What Is It?
2014 Chevrolet Camaro
What's Special About It?
A midlife refresh for the Chevrolet Camaro wasn't exactly a secret, but Chevy jolted the New York auto show by unveiling a new-age revival of the Z/28 trim, now employed for the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro to signify the model in the Camaro lineup "absolutely built for the track," said Mark Reuss, president of General Motors North America.
The 2014 Camaro Z/28 — yep, there's a slash there between the letter and the numbers, just like the original — definitely seems like Chevy's most serious attempt yet to create a track-monster version of the fifth-generation Camaro, given the extremes engineers took to attack the Camaro's greatest track deficit, excess weight. Camaro engineers told Edmunds the new-age Z/28 is something like 100 pounds lighter than the Camaro SS on which it's based and a strapping 300 pounds trimmer than the current boss of the Camaro model line, the supercharged ZL1. Look for a production weight of about 3,800 pounds.
The Porsche-style "less-costs-more" paradigm also will be in play, as stripping out the Z/28's radio and air-conditioning (don't panic, they're optional) and adding the big-dollar weight saver of standard carbon-ceramic brake rotors means the Z/28, when it goes on sale next spring as a midyear 2014 model, will be the most expensive Camaro you can buy. We'd guess the Z/28 will comfortably exceed the current ZL1's $55,000 base price. Chevy said the Z/28 will be a limited-edition model but wouldn't indicate whether there's a specific number planned for production.
Chevy engineers say the Z/28 engine is the ripping LS7, the edgy 427-cubic-inch small-block trim currently used in the Corvette Z06. Engineers won't get pinned down on exact power output, but GM is estimating 500 horsepower and 470 pound-feet of torque. The dry-sump 7.0-liter LS7 in the 2013 Corvette makes 505 hp and 470 lb-ft. The Tremec-made six-speed manual from other Camaro and Corvette models will be the only available transmission.
Wheels are 19-inch alloys with Pirelli Trofeo 305s at each corner. The company said the car has generated as much as 1.05g of cornering grip in early testing and 1.5g of braking force with the standard carbon-ceramic rotors. Engineers say an inordinate amount of work was focused on reducing unsprung weight (the ceramic rotors being a big player), and all the suspension work also results in a noticeably reduced ride height, although Chevy wouldn't be specific about ground clearance or center of gravity reductions.
There's plenty of bodywork differentiation for the Z/28, with a functional aero package highlighted by prominent fender flares, rocker panel extensions and a seriously functional-looking but fairly discreet rear spoiler. The rocker panel extensions and front and rear spoilers were shown on the New York auto show display car blacked out from the primary body panel color, a matte white that surely won't be a production color.
Meanwhile, all 2014 Chevrolet Camaros get a revision of the front and rear fascias. The front fascia has a wider lower opening and a narrower upper opening that revises the appearance of the LED headlamps on the Camaro RS package, Chevrolet said.
The Camaro SS also gets a new functional hood vent (same for the Z/28). At the back, the 2014 Camaro refresh incorporates a redone deck lid and other detail changes. Interior changes for the 2014 Camaro line are focused almost exclusively on the Z/28, which gets a new matte trim finish, the flat-bottomed steering wheel from the ZL1 and special Recaro seats with microsuede inserts. The seats also will be offered for the 2014 Camaro SS and ZL1 coupes.
What Edmunds says:
The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 lightens up and powers up to revive the original badge's track cred.
Base Price: TBA
Engine: 7.0-liter OHV V8
Gearbox: Six-speed manual
Power: 500 horsepower (est.), 470 pound-feet of torque (est.)
Fuel Mileage: TBA
Weight: 3,800 pounds (est.)