The Stock Chevy Camaro ZL1 Runs The Quarter Mile In The 11s: Video

The list of cars that can run the quarter mile in under 12 seconds right off the showroom floor is a short one, populated by cars like the Nissan GT-R, the Ferrari 458 Italia and  Chevy’s Corvette Z06 and ZR1.

Now you can add the 2012 Chevy Camaro ZL1 to that list as well, as both the manual and automatic transmission-equipped cars have cracked the 12 second barrier in testing at Michigan’s Milan Dragway.

A manual transmission ZL1 turned in a best run of 11.965 seconds at 117 mph, while the (theoretically faster) automatic ZL1 delivered a time of 11.936 seconds at 116 mph.

Both cars ran on the stock Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar G-2 tires, not on drag radials. In fact, Chevy is quick to point out that using drag radials may produce a time of under 11.49 seconds, which would require the addition of a five-point roll bar to run on NHRA-sanctioned tracks.

The ZL1, Chevy wants you to know, can easily stand up to the additional driveline strain produced by drag radials. Mode five of the ZL1’s launch control was specifically designed for tracks that use traction compounds, and was tested with the stock tires, 18-inch drag radials and 20-inch drag radials.

Manual transmission cars even come with launch control, allowing a driver to set a predetermined engine speed for launch based on track conditions. When the car launches, its Performance Traction Management (included on automatic transmissions cars, too) modulates torque to ensure maximum traction and minimum elapsed times.

Don’t think the ZL1 is a one-trick pony, either. It’s designed to be equally adept at running the quarter mile, lapping a road course or commuting to and from work, something that few cars can boast.

Of course this raises one big question: how fast will the 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 run the quarter mile in stock trim? We can’t wait to find out.
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Comments (4)
  1. A stock 65' Ford Shelby Cobra 427SC could easily do this, SO...have we really come all that far in nearly 50 years?

  2. @Jeff, a stock Shelby Cobra probably delivered around 8 or 9 mpg max, while the ZL1 delivers 19 mpg highway. Crash a Cobra at speed, and there were no airbags, high strength steel or crumple zones to save your life. Properly launching a Cobra at the drag strip took serious skill, since it had no launch control or traction control to limit wheel spin. A Cobra didn't have air conditioning or an audio system, either.

    So yeah, I'd say we've come pretty far.

  3. @Kurt, I took that the article was about Speed not a cross country trip (mpg). Back in the day the safety conscious drove Volvo's or took the bus. And the X/Y generation with their need for pamperin'(AC) & gizmo's (2many2 list) takes the passion out of it all.

    So yeah, I'd say were now sterilized.

  4. @Jeff, get used to it, because it doesn't get any better from here. Thanks to drivers who can't tell brake from gas, cars will soon have mandatory brake-throttle-overrides, and it's only a matter of time before stability controls systems can't be turned off.

    The sad truth is that cars like the 427 Cobra, or the Sunbeam Tiger, or the COPO Camaro don't have a place in our tested-for-your-protection world.

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