Arab Today, arab today 2012 chevrolet camaro zl1
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Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

London - Arabstoday

The new ZL1 is the ultimate factory Camaro--now and probably ever. It\'s certainly the most powerful, with 54 percent more horsepower than the infamous COPO-option, big-block 1969 Camaro ZL-1. Development engineers say one-third of the ZL1\'s parts are unique, compared with the current fifth-generation Camaro SS. All of those unique parts, save the ZL1\'s Alcantara dash insert, were upgraded to improve performance. It starts under the hood with General Motors\' supercharged, 6.2-liter LSA V8. Familiar from the Cadillac CTS-V, the LSA is similar but not identical to the LS9 small-block in the Corvette ZR1, and its distinctions go beyond a smaller Eaton twin-scroll supercharger. The ZL1 engine is assembled in Silao, Mexico, while the Corvette LS9 is hand-built at GM\'s Performance Build Center in Wixom, Mich., with titanium connecting rods and valves and dry-sump lubrication. Nonetheless, there are improvements to the LSA for the ZL1, starting with a more efficient intercooler. Packaging in the Camaro allows better intake and exhaust flow, with a 30 percent reduction in flow restriction compared with the CTS-V. The result is 580 hp at 6,100 rpm in the Camaro, and 556 lb-ft of torque at 3,800 rpm--that\'s up 24 hp and 5 lb-ft from the CTS-V. The ZL1 surpasses the LS3-powered Camaro SS by 154 hp and 136 lb-ft and moves to the top of the pony-car pecking order (for now), edging the 2012 Ford Mustang GT500 by 30 hp and 46 lb-ft (though Ford has announced 650 hp for the 2013 GT500). The ZL1 comes standard with a Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual, adding a twin-disc clutch, tighter ratios and 30 percent more torque capacity than the Tremec in the Camaro SS. Its shifter was developed by Chevrolet, using slightly longer throws than the Hurst package in the Camaro SS, and was optimized for a road course rather than drag racing. The ultimate Camaro also offers something you can\'t get in a Mustang GT500 or Boss 302: an automatic transmission. The optional Hydra-Matic 6L90 six-speed is GM\'s highest torque-capacity automatic, offered only in heavy-duty trucks and the CTS-V. Control algorithms are adjusted specifically for the ZL1, prefilling hydraulics for the next gear to speed upshifts and allowing full manual gear selection, no automatic override. Chevy\'s track numbers say the ZL1 automatic is quicker than the manual to 60 mph and through the quarter-mile (12.0 seconds vs. 12.1 seconds). There\'s another technology in the ZL1 that you can\'t get in a Mustang, and it\'s significant. GM\'s Magnetic Ride Suspension (MRS), now applied in supercars such as the Audi R8 and the Ferrari FF, has been upgraded for the ZL1. The Gen III MRS gets a faster processor and four smaller magnets in each shock, rather than two larger ones. The objective is quicker reaction time. The ZL1 suspension starts with the same spring rates as the SS in front, slightly higher rates in back, and adds stiffer bushings, bearings and tie rods. Already billed as the world\'s fastest-reacting suspension, the MRS magnetorheological shocks get even faster in the ZL1. Gen III decreases response time 40 percent, according to Chevy, and actually pulls electric current out of the shocks when they need to get softer, rather than just waiting for the current to dissipate. Using data from 18 different sensors, accounting for steering angle and brake application, MRS reads and adjusts damping rates every inch of travel at 60 mph. The ZL1 gets a variable-rate steering rack, average ratio 16.1:1 and variable-assist electric boost. GM\'s Performance Traction Management, adapted from the Corvette ZR1, includes launch control and allows the driver to tailor a range of electronic management systems, from traction to MRS to steering. Mode 5 lets the computer manage stability control only to optimize longitudinal grip. It\'s intended to make all but 99th-percentile drivers faster than they would be with the electronics switched off completely. The brakes are essentially the same as those on the CTS-V. Rotors and swept area are larger than the obvious competition\'s, and the package is a bit more sophisticated (read, costly). The front rotors are two-piece aluminum/iron, and all of the calipers are aluminum, with six pistons in front and four in back. The ZL1\'s wheels measure 20 inches in diameter (as opposed to 19 for the other guys), available in two styles with three finishes and fitted with Goodyear F1 Supercar Gen II unidirectional tires (285/35ZR front, 305/35ZR rear). The ZL1 comes standard with track stuff you don\'t get on a GT500, including a transmission cooler, differential cooler and brake-cooling ducts, and its aerodynamics have been optimized for high speed. A key element is the carbon-fiber insert in the ZL1\'s high-dome hood, which Chevy calls the Mohawk. The combination of an extended front splitter, taller lower grille and an extractor in the Mohawk generates 265 pounds more front aero force than the Camaro SS at 150 mph (that\'s 65 pounds of downforce with the ZL1 v. 200 pounds of lift with the SS). The ZL1 has two belly pans to reduce turbulence and cool mechanicals underneath, extended rockers for stone protection and a taller rear spoiler with integrated brake light (this spoiler would hide the rear-window CHMSL in the SS). That Alcantara dash trim? It\'s coordinated with a ZL1 logo, lest the driver forget he or she is driving the ultimate Camaro. There are also Alcantara inserts in the power, heated front seats, red stitching in the leather and embroidered logos on the headrests. The ZL1 comes standard with all the niceties, including nine-speaker Boston Acoustics audio, USB and Bluetooth connectivity and rear-park assist with a rearview camera. The head-up display offers four screen choices with a range of data, including a g meter and shift guide. Even with all the niceties, the ZL1 lapped the Nordschleife some 40 seconds faster than the Camaro SS (watch the video here). Chevy says development included a 24-hour, high-speed flog at GM\'s proving ground in Milford, Mich., with a 150-mph-plus top speed each lap and an average of 88 mph, stopping only to change tires and brakes. ZL1 production is underway in Oshawa, Ontario, and dealerships should see a steady stream of hardware by spring. The coupe debuts at $54,995, including a $900 destination charge. Options are limited to the automatic ($1,195), sunroof ($900), suede steering wheel and shift knob ($500), a stripe package ($470) and a clear-coated Mohawk that exposes the carbon-fiber weave ($600). A ZL1 convertible goes on sale in the summer as a 2013 model. Chevy expects the ZL1 to account for 5 percent to 10 percent of total Camaro production over the long haul. Early demand will be almost exclusively manual, but it\'s expected to rotate toward 50 percent automatic with time. The ZL1 has a better front/rear weight balance than the Mustang Boss 302 or the GT500, a substantially longer wheelbase (plus 5.2 inches), a larger tire patch and a fully independent rear suspension. It\'s also substantially heavier--488 pounds heavier than the Boss, 300 pounds heavier than the GT500. As a result, the ZL1\'s power-to-weight ratio falls every so slightly shy of that of the 2012 GT500. We doubt anyone will notice. The ZL1 has more jobs than either of its direct competitors. Ford has subdivided the top of the Mustang lineup, offering the Boss 302 for more frequent track-day participants and the GT500 for those who want the biggest swinger for sunny Sunday afternoons. The ZL1 has to fill both roles, without stepping on the Corvette\'s toes. So what exactly is the ultimate Camaro? A super-muscle-pony sport coupe, and probably more things than any pony car before. What is it like to drive? Remarkable, for its mix of everyday civility and track capability. On the road or the racetrack, this pony car or muscle car (or whatever we call Camaros and Mustangs these days) almost makes the concept of compromise obsolete. As a road car, the ZL1 is amazingly nice--tame, even--except for some familiar Camaro things, which we\'ll get to below. Only the LSA\'s rumble hints at its capability on a track, where it\'s up to just about anything mortals can abusively deliver and eagerly waits for more. The ZL1 is more comfortable than a Camaro SS as a daily driver and more manageable on a racetrack, with higher limits. As track cars go, Ford\'s Mustang Boss 302 is not particularly brutal on the street, with its manually adjustable suspension set soft. But if ride quality is an issue for anyone, the ZL1 is better, and the value of the MRS shocks and independent rear suspension should not be underestimated. Better still, you don\'t have get out of the ZL1 and manually adjust the suspension when it\'s time to hammer it. The feast begins with the engine. The LSA delivers a primal surge of whoosh at just about any speed up to its fairly abrupt fuel shutoff (6,200 rpm). The supercharger is extraordinarily quiet and it keeps forcing air evenly almost to the redline. There\'s no old-school dip in grunt at high revs. The bottomless pool of torque makes road, gear selection and just about everything but pure, adrenaline-pumping acceleration superfluous. The sounds? The ZL1 has an active exhaust system with vacuum-controlled valves borrowed from the Corvette ZR1; it delivers the full rumble only above 3,000 rpm and 50 percent throttle, or at idle to impress your friends. At full roar this Camaro is not quite as aurally satisfying as a Boss 302, but the exhaust note isn\'t something that would influence our choice. With all of its horsepower and 1 g grip, the ZL1\'s best asset might be its level-headed approach to business--particularly learning the way around an unfamiliar racetrack. It\'s a big, heavy car but it takes some cruel treatment to make it bite. Its stability control system is anything but a straight jacket, allowing both ends of the car to slide before the electronics go to work. Only a gifted driver will be able to manage 580 hp better than Performance Traction Management in Mode 5. The ZL1 allows multiple options or approaches on a track, thanks to its composure and massive torque. The clutch is meaty with a clear engagement point, but not excessively stiff or painful. We\'d call it excellent. The shifter is nice, particularly to anyone who remembers the old F-body Camaro, and we genuinely like the automatic--as much as we like automatics in any high-performance car. It\'s particularly smooth as a road transmission, and it allows full control and unfettered gear selection as a manual. On the track, in sport automatic mode, it shifted more quickly and managed gears with more acumen than we could. The ZL1\'s steering does good job filtering the junk but not the feel. Both rate and assist change appropriately with speed, and subjectively, this might be the ZL1\'s biggest edge on the hot-rod Mustangs. The Boss 302\'s steering might be a tick quicker overall but it feels less connected than the Camaro\'s. Initially, at least, it requires a bigger leap of faith. What\'s not to like in the ZL1? The seats are a bit soft for a track car. Smaller folk will move around a lot in them, and there\'s no oh-s***! bar for the passenger. Then there\'s that familiar Camaro stuff, which probably matters most when it comes to transportation (as opposed to entertainment). The designers clearly held sway over the packaging people when this car was conceived, and that translates to a hunkered-in, pillbox view from the driver\'s seat. The windows are high and fairly narrow, and the sight lines are complicated, particularly over the shoulders. All of that can make the Camaro more demanding to drive on busy roads or in crowded locales--perhaps more energy intensive, or tedious. Do I want it? For one model year at least, the ZL1 is the horsepower king of the pony cars. It has performance technologies the Mustang GT500 doesn\'t deliver and overall capability that\'s hard at $55,000. In some respects it\'s a bargain, and when you consider its civility, quite an achievement. That alone doesn\'t mean you want it. Particularly with pony cars, most of us start predisposed toward a particular brand. If you\'re in that middle third and care only about what the car does, you might want to think about the ZL1. We\'re not sure it\'s better track car than a Mustang Boss 302, but the choice is difficult. The ZL1 might make more people happier more of the time.

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