Chevy is on a pretty big roll recently and it’s evidenced even more so with the addition of the new Camaro ZL1 to it’s lineup. This car is poised to be a fairly huge win for the the bow tie brutes.
Here’s the kicker though, with all the awesomeness that they’re producing, they’re bound to make something better than one of their halo cars. It’s the old Porsche adage with the 911 and Cayman. Why would they make a better drivers car (Cayman) that’s less expensive than their supposedly best offering (911). Porsche unwittingly did that with the Cayman Gt4 and now it seems history is repeating itself in Chevy’s ranks. In my most humble and in no way expert opinion, as I have not driven either of these cars yet, I believe Chevy has created a civil war.
Why do I think this? For a few reasons. Chiefly cost. The Z06 can be had for around $100,000 with the bits you really want on it (added aero, etc). The ZL1 is reported to be starting around $65,000. That’s a substantial gap. Speaking only about base prices, the Z06 starts for $80,395 according to Chevy’s website. This is, of course, before taxes and delivery. Here’s the problem. The Z06 has an engine that produces a whopping 650hp/650lb-ft. The ZL1 produces and equally staggering 640hp/640lb-ft. Only down 10 on each side of the dyno chart. That’s not very far off and as we’ve seen in the Cadillac CTS-V (which we have driven), that engine is an absolute monster. So they’re fairly similar in this respect. Camaro 2 – Corvette 0.
There’s another problem other than cost and power. The new Camaro seems to be a world beater as far as handling is concerned. Now that the ZL1sits on the superb Alpha Platform, one which GM should seriously consider putting every single vehicle on because it’s that damn good, it’s poised to punch WAY outside of it’s weight class. Primarily, cars like the 911. Which is exactly the Corvette’s competition.
The old Z28 this is not and performance numbers aren’t in for the skid pad yet, but with a reported 3.8s 0-60 time, the ZL1 might be something that should be considered when shopping for that high end U.S. sports car. Especially when it’s going to cost some $15,000 less than a Z06. Something that team Corvette probably wasn’t excited about hearing in their meetings.