The full review won't be published until next week, AutoGuide wants first crack at it unfortunately, but as a little holiday gift to you guys here's a little sneak peek...
Those of us gathered at the foot of the San Gabriel mountains just north of Los Angeles know our time here will be exquisite, eviscerating and excessive all at once — we are children of the liberated cortex and it is our duty to inform you of the haunting pleasures baked into the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1.
Almost everyone makes fast metal these days – from 500-horsepower grocery getters to felony-prone family sedans – but this is different, this is a serious soundtrack punctuated with full-bodied fury; this, is immaculate sanity.
If you think about it, no one needs $63,453 ($69,200 CAD) worth of supercharged spitfire, nor a 10-speed transmission calibrated by a mad scientist who knows what you want before you need it. But hey, we don’t usually want what we need, but we definitely, always, need what we want.
The new ZL1 tips in with 200 lb (90 kg) less weight to lug around, plus an extra 70 more horsepower and 94 more lb-ft of twist compared to the fifth-gen car. Pilfered from the Corvette Z06 – minus its dry sump oiling system – is the ZL1’s 650 horsepower, supercharged 6.2-liter V8. The LT4 is a literal loudmouth that barks atavistically whenever your right shoe solicits, but it’s the car’s 650 pound-feet of torque that will swallow whole you without chewing.
How do you tame such a savage beast?
With savagely smart electronic wizardry. Camaro Chief Al Oppenheiser and crew threw every trick they could at the 2017 ZL1, including an all-new 10-speed transmission ($1,595), a new electronic limited-slip differential, and a suite of track and performance applications to help you harass the trembling tarmac.
It’s easy to think of the Camaro ZL1 as a 1LE that sniffed too much speed on a Saturday, but that would be a gross oversimplification of the overwrought engineering that went into the ZL1 program.
More to come next week...