The first month of 2012 is coming to a close, bringing us that much closer to the day that the Camaro ZL1 hits dealerships nationwide. With 580 horsepower, a track-tuned suspension, and all sorts of electronic wizardry on board, Chevy aims to make the Camaro ZL1 a supercar killer at an affordable price. But putting aside all the numbers and technical mumbo-jumbo, the real question on everyone’s mind is; how does it perform in the real world?
Yahoo!’s autoblog Motoramic managed to get one of the first rides in a production Camaro ZL1, and naturally they headed straight to the drag strip to put up some numbers. Any guesses on how fast the ZL1 makes it down the quarter-mile?
Justin Hyde of Motoramic got a chance to sit behind the wheel of the Camaro ZL1, and we give him props for readily admitting that he has never been down the drag strip before. Even so, Hyde was able to take the six-speed manual-equipped Camaro ZL1 down the 1320 in 13.5 seconds at 107 MPH. That’s about the same time as an average Camaro SS.
On his second try, Hyde rows his way through the gears to a 13.1 at 113 MPH with the launch control on, which is better but still far from what the ZL1 is capable of in experienced hands. GM estimates a quarter mile time in the 12-second range, with a 0-60 MPH time under 4 seconds with a better driver (no offense, Justin…)
Based on the fact that a 113 MPH trap speed is usually associated with elapsed times deep in the 12’s, and the knowledge that 113 MPH is weirdly slow for a 580 horsepower car (our own 385 RWHP Project Y2k traps 111, for example), we’re gonna call a mulligan on this one until somebody who knows what they’re doing gets behind the wheel of a ZL1. It’s easy to be a keyboard warrior when it comes to a car you’ve never driven, but we would be very surprised if the ZL1 isn’t an bottom-twelves ride straight out of the box on drag radials.
But is that fast enough to keep up with the 2013 Shelby GT500 and its 650 horsepower? We’re sure to find out soon enough.