From the June 2017 difficulty
Each superlative, praise, and rave you’ve heard in regards to the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 collects inside your head earlier than you drive it. A veritable Lake Mead of positivity builds up behind your psychological Hoover Dam, which is simply ready to break down below the load of unfulfilled expectations. Besides the 650-hp Camaro ZL1 not solely lives as much as the hype, it exceeds it, particularly when geared up with a six-speed handbook.
Let’s get one factor out of the best way: The handbook is three-tenths of a second slower to 60 mph than the automotive’s 10-speed computerized. That will sound like a deal breaker if acceleration numbers rule your unhappy life, however a three.7-second run to 60 remains to be astonishing for a 3904-pound prop from a Michael Bay movie. It additionally helps that the stick saves you $1595; the bottom worth is $63,435.
Does it assist that it does 60 mph in first gear? Really, it doesn’t. That tall first gear makes the ZL1 powerful to launch. We received our greatest instances by revving it to a needle’s width above 2000 rpm, releasing the clutch pedal, and shortly rolling into the throttle. Open the throttle too quick and the Goodyear blimps in again gentle up just like the Hindenburg. Should you’re too sluggish on the fuel pedal, the engine bogs. This Camaro’s launch management had been disabled, however we recurrently beat the system anyway. Like we stated: Unhappy!
Balancing tire slip to realize one of the best launch takes some ability, however there’s gratification within the DIY strategy. Go forward—jam the shifter into second as quick as you may at 60 mph and maintain the fuel pinned; it’ll take it. Do burnouts for days, stomp on the brakes from 70 mph to zero in 141 toes as many instances as you need, and circle the skidpad at 1.07 g’s. Run it repeatedly to the 6500-rpm redline to listen to the supercharged V-Eight’s 96-decibel howl. The ZL1 is at all times glad to endure what’s essential to extract its efficiency. Its dedication to creating your jaw drop is absolute.
A stream of suggestions flows via the Alcantara-wrapped steering wheel. Chevy resisted making the wheel as thick as a Burmese python and we’re grateful, not as a result of our arms are tiny, however as a result of the thin-rimmed wheel is the one delicate half on your complete automotive. That wheel, together with the lighter steering efforts afforded by the tour and sport modes, helps the massive ZL1—it’s roughly the size of a Toyota Camry and three inches wider—learn as small and nimble as a BMW M2. Press laborious right into a nook and the ZL1 belies its mass by delivering with supernatural agility. There’s no drama, no roll, no fuss, and must you have interaction the rev-matching perform, no have to heel-and-toe downshift.
Right here’s the half the place we complain about seeing out of the Camaro. Chevy constructed an idea automotive for the street, and ideas hardly ever take into account practicality. Granted, you do get used to it in the identical means you’d get used to sporting a baseball cap proper above your eyes, however that doesn’t change the truth that it’s patently juvenile. It’s paradoxical automotive so finely honed and impeccably developed seems to be like a full-scale Sizzling Wheels toy. Extra proof that automobiles shouldn’t be judged by their covers. Or numbers.