Chevrolet expanded the Camaro family on Wednesday at the New York auto show by rolling out a new version of the Z/28 performance car.
The 2014 Camaro Z/28 uses the dry-sump LS7 7.0-liter aluminum V8 from the Corvette Z06, rated at 500 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque. The engine gets unique induction and exhaust systems and a low-restriction K&N air filter. The standard dual-mode exhaust system has larger-diameter pipes and bypasses the mufflers during hard acceleration.
The only transmission available is a Tremec six-speed manual with a 3.91:1 final drive ratio. The package includes a liquid-to-liquid cooler for the transmission and rear differential. The limited-slip differential uses a helical gear set in place of traditional clutch packs, which Chevy says continuously adjusts torque bias when going through corners.
Stopping power comes from Brembo carbon-ceramic brake discs -- 15.5-inch units in front and 15.3-inch units in back -- and fixed monoblock calipers. Pirelli PZero Trofeo R tires, sized 305/30ZR19, are wrapped around 19-inch wheels. Electronic stability control is standard.
The Z/28 is street legal but designed for racetrack duty.
General Motors engineers worked to take weight out of the Camaro Z/28. Chevy says the Z/28 weighs 100 pounds less than the Camaro SS and 300 pounds less than the supercharged Camaro ZL1. That implies a curb weight of around 3,800 pounds (Chevrolet lists the curb weight of the 2013 Camaro SS with a manual transmission at 3,860 pounds and the 2013 Camaro ZL1 at 4,120 pounds).
In keeping with less-weight mantra there is no carpet in the trunk and no interior sound deadening material, a one-speaker sound system and thinner rear glass on the Z/28. The front seats use manual adjusters. The pass through was eliminated from the rear seat back and foam replaces some rigid structure in the rear seats. Fog lights and HID headlights are not available and the needed wiring was taken out of the harness. Airconditioning is optional.
"We looked at every subsystem for opportunities to save weight," Camaro chief engineer Al Oppenheiser said.
Chevrolet says the Camaro Z/28 can pull 1.05g in cornering. Spool-valve dampers enable tuning for high-speed and low speed bump and rebound and let engineers spec a stiffer damper for the car. Spring rates and suspension bushings are also stiffer.
The Z/28 aero package includes a heat extractor vent in the hood, large front splitter, extended rocker panels, large rear spoiler and diffuser.
Inside, Recaro seats are standard and include cutouts for racing belts.
Chevy says the 2014 Camaro Z/28 will be available in early 2014.
Writer: Dale Jewett and Greg Migliore
Related Article: First Look: Chevrolet Camaro Convertible