The Chevrolet Camaro is an iconic pony also known as a mid-size muscle car. It is an American automobile manufactured by Chevrolet General Motors. The famous car first went on the market on September 29th, 1966. The 1967 model was designed for competing against the Ford Mustang of the same year. In 2012, Chevrolet finally unveiled its Camaro ZL1 for the first time. This reveal was later followed by another coup de grâce, the return of the Camaro Z/28. Although this robust machine had an honest success among fans of the series, it also had its share of doubts leading to its release. Let’s find out why!
What were the rumors behind the Camaro Z28?
While the Camaro ZL1 was sporting one of the most powerful engines that the Camaro has ever had, the Z28 was rumored to be less powerful. The latter was using similar parts and gears from the ZL1 but wasn’t as hardcore of a model as the fans were expecting it to be. Effectively, it was nowhere near the performance depicted by the ZL1 and pretty much a big question mark for the performance junkies.
Back when the 2017 Chevy Camaro Z28 was still under development, the car had been shown a couple of times by then, notably at the Nürburgring in Germany where one of the test vehicles was unfortunately crashed. Some say that this incident might have played a significant role in the delays of the Z28’s release.
Overview of the specs and costs:
This was a magnificent return of the Legendary Z28, but forget the 80s model because this baby was entirely and definitely inspired by the original Z28 from the 60s. The powerful track car was more than 300 pounds lighter than the ZL1. The Z/28 model featured a high-performance 7.0 L LS7 V8 engine that produced 507 HP (6100 RPM), the same engine used in the C6 Z06 Corvette.
The new Z/28 also had a bonus feature, introducing for the first time ever in the series an air-con option. Moreover, this model only had one speaker for the safety belt reminder and a stereo system as an option. The rear quarter glass had been thinned, rear seats were thinned as well, and most of the sound deadening had been removed to scale back the load of the vehicle. When the Z28 first hit the market in 2013, its price was over $75,000 which was considered a bit high when compared to the competition’s newest models of the same year.
Comparison to its competitors:
The key competitors of the Z28 were the Ford Mustang, Dodge Challenger, and BMW 4 series. However, many debates that the Chevy Camaro Z28 was going to be better than Dodge’s and Ford’s mainline cars. Despite its pretty high price tag, it had almost everything it needed to beat the competitors.
If we compare it to the ZL1, the Z28 was featuring whole new racing shocks and springs systems with electromagnetic dampers and much stronger anti-roll bars. Moreover, the brakes were remarkably larger and were made of carbon-ceramic with Brembo discs. For the wheels, the Z28 sat on similar wheels to the ZL1 but with stickier tires.
What are the highlights of this Camaro revival?
Since Chevrolet had good experience building racing cars, it was no surprise that they were going all-in with this model’s look. Indeed, the Camaro Z28 featured a lower front apron and a huge front lip. In order to accommodate the wide wheels, the fenders had received a widening kit with nice over-fenders.
And what about the back of the car you may ask? Well, a big wing had been added to the trunk-lid. Not only it was cool looking, but it also helped with adding some pressure while driving this pony at high speeds. Finally, the inside was as simple as it gets! There were 4 sport-bucket seats available this time around, which the carmaker promised that they were easily removable if you wanted to.
Our final thoughts on the Chevy Z28
Before making a conclusion, note that a manual gearbox was the only option for the Camaro Z/28 at the time. It is true that a majority of fans prefer a manual transmission, but we think that Chevrolet should have at least integrated an automatic option with manual control access. We think that it might have helped GM attract more buyers and expand its market.
Even though this new generation Z28 sported a larger than usual engine and some pretty wide wheels, it was still able to rev-up a competitive 6000+ RPM. This model was a perfect mix for sporty driving as well as casual driving. It was without a doubt a fair success, but a short-lived one since the GM teams shifted their focus towards the ZL1 models and their Corvette for performance fans. That said, in 2019 there were rumors of a new 6th gen Z28 Camaro in the making, but sadly, any plans for that project had been canceled during the same year.