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ZL1: 640 horsepower of supercharged Camaro fury

One of the transmissions on offer is an automatic with a whopping 10 forward gears.

You'll probably want to keep the exhaust in its louder mode. That's a V-8 you don't want to muffle.


Harder, better, faster and stronger is more than a Daft Punk song. It's also the mantra behind the 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, which builds upon the sixth-generation Camaro's excellent chassis in an attempt to craft a road car that's equally at home on the track.

At the center of it all is a 6.2-liter V-8, sending 640 supercharged horsepower directly to the rear wheels. The engine can be mated to either a six-speed manual or a new 10-speed automatic that GM promises will be in eight models by the end of 2018. Clumsy-footed stick-shift aficionados will be happy to learn that the manuals will automatically rev-match on downshifts.

Since the ZL1 weighs nearly 200 pounds less than its predecessor while sporting 60 more horsepower, it has plenty of parts working to keep the power pointed towards the pavement. Standard equipment includes Chevy's Magnetic Ride suspension, an electronic limited-slip differential, launch control and several selectable driving modes. When you need to stop, massive Brembo brakes (six-piston front calipers atop 15.35-inch rotors) will bring you down in a hurry.

While the body might not look that different in pictures, it's been tweaked to improve airflow and thus performance. The lower grille is larger for increased airflow, the front fenders are wider and the new hood is built to pull as much hot air out as possible.

The interior is just as flashy as the exterior. Hop on in and you'll find standard Recaro sport seats, a few swaths of suede and a flat-bottomed steering wheel. Chevrolet's MyLink infotainment system, including Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, comes along for the ride, as well.

The ZL1 goes on sale in the US later this year, and there's no word yet on pricing.