Chevy Camaro ZL1 Delivers 580 Horsepower image

  • 2012 Camaro ZL1 is the most powerful Camaro ever

The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1’s supercharged 6.2L engine is SAE-rated at 580 horsepower (432 kW) and 556 lb.-ft. of torque (754 Nm) – making it the most-powerful production Camaro ever.

“For sheer power,” says Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer, “the ZL1 delivers more horsepower than a Ferrari 458, more torque than an Aston Martin DR9 V12 and a better power-to-weight ratio [7.24 pounds per hp] than a Porsche 911 Carrera GTS.”

The extra power from the LSA used in the 2012 ZL1 comes from GM adding a high flow air filter system with dual inlet paths and improved airflow through the supercharger housing, all allowing the ZL1 LSA to breathe more easily.

That puts the much-anticipated muscle car, due for its official production-car unveiling at the 2011 Los Angeles Auto Show in November, slightly ahead of the announced 570 horsepower for the 2013 Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 that arrives next year.

Besides the supercharged V8 and the uprated transmission, the ZL1 also sports a series of chassis upgrades including a revised suspension with a Magnetic Ride Control system and a high-performance Brembo brake system with six-piston calipers up front and four at the back.

Chevy officials are also clearly proud of the ZL1’s “track-capable standard equipment,” including engine oil, transmission and differential coolers, as well as a high-performance fuel system with additional pickups for continuous high-g corners during low-fuel conditions.

All told, between tech and the power, the ZL1 beats the current top of the muscle car heap, the 550hp Ford Mustang Shelby GT500, in just about every category. But that might not be the case come next year.