Chevrolet is continuing the measured roll-out of its sixth-generation Camaro, which bowed as a 2016 model, with this year’s addition of the ZL1 1LE Track Package.
To a car that already boasts a 650-hp engine shared with the Corvette Z06, the Track Package adds 11 heat exchangers to control powertrain temperatures, upsized Brembo brakes, Recaro seats and Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires that Chevrolet says contribute to 1.02g of maximum cornering grip. There’s also a sueded flat-bottom steering wheel, trim-specific forged aluminum 20-inch wheels, magnetic ride control suspension and electronic limited slip differential.
And all of that is in addition to the standard ZL1 1LE’s spec, which includes carbon fibre aero bits, racing-derived suspension dampers and adjustable front end ride height, camber plates and rear stabilizer bar.
Call the Track Package and, indeed, the ZL1, a cherry on top of what is already an impressive lineup of sports cars. Like last year, the Camaro can be had with a turbocharged four-cylinder engine, a 3.6L V6 good for 334 hp or a 6.2L V8 that lends the SS trim its 455 hp. Transmission choices include a six-speed manual and eight- and 10-speed automatics.
All of that choice means the Camaro can be cross-shopped against its obvious rival, the Ford Mustang, but also a car like the Jaguar F-Type, which is likewise offered with a wide range of four-, six- and eight-cylinder engines. And if you want to get really crazy, consider the ZL1 1LE, especially with the new Track Package, a competitor for seriously high-end sports cars like the Porsche 911 and Nissan’s GT-R.
And that’s not just us saying that: Chevrolet says the new 10-speed automatic transmission exclusive to the ZL1 can pull off faster upshifts than Porsche’s PDK dual-clutch gearbox. What’s the German for “those are fighting words” again?
As that comparison indicates, muscle cars are not the instruments of brute force they used to be. Now, even sports car owners expect the same high-tech niceties they enjoy in the sedans and SUVs that also occupy driveway and garage space, so the Camaro can be had with dual-zone climate control, a nine-speaker stereo, an eight-inch configurable driver information display and a head-up display.
Standard safety kit includes rear park assist and a backup camera, rear cross traffic, blind spot and lane change alerts. There’s also a teen driver function standard in all trims that allows the setting of certain performance parameters associated with one of the car’s key fobs, a good idea for helping your kid keep the car shiny side up when they borrow it for date night.