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GM promises new Camaro most powerful yet

ZL1 features supercharged, 6.2L, 580 horsepower small-block engine


September 9, 2011
by Canadian Manufacturing Daily Staff

DETROIT—General Motors Corp. (GM) has touted its 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is its most powerful production Camaro yet.

The supercharged 6.2L engine is SAE-rated at 580 horsepower (432 kW) and 556 lb.-ft. of torque.

The all-aluminum LSA supercharged V-8 engine’s lower end uses six-bolt main bearing caps that clamp and lock in the forged steel crankshaft to the deep-skirt block. Its 1.9L Roots-style blower uses a four-lob rotor set and compact intercooler to deliver boosted air into the high-flow cylinder heads.

The LSA features a unique induction system, with a lower-restriction air filter, dual inlet paths, improving airflow through the supercharger housing.

Other changes include a higher-efficiency supercharger intercooler and electric power steering system, which consumes less engine power than hydraulic-steering systems.

The ZL1 will be offered in six-speed manual or automatic transmissions. The manual version produces 30 per cent more torque than the Camaro SS. The higher torque capacity comes from a strengthened output shaft, high-strength rear housing and additional roller bearing.

The automatic has been strengthened to handle the torque and horsepower produced by the 6.2L supercharged small block. It features a strengthened input gearset with two additional pinion gears, additional clutch plate and a strengthened output shaft and gearset.

The ZL1 will also employ the third-generation of Magnetic Ride Control (MRC), using valve-less damping and Magneto-Rheological (MR) fluid technology. MR fluid is a suspension of iron particles in a synthetic fluid. When the system is activated, the particles are magnetized and aligned into fibrous structures, changing flow resistance. By controlling the current to an electromagnetic coil inside the piston of the damper, the system varies the suspension firmness to match the road and driving conditions.

Unfortunately, Camaro lovers will have to wait until February 2012 to get their hands on the ZL1.