The Z28 is Back!

The Z28 is Back!

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If you were a car-obsessed teenager in the 1970s then you know all about the Camaro Z/28. The Z28 was the Camaro that had all the hot performance options and it was so fast that it was barely street legal.  Chevrolet built Z28s from 1967 until 2002 at which point the line had evolved from its muscle car roots to merely a branding exercise.

But the Z28 is back.  At the 2013 New York Auto Show, March 28th to April 7th, Chevrolet’s showed their new Z28 and it was a show stopper.  Although journalists had been talking about the vehicle for some time, few were prepared for the details.  First, the new Z/28 uses the dry-sump LS7 7.0-liter aluminum V8 from the Corvette Z06.  Rated at 500 hp and 470 lb-ft of torque, this powerful engine gets unique induction and exhaust systems and a low-restriction K&N air filter.  

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The standard dual-mode exhaust system has larger-diameter pipes which actually bypasses the mufflers during hard acceleration. The only transmission available is a Tremec six-speed manual with a 3.91:1 final drive ratio. No automatic transmissions allowed!  The limited-slip differential uses a helical gear set in place of traditional clutch packs, which Chevy says continuously adjusts torque bias when hard cornering.  Brake rotors are made of carbon/ceramic instead of heavier steel.  Plus it’s more aerodynamic than a standard Camaro with a suspension that is even stiffer than the ZL1.

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Plus its lighter.  The engineers at Chevrolet worked hard to trim down the Z/28. The result is that it weighs 100 pounds less than the 2014 Camaro SS and 300 pounds less than the supercharged Camaro ZL1 model. That implies a curb weight of around 3,800 pounds. In keeping with the less-weight mantra, there is no carpet in the trunk and no interior sound deadening material.  The sound system has just one-speaker and rear glass is actually thinner. The front seats use manual adjusters for all settings. Fog lights and HID headlights are not available and the needed wiring was taken out of the harness to save weight. Air conditioning is strictly optional.

Chevrolet says the new 2014 Camaro will get some 14 mpg in the city and 19 on the highway.  It will be available in late 2103 and Lynch Chevy (Kenosha, WI) says it will be priced in the $34,000 range.

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