The 2015 Camaro Z/28 has a 7.0-liter LS7 engine rated at an SAE-certified 505 hp and 481 lb-ft of torque. The engine, familiar to those who are familiar with Corvettes, features a forged-steel crankshaft, titanium connecting rods, high-flow cylinder heads with titanium intake valves.
It is mated to a TREMEC TR6060 six-speed manual transmission that is accessed via a 5.1-ratio short-throw shifter.
And because when you go really, really fast (e.g., the Z/28 ran a 7:37.47 lap on the Nürburgring road course), you’ve also got to slow down and even stop (sometimes) with considerable alacrity, so the car is fitted with Brembo carbon ceramic brakes capable of 1.5 g in deceleration.
What’s more, the Z/28 is comparatively light. Want to adjust the front seats? You do it manually because the motors are mass. The rear seat pass through? Gone. And the rear seat is redesigned with weight-saving high-density foam. The engine sounds are readily heard in the cabin, because sound-deadening was eliminated, as was the carpet in the trunk. What’s more, while companies often boast about their audio speakers, that’s not the case for the Z/28 because there is a single speaker, and that’s there only because the clicking sound for the turn indicators, a required sound, comes through the speakers. The battery is lighter and the rear window glass is thinner (by 0.2 mm), but every little bit helps. HID headlamps and fog lights are nice—but heavy. Gone. Summer in many parts of the country are hot. Drive the Z/28 as it is intended to be, and prepare to be hot, because there is no standard air conditioning. That is the option (along with a few more speakers).
The result of all of this elimination is a 7.6:1 power-to-weight ratio. Get the picture as to how this vehicle is meant to be driven on a track—hard?
Mark Stielow, Program Engineer Manager for the Chevrolet Camaro Z/28. He also worked on the Camaro ZL1. He pretty much lives, breathes and, of course, drives Camaro. (Yes, he lives in Michigan. Yes, he had a Z/28 as his daily driver this past brutal winter. How? He put Blizzaks on in place of the Pirelli PZero Trofeo R motorsport-compound tires.)
He even wrote a book about Camaros
Stielow talks about the Z/28 and how it was developed with John McElroy of Autoline, Michelle Krebs of AutoTrader and me on this edition of “Autoline After Hours.”
In addition to which, McElroy, Krebs and I talk about the new BMW M cars, the potential shift to aluminum for the auto industry, flying cars (really) and more.
Check it all out here: