General Motors already introduced the base sixth-generation Camaros and the ZL1s. But the one thing missing from its performance portfolio is a replacement for the Z/28. New spy shots suggest that a crazy new Camaro is testing at the Nürburgring in Germany that might just fit the bill.
If you look closely at these spy shots, it indicates that the huge Camaro-tester with that enormous rear wing sticking out is a Trans Am Camaro Z/28, which Mark Reuss (GM’s product chief) hinted about late last year.
This one harkens back to the 1960s, when the first Trans Am was actually a special version of the Z/28. It carried a unique 302 cubic inch, 5.0 liter, small-block V8. The car was specifically created to homologate the new Camaro for SCCA’s Trans-Am road-racing series. Back in 1967, GM built just 602 examples of the car.
As Reuss told Autonews in 2015, Chevrolet was considering a relaunch of the Trans Am Camaro Z/28. “We’re looking at the original formulas of the Trans Am homologation of the Z/28,” he said. “Why was the 302 engine so special? So, the formula may change a little, but it still needs to be a wicked fast track car more capable maybe than the comfort- and driver-oriented models.”
Do the spy shots line up with these comments? Based on the pictures out of Germany, they do. The heavily camo’d prototype looks like a souped up 2017 Camaro ZL1, but with a very wild body kit that includes front bumper corner canards and a deeper lip spoiler. Obviously it also shows a much bigger rear wing plus different wheels that are hiding larger brake discs. As you can see the wheels are uncovered, displaying the open-spoke five-star design.
This badass car will have some weight savings measures. The 2016 Camaro is already lighter -the fifth generation Camaro Z/28 was 100 pounds (45 kilograms) lighter than the naturally aspirated Camaro SS and 300 pounds (136 kilograms) lighter than the Camaro ZL1.
The most significant question is what will be going on under the hood. Of course the engine will be a V8, but other than that, we’re all just guessing. Chevy’s last Z/28 featured a naturally-aspirated 7.0-liter LS7 V8 rated for 505hp 481 lb-ft of torque (652 Nm). This helped it put down an even faster Nürburgring lap than the Lexus LFA and Lamborghini Murcielago, clocking in at 7:37.47. For now, we expect that Chevy will keep the Z/28 naturally-aspirated, in order to differentiate it further from the new ZL1. The ZL1 actually borrows the Corvette Z06’s 640hp (477 kW) and 640 lb-ft of torque (868 Nm) supercharged 6.2-liter V8 LT4.