amazing performance in a compact, lightweight package,” said Jordan Lee, Small Block chief engineer and program manager. “The broad torque curve and high redline of the LS7 mean fewer shifts are required for each lap, while the lightweight design improves the front-to-rear weight balance for better handling.”
Co-developed with Corvette Racing, the hand-assembled 7.0L (427 cid) V-8 uses a number of high-performance components, including:
Titanium intake valves and connecting rods, and sodium-filled exhaust valves
CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads
Forged-steel crankshaft and main bearing caps
Hydroformed exhaust headers
11.0:1 compression ratio, and a 7,000 rpm redline.
10.5-quart, dry-sump oiling system
For the Camaro Z/28, the LS7 features unique induction and exhaust systems, and delivers at least 500 horsepower (373 kW) and 470 lb-ft of torque (637 Nm).
The racing-style, cold-air induction system and large K&N air filter provide maximum air flow.
The standard dual mode exhaust system and larger-diameter pipes enable improved air flow. By bypassing the mufflers during acceleration, the system increases both the torque and sound generated by the LS7 engine.
The Camaro Z/28 is exclusively offered with a Tremec TR6060 manual transmission. The six-speed features close-ratio gearing and 3.91:1 final drive ratio, both optimized for the power characteristics of the LS7.
Power is distributed to the rear wheels via a limited-slip differential featuring a helical gear set, rather than traditional clutch packs. The new design enables the driver to apply more power and get through corners faster, by continuously adjusting the torque bias to maximize available traction.
The differential works in unison with Chevrolet’s proprietary Performance Traction Management system, which allows drivers to adjust the level of throttle and brake intervention to match their capability and driving environment.
Unlike some competitors’ “track package” offerings, the Camaro Z/28 makes standard all the cooling systems required for track use. This includes the dry-sump oiling system for the LS7, which is connected to an integral liquid-to-liquid cooling system for engine oil.
A second liquid-to-liquid system provides cooling for the transmission and differential. This system pumps overcooled transmission fluid to a heat exchanger in the rear differential before traveling to the transmission. This reduces differential temperatures as much as 100 degrees F.
Camaro Z/28 chassis delivers 1.05 g in cornering grip
The singular focus of the Camaro Z/28 is most evident in the chassis, where the most has been made of every component for track use, from the ultra-high performance tires to race-proven dampers.
“We used the very best components in the industry to deliver uncompromised performance, lap after lap,” said Mark Stielow, Camaro Z/28 engineering manager. “We made nearly 200 changes to improve the track performance, which cumulatively make the Z/28 capable of 1.05 g in cornering. For perspective, with all other things, equal increasing maximum grip from 1 to 1.05 g can cut up to four seconds per lap.”
The Camaro Z/28 is the one of the first production cars fitted with race-proven, spool-valve dampers. Compared to a conventional damper that offers only two-way tuning for bump and rebound, a spool-valve damper allows four-way adjustment to precisely tune both bump and rebound settings for high-speed and low-speed wheel motions. The wider tuning range allowed engineers to dramatically increase the damper stiffness on the Camaro Z/28 without a significant change in ride quality. Additional chassis changes include stiffer string rates and suspension bushings for improved cornering response.
The Camaro Z/28 features 19-inch diameter wheels and tires, which reduce unsprung weight by 42 pounds (19 kilograms) per car compared to the 20-inch wheels standard on Camaro SS and ZL1. In addition, the smaller diameter wheels lower the center of gravity by 33 millimeters, further improving handling.
At all four corners, the lightweight, forged aluminum wheels are wrapped in massive 305/30ZR19 tires. This is the first production application of ultra-high performance Pirelli PZero Trofeo R tires, and believed to be the widest front tire on any production car.
To fully exploit the grip of the Pirelli tires, the Camaro Z/28 also features Brembo Carbon Ceramic Matrix™ rotors and fixed, monoblock calipers. The large 394 x 36 mm front rotors are paired with six-piston calipers, while the 390 x 32 mm rear rotors are paired four-piston calipers. Compared to similar-size, two-piece steel rotors, the lightweight carbon discs save 28 pounds (12.5 kilograms) per car.
The combination of tire grip and braking power enable the Camaro Z/28 to achieve up to 1.5 g in deceleration. With standard front brake cooling ducts, the Z/28 is also capable of continuous track use unmatched brake feel, lap after lap.
“What makes the Z/28 so addictive is it inspires confidence through every section on the track,” said Stielow. “The incredible, balanced performance helps you carry much more speed through every corner: the brakes are so good you can adjust your braking points later and later; the grip and suspension damping allows you to carry more speed through the apex; and then the limited slip allows you to make the most of the LS7 as you power out of the corner.”
Extensive lightweighting saved 300 pounds over the Camaro ZL1
To optimize the track performance of the Camaro Z/28, the engineering team subjected it to an intensive lightweighting program, saving 100 pounds (45 kilograms) compared to the naturally aspirated Camaro SS and 300 pounds (136 kilograms) to the supercharged Camaro ZL1.
“We looked at every subsystem for opportunities to save weight,” said Oppenheiser. “Our goal was to get rid of everything that didn’t make the car faster, and keep only what was required by law. For example, we wanted to eliminate the audio system completely, but we had to keep a single speaker for the seat-belt chime to meet safety requirements.”
Other examples of weight savings include:
Eliminated the tire-inflator kit, except for Rhode Island and New Hampshire, where it is required by law
Removed interior sound deadener, and carpeting from the trunk
Replaced the standard LN4 battery with a smaller, lightweight, LN3 battery
Specified thinner, 3.2-mm glass for the rear window, compared to 3.5-mm glass on the standard Camaro
HID headlamps and foglights are not available
Air conditioning is only available as a stand-alone option
“The team was so fanatical about saving weight, we even stripped the unused wiring out of the harness when we eliminated the fog lights, speakers, and air conditioning,” said Oppenheiser. “Every ounce saved contributed to making this the most track-capable Camaro we have ever built, and a worthy successor to the Z/28 name.”
Founded in 1911 in Detroit, Chevrolet is now one of the world’s largest car brands, doing business in more than 140 countries and selling more than 4.5 million cars and trucks a year. Chevrolet provides customers with fuel-efficient vehicles that feature spirited performance, expressive design, and high quality. More information on Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com.
2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Preliminary Specifications
2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z28
Body styles / driveline:
Four-passenger, front-engine, rear-drive coupe
Unitized body frame, one- and two-sided galvanized steel
St. Patricks day weekend was cause for celebration for many people all over the country but it was also a big weekend for motorsport freaks like us. In addition to Sebring the past weekend also saw the return of Formula One. I decided to kick the weekend off by paying a visit to one of my favorite meets: Cars & Coffee in Irvine.
It was the first time I had been to the meet since the start of the year so I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised to see an even more eclectic mix of cars than I was used to. There was everything from million-dollar exotics to a few rare classics. I even saw a crazy turbo-diesel zombie apocalypse truck! (more on that in a later post).
However, I would have to say the meet’s biggest attention getter was a genuine Bugatti Veyron brought by Symbolic Motor Cars of San Diego. As jaded as I am these days even I am still impressed with a Veyron sighting. I have only been in the presence of Bugatti’s hyper-car four times and only two of which (counting the weekend) were “wild” sightings.
All in all it was a great trip. If you haven’t been to Cars & Coffee I would highly recommend checking it out. If you’re saying to yourself: “Hey jerk, I don’t live in Southern California!” I would say “don’t interrupt me while I’m talking!” See, the cool thing about Cars & Coffee is that it is something of an organization now so there are meets in several places all across America; even in Europe! Just head to CarsAndCoffeeOnline.com to find the closest meet to you.
Last Saturday morning I decided to once again torture myself for you by waking up earlier than time itself to make the trek to Mazda North American HQ in Irvine, CA for the weekly Cars & Coffee meet. OK, so maybe I did not wake up quite as early as I should have but it was still early! I still managed to get there with enough time to snap some shots of the nicer cars at the show and there were some nice rides indeed. A Ferrari Enzo made an appearance as well as few Audi R8′s and a nice Lamborghini that I will show you in depth later. For now you can check out a few pics below and then head to our Facebook gallery to see the full set.
I was starting to get some serious car show withdrawal so you can imagine my excitement when it came time for Motion Auto Show to come back to our home town of Long Beach and fill our convention center with rows and rows of top notch rides. One of the reasons I really like the Motion Auto Show is because the producers of the show Pro-Motion and the shows architect Mike Morita go out of their way to create an experience that is a lot like the car shows we were used to from the early days of the scene and so far they have always gotten it right! I also commend Pro-Motion and Morita-san for pre-screening all the cars that register for the show. Back in the day I hated spending my cash on a car show ticket only to find the show full of cars that were damn near stock!
Between the cars, the dance contest, models, and vendors the attendees of this years Motion Auto Show in Long Beach definitely got their money’s worth. If you didn’t get a chance to make it out to the show this year I highly reccomend going next year. In the meantime check out some pictures below and see our full gallery on our Facebook page.
This is our second year doing our annual “Ad Bowl” and instead of analyzing every single ad like some others might be doing we are just going to let you know what our top three and later on we will let you know our bottom three. As the title of the post suggests we are starting with our “Fresh Three” first so scroll down below and lets get started! Hike!
It is hard for a commercial featuring two of America’s funniest people and one of the most anticipated sports cars ever to not make the top three. First Acura stole Iron Man and the Avengers from Audi, now it seems they broke the serious hold that Porsche had on Seinfeld. That kind of juice combined with the humor and our first hint at the new NSX’s exhaust note earns them a solid bronze from us.
Awesome: Chevrolet “Happy Grad” (2012 Camaro Convertible)
This commercial has just about everything. It is fast, funny, and extremely memorable. Although it is hard to officially give Chevrolet/GM the credit for this one as this ad was actually the winner of a contest held by GM in which armature filmmakers submitted their own home-made commercials in hopes that they would be picked to air during the big game. Rumor has it that the winning selection was conceptualized, shot, edited, and submitted all in a day. We have a feeling that the crew behind this one will have a bright future ahead of them.
FRESH!!!: ”Halftime In America”
If you watched this commercial before reading this then you should now have a tear in your eye and saluting the nearest American flag like we were. Usually we are not a fan of the “human interest” take that some car companies try to do during Super Bowl time but this commercial was so well done, so excellently timed, and so poignant, not to mention the fact that it also features Clint “Make My Day If You Feel Lucky” F**king-Eastwood means that not making this our number one would be un-American! Congratulations Chrysler you are the clear winners this year in our eyes.
Just as the 50th Rolex 24 Hours Of Daytona race was getting underway GRAND-AM made the announcement that B-Spec racing would be included as part of their 2012 season. I suspected that B-spec would become a part of GRAND-AM soon but I did not think it would come this soon! For now B-Spec drivers will be allowed to run at 6 events this year with the first being at Homestead Miami-Speedway at the end of April (27th-29th), then New Jersey Motorsports Park in May (11th-13th), followed by Mid-Ohio (June 8-9), Watkins Glen International (July 29th-June 1st), Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Sept. 8th-9th), and finally Lime Rock Park (Sept 28th-29th). For an amatur series’ first year that location list is pretty damn impressive!
Each B-Spec event will be in a sprint race format (30-45 minute timed races) and the events will not be “connected” as in each race is a stand alone event so there is no need to travel the country to race each one in hopes for a championship (unless you really want to). Instead GRAND-AM just wants local racers at each track to come out and do their best to win the day. I have to admit with the schedule they put together combined with the lack of pressure by not having to run a full year for a championship B-Spec is looking pretty damn attractive right now. I would love to put a car together in time for the Mazda Raceway event!
GRAND-AM To Add B-Spec Races Entry-Level Class Features Exciting Sub-Compact Street Stock Cars
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (Jan. 28, 2011)
Currently, the six sprint races – planned for between 30 and 45 minutes in length – will run in conjunction with GRAND-AM weekends at Homestead-Miami Speedway (April 27-29), New Jersey Motorsports Park (May 11-13), Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course (June 8-9), Watkins Glen International (June 29-July 1), Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca (Sept. 7-9) and Lime Rock Park (Sept. 28-29). Each of those weekends will also feature North America’s most popular forms of sports car competition – the GRAND-AM Rolex Series and the Continental Tire Sports Car Challenge.
Regional racers who meet entry requirements are welcome at each event, with a concentration on event victories instead of a national championship. No currently licensed professional drivers will be allowed to participate.
A total of five manufacturers have committed to the new competition, with the following models involved: Mazda 2, Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, Mini Cooper, and Kia Rio. Additional future manufacturer entries are expected.
One of the fastest-growing segments of the automobile business, B-Spec is among the most affordable classes for entry-level racers, and is expected to enjoy great support from club racers.
Cars will be 4-cylinder models, with a target cost range of $20,000-$30,000.
B-Spec features showroom stock racing cars utilizing stock engines and chassis, fitted with a competition roll cage, racing seat and other safety equipment; and manufacturer-approved suspension components, tires and wheels. Weight and other variables will be used to balance performance among competing manufacturers.
Each manufacturer will develop an approved performance kit which is subject to GRAND-AM approval. These will be the only alterations permitted to the respective cars. All practice sessions will also serve as qualifying to set race grids.
“This new form of GRAND-AM racing will attract new racers and in the process, new fans,” said GRAND-AM Managing Director of Racing Operations Mark Raffauf. “The cars are cool and the competition will be door-to-door, which should be a lot of fun for everyone – a nice fit with what GRAND-AM already has happening at every event.”
– GRAND-AM Road Racing announced today an exciting complement to its two existing sports car series, in the form of a new “B-Spec” level featuring sub-compact cars in six races this season.
At the root of all car lovers is a race car driver waiting to get out. At some point all of us have had daydreams of crossing the finish line at the Indy 500 or standing on top of the podium at the Monaco Grand Prix. Many of us have let our daydreams turn into a full on obsession with motorsports and have latched on to one form of racing or many as serious fanboys/girls. However, as much fun as it is to watch and follow racing there is nothing quite like doing it yourself. Yet the path to becoming a race car driver used to be quite hidden and has remained to be very, very expensive. Thanks to great programs like the Mazdaspeed Motorsports ladder and the Skip Barber Racing Series the route from armature to professional is a bit easier to find. Yet following that route has become more expensive than ever before. It is that fact that has many would be racers turning sponsorship acquisition into a second job (the first job is to fund any racing that they already do!). Anyone who has ever tried to seek out sponsorship dollars for a cause or sports knows that they have to deal with a marketing manager, advertising agency, or sometimes both. To even have a shot at getting sponsorship money to go racing one has to learn how to put together a sponsorship proposal, know lingo like “impressions”, study returns on investment, become an expert in social network marketing, have “media training”, and so forth. These days the path to racing winds through the dark woods of marketing so much that someone will become an MBA in marketing before becoming a race car driver. In the whirlwind of power point presentations, photoshop renderings, and excel spreadsheets it can be easy to forget why you wanted to become a race car driver in the first place. The heart of racing has become buried in the budgets of marketing departments of non-endemic corporations and is guarded by brand managers who are looking for a “marketable face, name, or story” over talent or passion. Where does “Joe Racer” who just go when he just wants to race for the joy of racing besides the local go-kart track or Xbox Live? The answer could be a new race class conceived by a collaboration between Mazda and Honda called “B-Spec”
How can B-Spec be a new entry way into racing? Well I was invited along with a small group of journalists to Willow Springs Raceway by Mazda and Honda so that they could explain it to us personally. Here is how they put it:
So there you have it. The passionate minds from Mazda and Honda want you to be able to get a “B-level” car such as a Mazda2 or Fit and with the purchase of a kit, some elbow grease, safety equipment, and a fabricator to put in a cage you can participate in a race in several sanctioned race series or (likely with sponsorship support) try to run a full season in one particular series of choice. Although sponsorship might be key go compete for a full season in a B-Spec class, there will be rules and regulations to keep a manufacturer from stepping in and becoming overly dominant. OEM participation will be limited to simply offering B-Spec kits to customers. So far there is an impressive list of OEM’s that will be a part of B-Spec but it is promised that none of those OEMs will dump a ton of money into any one team to get an edge over the competition. There are also rules to keep power as equal as possible among the eligible cars from each OEM. For example certain cars will have to run intake restrictors to keep their horsepower closer to the rest of the pack. Of course certain cars may still have advantages or disadvantages due to wheel base, suspension type, etc. However, no one car will have a disproportionate advantage over the others. The great thing about B-Spec is that SCCA is on board and making an effort to include B-Spec classes not only in their club racing series but in some of their bigger pro series such as World Challenge and even Rally racing. There is also a possibility of B-Spec being a part of Grand-Am endurance racing as well. So, theoretically with one car you could go to a number of different race disciplines without having to make many changes (if any) to your B-Spec car. The bottom line is not only does B-Spec make real racing accessible again to people who want to race for the love of racing but it also still provides a doorway into the professional ranks for those who still wish to seek that out as well. B-Spec has the potential to give racing’s soul back to the racers and with OEMs such as Mazda, Honda, Toyota, Kia, Nissan, Ford, GM, and most recently MINI race fans will get to see real manufacturer competition in America again.
By the way if all of this is getting you exciting about going racing but you have no experience have no worries. I drove B-Spec versions of both the Mazda2 and Honda Fit and they are both incredibly easy to drive in race-trim and with an impromptu coaching session from GrandAM driver Charles Espenlaub I was able to pull a decent amount of speed from both chassis. I would recommend a three-day school at Skip Barber to get race theory and technique down followed by a few SCCA races at the club level and you will have the confidence and skill it takes to try your hand in one of the premiere series.
As B-Spec unfolds in 2012 we plan to keep the site updates with any news and developments that will arise. If you are anxious to get your feet wet now I suggest looking for a Mazda2 or Honda Fit and contacting either Mazdaspeed Motorsports or Honda Performance Development as they will likely be first out of the gate to have B-Spec kits available. I might look into it myself! Stay tuned! In the meantime you can check out the full SCCA B-Spec rule book by clicking on the link below.
Not to be outdone by Dodge’s Charger SRT8 reveal, Chevrolet unleashed a new beast of its own in the form of the 2012 Camaro ZL1. Basically GM decided to give the Camaro the same treatment they gave the Corvette when they created the ZR1. The ZL1 will boast a 550hp/550ft-lb supercharged and intercooled V8 “LSA” engine. They haven’t released the exact displacement of the LSA but obviously its enough to produce big numbers from some boost. The power will go through a dual clutch 6 speed transmission and the suspension will feature magnetic ride control.
Chevy reps were pretty clear in communicating that the ZL1 is looking to be a world class sports car rather than a brutish muscle car but looking at this thing I’d say it could go either way really! The reps also said you can expect to see the Camaro ZL1 at dealerships in early 2012. In the meantime check out some pictures below and a few teaser videos.
LSA 6.2L supercharged engine will produce an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW) and is matched with a six-speed manual transmission with a dual-disc clutch system
Packed with performance technologies, highlighted by Magnetic Ride Control, and advanced materials – including a vented carbon fiber hood insert. Extensive aerodynamic development designed for high-performance driving
Development ongoing, targeting launch at the beginning of 2012
Engineers have already driven Camaro ZL1 prototypes extensively at demanding road courses in the U.S. and Germany, with final testing being completed through the balance of 2011.
CHICAGO – The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 debuted today at the Chicago Auto Show. It is the highest-performing Camaro and the most technically advanced car ever developed in its class. The new ZL1 continues the momentum of Camaro, propelling it into an entirely new realm of leading-edge performance technology. It is planned to launch at the beginning of 2012.
Motivated by a supercharged V-8 engine producing an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW), the Camaro ZL1 will be the fastest Camaro ever offered by Chevrolet. And more than just power, the ZL1 features technologically advanced and highly developed chassis and suspension systems that help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking power to complement its high engine output. Rigorous development of the ZL1 is ongoing, and official estimates of the car’s capabilities will be released later in 2011, as testing nears completion.
“Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design, and is a type of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “It’s the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we’ve chosen a name from the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history.”
The ZL1 name is derived from the all-aluminum racing engine of the same name, which was developed in the late 1960s and installed into a handful of regular-production 1969 Camaros. Only 69 were built with the engine, but they’ve achieved mythical status among enthusiasts, as they represented the pinnacle in Camaro performance – until now. The 2012 ZL1 model is designed to be a major leap forward for the Camaro, bringing a new level of performance capability to the segment.
The central goal of the car’s development was creating something new – a Camaro intended to reach optimal lap times on top road-racing circuits and excellent driving dynamics on the street. To achieve that goal, engineers evolved many of the existing Camaro’s systems, as well as incorporated new technologies such as electric power steering and Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system.
Camaro ZL1’s design communicates and supports its performance mission. Rather than using decorative elements, ZL1 is visually differentiated from other current Camaro models with elements vital to the car’s elevated capabilities.
“Everything about the ZL1’s design is directly related to its technology and serious performance, especially aerodynamics,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, Global Design. “Our designers’ goal was to execute that function-oriented design with beautifully sculpted forms, creating an imposing, powerful persona. Function becomes the aesthetic. The intent is a car that delivers on the attitude it projects.”
Major elements of the ZL1’s design are a new front fascia and hood with air extractors, designed in tandem to create aerodynamic downforce to aid handling. The car’s hood includes a signature center section constructed of carbon fiber and rendered in satin black finish. New rocker panels, wide tires, 20-inch wheels and exhaust tips portray the car’s handling and power.
The ZL1 badge appears on the grille, hood and the brake calipers, all key areas portraying the technology within.
Supporting the dynamic track and street performance of the ZL1 is the LSA 6.2L supercharged engine, which will produce an estimated 550 horsepower (410kW) and 550 lb.-ft. of torque (677 Nm), with specific features for the Camaro. Built on GM’s legendary all-aluminum, small-block V-8 architecture, the LSA features an intercooled supercharger system, premium heat-resistant aluminum-alloy cylinder heads and other details designed to ensure its exceptional performance is delivered with smoothness and refinement. Components and design elements that contribute to the LSA’s performance include:
Balanced, lightweight reciprocating assembly
High-strength hypereutectic pistons
Sixth-generation Eaton supercharger with four-lobe rotors
Piston oil squirters.
Because the Camaro ZL1 uses electric power steering, the engine does not incorporate a conventional hydraulic power steering pump on its accessory drive system. This enhances performance, because no engine power is used to turn a steering pump pulley.
Camaro ZL1 is a complete high-performance car, not just a Camaro with more power. Key technical highlights include:
Transmission – The high-performance Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual is matched with the LSA engine. It is the “MG9” version of the transmission, with a higher torque capacity. It is used with a dual-mass flywheel and twin-disc clutch for easy operation and shift smoothness. A new, shorter-throw shifter actuates the gear changes.
Exhaust – ZL1 is equipped with a dual-mode exhaust system, which alters the sound level and character in response to engine rpm. First used on the legendary Corvette, and specifically tuned for Camaro ZL1, the dual-mode exhaust will give the car a signature sound.
Drivetrain – It is revised with a stronger driveshaft and rear axle system, featuring a larger and stronger cast iron differential housing, stronger axles and heavy-duty limited-slip differential. This patent-pending system is designed to ensure that ZL1’s tremendous power is delivered smoothly to the ground.
Suspension – The suspension features completely revised tuning and the inclusion of segment-exclusive Magnetic Ride Control. ZL1’s Magnetic Ride system will include driver selectable modes (Tour and Sport) tailored for the preferred style of driving. It uses advanced magneto-rheological science to produce shock damping with the highest level of precision, enabling body control optimized for excellent performance in everyday driving as well as track situations. This technology appears on only a small roster of some of the world’s finest performance cars. Other chassis elements are redesigned to support the car’s high-performance limits. Rear stabilizer bars have drop links repositioned outboard of the control arms. This makes the bars more effective in controlling body roll in turns, with crisp response to driver commands.
Brakes and Steering – Camaro ZL1 features an advanced track-capable braking system, developed in conjunction with experts from Brembo. The large 14.6-inch (370 mm) two-piece front rotors have six-piston calipers; the 14.4-inch (365 mm) rear rotors have four-piston calipers. ZL1 marks the entry of a new electric power steering system to Camaro. It is being developed to ensure precise control and feedback to the driver, with greater variability of effort for high-performance driving.
Exterior – ZL1’s signature from the front is the redesigned fascia and aluminum hood with a raised, carbon fiber insert. The fascia includes a front splitter and new vertical fog lamps. The fog lamp area includes air intakes designed for brake cooling. The hood features front-mounted air extractors that direct air precisely over the car. Visually, this center section, in satin black carbon fiber, communicates the car’s high-performance intent as a visual contrast to the car’s exterior color. Functionally, the air extractor is a key in connecting airflow closely to the bodywork, creating aerodynamic downforce. The carbon fiber center section reduces the mass of the hood. High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and fog lamps are standard. The rear of the car includes a diffuser and spoiler, also functional elements that enhance the car’s aerodynamics.
Wheels and Tires – New-design, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, which are lighter than the 20-inch wheels used on the Camaro SS, are used with new Goodyear Supercar F2 ties developed specifically for the ZL1.
Interior – ZL1 is tailored for high-performance driving. The front seats feature microfiber suede inserts. Other enhancements include a redesigned steering wheel, alloy pedals, Head-Up Display with unique performance readouts and the “four-pack” auxiliary gauge system featuring a boost readout.
All of the Camaro exterior colors will be offered with the ZL1, but black is the only interior color. The unique exterior features are complemented with a black center section on the hood. Inside, the Camaro ZL1 has heated leather seats with microfiber inserts and ZL1 logos embroidered on the front headrests. Microfiber suede is repeated as an accent on the instrument panel, adding a richer look to the interior. The ZL1 will include the same content as the current 2SS package and include the following new or unique features:
Six-way power driver and passenger seats
Unique instrument panel and door panel inserts; and ZL1-logo sill plates
Steering wheel audio controls with Bluetooth capability
Wireless PDIM and USB-port
Boston Acoustics premium audio system
Rear parking assist
Rear camera system (displayed in the inside rearview mirror).
In this post I’ll finish up my brief analysis of the Chevrolet Super Bowl XLV commercials. In this part you’ll see the second Cruze and Camaro commercials as well as an overall brand Chevy brand-awareness commercial.
Chevrolet commercial 5 (Cruze): Misunderstanding
In this second bit for the Cruze a few members of the geriatric community get a bit confused by a commercial for the Chevy Cruze “Eco”
What do I think? MEH
Why? Sure this commercial is funny, but it is hard to have old people in your commercial and not be funny. They could have taken a few more chances here but didn’t so it falls in the middle with me.
Chevrolet commercial 6 (Camaro): Transformers
The stereotypical car salesman “Al” tries to sell a Camaro that is more than meets the eye…
What do I think? FRESH
Why? Sure it was predictable but you can’t go wrong with Bumblebee tossing someone across a parking lot!
Chevrolet commercial 7 (Brand): We can do more
Chevrolet wants to let us know that they can go beyond making cars and trucks.
What do I think? WACK
Why? This is just a quick PR puff piece. Sure the intentions are noble but this isn’t really anything we haven’t heard before. They could have gone without this one.
What do you think about this second set of Chevy commercials? Let us know in the comments.
Chevrolet had so many commercials for this year’s Super Bowl that we have to break this one up into two posts. They even had more than one commercial for the same car. There were at least three different commercials for the Cruze and two for the Camaro. In this first part I’ll chime in on one of the Camaro commercials, the Volt commercial, the lone Silverado commercial, and the first of the Cruze commercials.
Chevy commercial 1 (Camaro): Miss Evelyn
In the first Camaro spot Chevy takes a unique approach by asking the question “what would it be like if we let you create our commercials?” The result according to them is an action packed ad filled with explosions and a “hot red-headed” teacher.
What do I think? FRESH
Why? To some this spot might come off as a bit corny but if you look a bit deeper you can see that Chevy is just playfully poking at some of their own past commercials and adding a healthy dose of humor. It isn’t spectacular but it was still enjoyable.
Chevy commercial 2 (Volt): Discovery
In the latest commercial for the Volt Chevy starts to take a some of ownership for all of the media praise they’ve gotten for they’re revolutionary plug-in extended-range hybrid car. They liken the Volt to major discoveries such as electricity and the light bulb.
What do I think? FRESH
Why? I know Chevy going a bit on the lofty side in this commercial by comparing a car to great discoveries like space travel and computers but let’s face it: the Volt is a big deal. If you like Chevy or not you can’t deny that the Volt is a major step in where things will be going for the foreseeable future. Sure it is a bit braggadocious but in these times its cool to see some good ol’ American bravado.
Chevy commercial 3 (Silverado): Tommy
With all the car commercials being shown this spot called “Tommy” was one of the few truck commercials of the entire Super Bowl. That’s surprising considering that the football crowd represents a good chunk of the truck demographic. In this commercial the Silverado plays the hero…several times…
What do I think? MEH..
Why? While this commercial is funny and not bad by any means, the ”Lassie” bit feels like it has been done many times before. I still give Chevy kudos for not forgetting their truck lovers in all of the car hype though.
Chevy commercial 4 (Cruze): Status
In this first spot for the Cruze Chevy shows off a way their new car can help one with their “social agenda”.
What do I think? WACK
Why? This isn’t as much a knock against the commercial itself as it is me being disgusted with the social picture that this ad paints. Have we become so vain that we need to have our Facebook status updates read to us out loud by our cars while we’re driving? If that is the thing that puts you over the fence into making a $20k purchase then congratulations…you’re a d-bag!
Do you agree with my assesments of these commercials so far? Disagree? Don’t let me be the only one venting opinions. Share your thoughts in the comments!