After a wait far longer than any of us wanted, Chevrolet has finally delivered the goods: the 550-plus-horsepower, 6.2-liter supercharged LSA V-8 version of the Camaro. Most expected it to be called the Z28, but it's called the ZL1. And it's pretty awesome.
Which is to be expected; we performance folk are often fairly easy to please. Give us lots of power, package it in a shiny container, and price it well, and we're happy. Of course, reality often takes away some of the romance, and that may well be the case with the Camaro ZL1, but we're looking forward to the chance to be offended by its morning breath.
Chevy's still being vague about official power numbers, but it'll pack an "estimated" 550 horsepower and 550 pound-feet of torque from its LSA V-8 engine. It also gets a high-torque MG9 version of the Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual transmission, a dual-mode exhaust borrowed from the Corvette, a beefed up driveshaft and rear axle setup, a heavy-duty limited-slip differential, magnetic ride suspension with two driver-selectable modes, 14.6- and 14.4-inch front and rear brake rotors, six-piston calipers up front and four-pistons out back, plus a range of interior and exterior tweaks that are best observed in the photos.
All standard Camaro colors will be available for the outside, but it'll only come in black on the inside. All ZL1s also get heated leather seats, plus the standard content found in the 2SS package of the Camaro SS.
As for when you'll be able to buy it: sometime early in 2012, most likely, as final testing will be completed "through the balance of 2011."
For GM's official history lesson on the ZL1 name and its origin, hit page two.