2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Review
Edmunds expert review
Sure, the 650-horsepower 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will endlessly roast its rear tires if that's all you want. But it's also a surprisingly well-rounded high-performance car, with the precision handling, stout brakes and compliant ride that even a BMW M4 owner will be jealous of. Forget the old Camaro stereotypes.
Indeed, with its supercharged V8, upgraded suspension and brakes, giant, sticky tires and an available 10-speed transmission, the 2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1 is the ultimate Camaro (at least until the ZL1 1LE track package comes out next year) and represents the best of both worlds when it comes to this newest brand of high-horsepower American muscle.
Even though the 2017 Chevy Camaro ZL1 is in a relatively small class of high-horsepower, performance-oriented American muscle cars, it is almost in a class of its own. There's the 707-hp Dodge Challenger Hellcat, but it's more of a straight-line kind of car. Alternately, the Ford Shelby (Mustang) GT350 offers racetrack-dominating handling but just can't compete with the Chevy for power. And neither of those competitors is available as a drop-top.
The ZL1's flaws relate to the car it's based on. Like all Camaros, it's got a comically small backseat, terrible visibility and a trunk barely big enough for a pair of backpacks. But all of that is greatly overshadowed by the ZL1's lustful combination of bravado, capability and refinement.
What's new for 2017
Trim levels & features
Note that this review does not cover 2017 Camaro models other than the ZL1. Please see our 2017 Camaro Review for a broad overview of this year's Camaro lineup.
The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is a high-performance version of the standard Camaro. It's available in a single trim level as either a four-seat coupe or a convertible. On the performance front, the ZL1 gets a supercharged 6.2-liter V8 engine (650 hp, 650 lb-ft), a six-speed manual transmission (a 10-speed automatic is optional), Brembo brakes, the FE4 suspension with adaptive dampers, an electronic limited-slip differential (the convertible gets a mechanical limited-slip), 20-inch forged alloy wheels, upgraded performance tires and Recaro sport seats.
Additional standard equipment includes dual-mode performance exhaust, LED running lights, xenon headlights, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, warning systems for blind spots, rear cross-traffic and lane departure, keyless ignition and entry, heated and auto-dimming mirrors, power-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, dual-zone automatic climate control, adjustable drive modes, a simulated suede-wrapped heated steering wheel, driver-seat memory functions and a head-up display. Technology equipment includes Bluetooth, OnStar emergency communications, wireless smartphone charging, 4G LTE Wi-Fi connectivity, smartphone app integration (Android Auto and Apple CarPlay), an 8-inch touchscreen with Chevy's MyLink interface, and a nine-speaker Bose audio system.
Stand-alone optional extras include a sunroof (coupe), an integrated navigation system, premium floor mats and various carbon-fiber trim.
A track-focused 1LE package has been announced, but it won't arrive until the 2018 model year.
Noise & vibration3.0
Ease of use2.0
Getting in/getting out2.5
Child safety seat accommodation2.0
Audio & navigation3.0
Edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.