The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Adds Downforce To The Power

Illustration for article titled The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Adds Downforce To The Power

Chevy has already proven that the 2014 Camaro Z/28 is faster around the 'Ring than a Porsche 911 Carrera S, and four seconds faster than the Camaro ZL1. Downforce is one of the reasons behind that performance, and here's how it works.

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There's 505 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque from the 7.0-liter naturally aspirated LS7 engine. A close-ratio six-speed manual. Limited slip differential featuring a helical gear and a curb weight cut by 300 pounds compared to the ZL1 thanks to lighter wheels and thinner rear-window glass. The Z/28 is also capable of 1.08 g in cornering acceleration, while the Brembo carbon ceramic brakes can hit you with a 1.5 g punch during deceleration.

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But air is your enemy at high speeds, unless you use it wisely. The Z/28 produces 440 pounds more downforce at 150 mph, relative to the SS, which generates slight lift at that speed. A few reasons for that according to GM:

  • The front splitter can withstand 250 pounds of downforce at its tip and is matched with an aero closeout panel under the front of the engine compartment.
  • The SS' rear spoiler was modified with a "wickerbill" which adds approximately 28 counts of drag, improving rear lift performance by 70 counts.
  • The carbon fiber hood extractor is functional, but it's not only there for cooling, it also provides a path for air channeled through the grille to exit out the hood and over the car, reducing lift.
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Completing the package are rocker moldings, unique wheel house extensions, deflectors at the bottom-front corners of the front wheel flares and a belly pan.

Illustration for article titled The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Adds Downforce To The Power
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The fog lamps, air dam and the upper-base grille are replaced with covers for deleted fog lamps (to reduce weight), an air duct support bracket, an airflow-optimized upper grille and a modified fascia lower inlet that incorporates provisions for the brake cooling ducts.

It's a serious machine. We shall see what Ford throws at it in December.

Illustration for article titled The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 Adds Downforce To The Power
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More info in the press release.

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DISCUSSION

I get why we constantly use the Carerra and Carerra S as benchmarks against much more track/performance focused cars but isn't it a bit silly to compare the most track focused Camaro against a car designed mostly for dentists and lawyers?

The comparable weapon in Porsche's quiver is the 991 GT3 and that contest is over by the first corner.

Before the patriots rise up with their pitchforks and tar let me assure you that I am fully aware of the price difference between these cars and that you can buy a z/28 and a SS for the price of the porker. We haven't seen anything close to this level of bang-for-the-buck since the original R35 GT-R launch-controlled its way across the pacific (most likely voiding the warranty at the same time).

However, to quote Chief engineer Oppenheiser himself: "This is a track car, not a daily driver," says chief engineer Al Oppenheiser, beaming like a proud father. Thus, mega horsepower in the vein of the ZL1 took a backseat to honing the Camaro's Zeta chassis to its sharpest edge yet."

Also: "A Camaro With Porsche in Its Sights In creating the Z/28, a car that its creators regard as a rival to the 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 and 2014 Nissan GT-R, GM's engineers largely ignored street use and instead turned their attention to doing whatever was necessary to improve its road course lap times."

Call me old-fashioned but a track car weighing close to 4000 lbs (after going on a 300lb diet) is not really my ideal track car.