2011 Chevrolet CamaroEnlarge Photo
Motor Trend’s recent interview with GM Vice President of Global Vehicle Engineering, Karl Stracke, The article pretty much announced that the Z/28, though with no real confirmation, was going to become a reality sometime in the future. There have been plenty of people wanting the latest Camaro to have an ultimate edition that uses the famous badge. Autoblog is expecting the coupe to share the supercharged engine found in the CTS-V, but fails to see how using this engine dilutes the name.
When the Camaro debuted in 1967 the Z/28 wasn’t the most powerful of the new pony cars wearing a bow-tie(though this can be debated), those honors go to the SS 396, especially in L89 trim. The 396 cubic inch engine produced 375 horsepower and 410 ft lbs of torque, and had Ford scrambling to match its Mustang with this latest offering on the performance market.
The z/28 was actually used to homologate a special Camaro used in the SCCA’s Trans-Am series. The engines were limited to 305 cubic inches, so this option pack came with a high strung 302ci V-8. The car was pretty quick, and gave sports-car like handling, but being so peaky made it practically unstreetable; shift points were said to be at 7,500 rpm, and didn’t make any power below 4000.
This continued until 1970, when the Z/28 dropped the 302, thanks to new regulations, and installed the LT1 350 found in the Corvette, though down about 10 horsepower. It was similar to the first generation Z/28 as it was the best-all around performing Camaro, but had more torque down low and could be driven with ease. Again the most powerful Camaro at this time was the SS, though only by 15 horsepower.
There are plenty of names they could give this latest Camaro. The name ZL1 was used in 1969 for the 500hp, aluminum blocked 427 and is still considered the most powerful production Camaro produced. GM could possibly license the Yenko name, much like Ford does with Shelby, for this ultimate Camaro.
The Z/28 name should be reserved for a lightweight Camaro, possibly a V-6, that emphasizes handling over dyno-numbers and straight line performance.