The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 managed to hit 202.3 mph in one direction on the 7.6-mile long high-speed oval at Germany’s Automotive Testing Papenburg proving ground. The official top speed, however, is 198 mph, the average achieved by running the car in both directions and compensating for wind speed. The ZL1 recorded a top result of 193.3 mph running in the other direction.
“It’s the most capable – and fastest – Camaro ever,” said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, in a release.
The ZL1 test car was equipped with the available 10-speed automatic transmission and a set of production Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar 3 tires with pressure set at the recommended level for high-speed driving, 44 psi. Chevrolet claims that data logging equipment and mandatory safety gear were the coupe’s only differences from stock specifications.
Helping the Camaro ZL1 reach 200-plus mph are special aero features that consist of a stanchion rear spoiler that Chevrolet claims offers superior lift/drag ratio compared to the more traditional blade-style rear spoiler, and an auxiliary transmission oil cooler cover that creates no drag but reduces front-end lift. Chevrolet also adjusted the remaining aero features for high-speed stability.
According to Oppenheiser, “The ZL1 was developed with high-speed performance in mind, incorporating a balanced aerodynamic package that reduces lift without significantly affecting drag.”
The Camaro ZL1 is powered by a 650-hp, 650-lb-ft 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 that can be paired to the standard six-speed manual or the new 10-speed automatic transmission. Magnetic Ride Control, an electronic limited-slip differential, and Brembo brakes with six-piston Monobloc front calipers only add to the muscle car’s performance credentials.
When Motor Trend tested this fast brute, the Camaro hit 60 mph in 3.5 seconds and completed the quarter mile in an impressive 11.5 seconds at 125 mph. The hefty 3,926-pound coupe was able to stop from 60 mph in 96 feet and completed the figure-eight handling course in 23.1 seconds, which puts the ZL1 in some lofty high-performance company.
The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 starts at $63,435 (including $995 destination and $1,300 gas guzzler tax) when equipped with the six-speed manual, and $65,830 with the 10-speed automatic (including destination and $2,100 gas guzzler tax).