The surprise introduction of the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 was the big news from Chevy at the 2013 New York Auto Show. This track-focused Camaro joins the refreshed 2014 Camaro lineup. (See Consumer Guide’s review of the 2013 Chevrolet Camaro.)
The Z/28 uses Chevrolet’s LS7 engine, a 7.0-liter (427 cubic inch) V8 that will be good for at least 500 horsepower. It’s similar to the naturally aspirated engine used in the Corvette Z06. It is mated to a 6-speed manual transmission. The Z/28 comes with carbon-ceramic brakes, quick-ratio steering, and specific chassis tuning.
The Z/28’s exterior starts with the freshened 2014 Camaro’s new look. The front and rear fascias are redesigned, and the car also gets a new grille and fresh taillights. Specific Z/28 body parts include a full aerodynamic package that includes a front splitter, underbody panels that reduce lift, an aggressive rear spoiler, and a rear diffuser. There are also front and rear fender flares and extended rocker panels.
Chevrolet engineers put the basic Camaro on a diet as they transformed it into the Z/28. Some of their work is on display in the interior. Air conditioning is optional. The audio entertainment system has been eliminated, but a single speaker remains so that the car’s seat-belt warning chime can be heard. The rear seat has been reworked to save nine pounds; this involved eliminating the pass-through and using high-density foam. The interior sound deadener has been eliminated, and Recaro front seats have been included.
Other weight-saving tricks include a smaller battery and thinner rear window glass. According to Chevrolet, the Z/28 will weigh about 100 pounds less than a Camaro SS and will carry about 300 fewer pounds than the more-powerful supercharged ZL1.
The original 1967 Camaro Z/28 was created for SCCA Trans-Am racing, but the new car isn’t aimed at any specific race series. The new Z/28 should go on sale in the spring of 2014.