The latest in magnetic ride technology, the third generation employs twin-wire dual-coil dampers at all four corners, a strut configuration in front and coil-over-shock configuration in rear. The smaller dual-coil piston core of the Gen3 MR system reacts quickly to smaller road inputs yet still manages larger swells and bumps.
MR fluid is a suspension of iron particles in a synthetic hydrocarbon-based fluid. When the system is activated, the particles are magnetized and aligned into fibrous structures, changing flow resistance. By controlling the current to an electromagnetic coil inside the piston of the damper, the system adjusts stiffness in response to road conditions.
Damping levels are adjusted up to 1,000 times per second—about one adjustment per inch of vehicle travel at 60 mph—making the system exceptionally responsive and providing increased wheel control on even the roughest road or most challenging track. This ensures an even ride by dramatically reducing heave, pitch and roll. It also delivers excellent roll control during transient steering and evasive maneuvers.
Three MR calibrations have been developed for ZL1: Tour, Sport and Track. The Tour mode is used for normal city and highway driving and provides a smoother, more compliant ride. The Sport mode is used where road conditions or personal preferences demand more control. The setting provides more feel, more response to road conditions, and reduced vehicle roll and pitch levels. The Track mode is used in most demanding limit handling conditions, such as road course.
Performance Traction Management is an advanced system that integrates the Selective Ride, Launch Control, Traction Control and Active Handling systems. These systems are specifically tuned to work in harmony for racetrack performance and consistency. The goal is to enhance acceleration performance under all racetrack conditions.
Intended for drivers of all skill levels on a wet or damp track surface (not intended for heavy rain or standing water). Active handling is on and engine power is reduced based on conditions.
For use by less experienced drivers, or for more skilled drivers learning a new track. Dry conditions only. Active handling is on and engine power is slightly reduced.
For use by drivers already familiar with a particular track. Dry conditions only. Requires more driving skill than Mode 2. Active handling is off and available engine power is slightly reduced.
For use by skilled drivers who are already familiar with a particular track. Dry conditions only. Requires more driver experience than Modes 2 and 3. Active handling is off and available engine power is still limited to match Mode 3.
Requires more driving skill than in other modes. For use by experienced drivers who are familiar with a particular track. Dry conditions only. Active Handling is off and engine power is available for maximum cornering speed. Also for use with the ZL1 Launch Control feature on a prepared drag strip surface.
This isn't 24 hours at the track. It's 24 hours on the track. Everything that would go into a year's worth of racing condensed into 24 hours of cumulative durability track testing. ZL1 engineers start the clock when the car goes out hot, count the laps, and put the car on the hoist every time it comes in. It would be easy to test for a day. It's tougher to test for a year.
580-horsepower, 556 lb.-ft. of torque, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine features an intercooled supercharger system, Hyper-eutetic pistons with forged connecting rods, piston cooling oil squirters, standard oil cooler and deep sump oil pan.
The uniquely designed sixth-generation, intercooled 1.9-liter Eaton® supercharger gives ZL1 additional thrust and more force. The 4-lobed supercharger enables a broad range of power through the rpm band, giving the engine great low-end torque and excellent horsepower at the range where a supercharger generally loses its effectiveness.
The Goodyear® Eagle F1® SuperCar® Generation 2 (G:2) tires on the ZL1 have been developed and optimized specifically for ZL1 to yield outstanding handling while maintaining requisite street tire performance for wet handling, treadwear, noise, mass and rolling resistance.
Fully equipped with factory-integrated auxiliary fluid coolers including a liquid-to-liquid engine cooler. The innovative differential pumps overcooled transmission fluid to a heat exchanger inside the differential housing, removing excess heat from the differential fluid.
Significantly larger, extremely robust Brembo® brake system that's considered world-class in the high-performance, luxury vehicle niche. The unique, two-piece design provides excellent fade resistance and is engineered to stand up to repeated high-speed stops. Revised pedals allow for better foot placement for track use.
The significant feature of the front fascia is the large lower splitter, which reduces front lift significantly and forces air through the lower grille and out the hood extractor, which is larger than the opening on the SS model.
The unmistakable "Mohawk" functional air extractor is engineered from carbon-fiber composites to achieve the highest stiffness and strength possible with the lowest mass. The air extractor allows airflow to cool the engine, which increases efficiency, and reduces lift by allowing air to exit through the hood afterward.
Single-piece rockers with extensions are aero-designed and help keep the vehicle down to balance power.
The rear diffuser extends to the rear wheel openings and incorporates metal heat shields to insulate the fascia from the hot exhaust tips.
Cooling ducts route air from the front fascia to the Brembo® brake rotor and caliper.
ZL1 features a series of new applications and refinements to the chassis system, including the latest generation of Magnetic Ride technology. The bushings, mounts, dampers and tires have all been tuned for this vehicle's high-performance dynamics. New springs lower the vehicle to reduce its center of gravity for improved braking and handling. Both the front and rear stabilizer bars have been completely redesigned for a dramatic decrease in roll and precisely tuned for perfect handling balance.
The world's most demanding course. 12.9 miles (20.8 km), including 154 turns. Fast straights, off-camber turns, hairpin corners, elevation changes—to make a time like this on the 'Ring means the car does everything right.
The 580-horsepower, 556 lb.-ft. of torque, 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine can be mated to a 6-speed manual (MG9) or Hydra-Matic® 6L90 automatic transmission. This aluminum-block engine is based on the GM legendary small block V8 architecture and features an intercooled supercharger system and aluminum alloy cylinder heads. The standard TREMEC 6-speed manual transmission comes with a revised short-throw shifter for increased precision.
For ZL1, the goal was to create handling and control not just for street use, but to enhance acceleration performance under all racetrack conditions. The resulting Performance Traction Management is an advanced system that integrates the Magnetic Ride, Launch Control, Traction Control and Active Handling systems. The electromechanically powered steering system in ZL1 is specifically engineered for low inertia and friction, resulting in a more direct steering feel and excellent response.
One of the best moments is coming through 'FuchsrÖhre'. The ZL1 accelerates at an unbelievable rate down through the tunnel of trees, and into a sweeping lefthand corner flatout in fifth gear. You have to have an extremely well-mannered, confidence-inspiring car to take any corner at 160 mph without lifting off the throttle—and the ZL1 was just brilliant.
— Aaron Link, Camaro performance engineer