Camaro News Blog

The latest Camaro News and updates

Month – February 2011

APR Carbon Fiber Splitter for the Camaro

Carbon fiber was only the stuff of Formula One fifteen years ago. Today it can be had for your Camaro. Out of the many manufacturers that produce carbon fiber components for the automotive industry, there is one that consistently stands above the rest. APR has time after time proven to be the heavyweight contender when it comes to the industry of making solid quality, aerodynamically tested, great pieces. They have made pieces for world record setting race cars to show stopping trophy queens. APR doesn’t just arbitrarily come up with random cars to produce pieces for, they take a car that is designed for performance, and then they focus on how to make it better. In the case of the Camaro, they have started with the front diffuser.

The Camaro is a performance driven machine. It is a front engine, rear wheel drive car with a big engine under the hood. What APR has done is design a front splitter for the front end of the car. The idea behind a front splitter is to direct wind over the splitter which is attached to the front valance. What this does is direct air up into the front air dam, while simultaneously producing downforce on the front of the car-keeping the front tires planted better. With a firmer stance at the front of the car, and a better contact patch on the tires, the ability to perform better at higher speeds goes up. High-speed cornering, driving, and traction are all improved while the effect of lift is reduced. The effect is an aerodynamic win/win for the driver. So, after the contact patch is provided with a better grip, the tires and the suspension can perform better. In short, by altering one facet of our aerodynamics, we can change a host of things suspension and traction related. Basically, aerodynamics is the key to a good handling car, and to make a good handling car handle better. Better aerodynamics = better traction, better traction = higher speeds and better cornering, which in turn means faster lap times, which means better driving.

In all, a front splitter will not make you win on its own, but it will help you add some more traction up front and reduce front end lift. I would really only recommend this for the track, or shows, because if you live anywhere like I do, the number of potholes, and high curbs turning into the gas station could pose a threat to the splitters well being. However, on the track this guy will work like a charm. The guys at APR also took the time to write up a couple of great articles on their website about aerodynamics, and some cool pictures of the splitter installed on a number of different cars, from full race Porsche’s to show winning Volkswagens. However, to install a splitter, it must be noted that this is a job that does require some ingenuity and a little bit of fabrication. The stresses on a splitter can exceed 100 pounds of vertical force on the splitter’s surface. So, in order for the splitter to handle this kind of force, it needs to be mounted properly. Usually, a splitter is mounted to the bumper via the frame, and if necessary there are brackets that can be fitted to the front frame rails. If you plan on tracking the car, your regular track speed shop should have the knowledge to do this kind of installation. APR does provide a great article on how to mount the splitter if you do decide to tackle the job yourself.

Here’s a (funny) picture for an example of how much stress a splitter should be able to support.

This is a link to the article on Southern Car Parts website that has a great explanation of the aerodynamics for a splitter:

How A Camaro Splitter Works

PFADT Suspension Goodies for the Camaro

It’s a known fact that body roll is a curse for all things handling related. Never have I ever met a driver who was known to want more body roll, especially on the racetrack. Luckily the engineering gurus in Salt Lake City, Utah have noticed that the Camaro could use a little helping hand in the body roll department. They came up with a couple of the main staples for the Camaro’s big body roll diet, while running a few pretty spectacular tests highlighting some of the stock shortcomings of the new Camaro chassis. The first issue I’d like to address is the issue of understeer. Nobody in PFADT Camaro Strut Bracetheir right minds enjoys the feeling of understeer. For any of you unfamiliar with the terminology, understeer occurs during at-the-limit driving while cornering, and is best described as the point at which the suspension is at its’ limit and the car continues forward instead of turning in as the driver intends the vehicle to. Think of turning a car on ice. When the car is traveling forward and the driver suddenly wants to turn left and turns the steering wheel so the wheels are pointed left but the car continues sliding straight, this same thing happens during understeer when the suspension is too soft in the rear of the car. This is not an optimal scenario.

The gurus at Pfadt have engineered a couple of goodies that help put the Camaro’s beastly power to the ground and simultaneously curb the big guy’s appetite for body roll and under steer. They took the Camaro and completely redesigned sway bars that trump the factory bar package. Everything that comes from Pfadt is engineered completely from the ground up. What this means, is that when they see the need for improvement on a vehicle, they begin with the specific needs of that vehicle and then engineer their component based on that specific vehicle. PFADT Camaro Sway BarThis results in unmatched design functionality from these guys, and overall unsurpassed quality. The Camaro has a nasty habit of under steering which can be attributed to weak sway bars from the factory and a large, somewhat flexible chassis. In a nutshell, to reduce under steer, the roll stiffness in the rear of the vehicle needs to be increased. What Pfadt has done, is beefed up our slim factory components and put our tails where they should be. In the video they provide on their site, they demonstrate very clearly the difference between under steer and a weak sway bar, and over steer and a beefy sway bar. The difference is night and day.

Along with beefing up sway bars, they have an awesome (and simultaneously kind of alarming) video that they shot under the hood of the 2010 Camaro showcasing just how much structural flex there is in the chassis while cornering hard. The way this video was shot was genius, and really just what everybody wants to see when it comes to hard facts about suspension flex. The strut towers on any car are prone to a little bit of movement during hard cornering in any car simply due to the chassis being stressed under enormous loads, but most of the time you can’t actually SEE the chassis flex. What Pfadt did, was record the under hood movements with a scaled diagram placed on top of the tower itself. The rings on the diagram are spaced at 2mm. Watch closely as the end of the bar moves during corners, signaling the chassis flex. The solution to this problem is their monster strut tower brace, which is not only light, but incredibly strong and effective at tying the chassis together. The whole install is simple and easy, and with the added rigidity, it increases steering response and cornering abilities. A win on both accounts, not to mention, it looks oh-so-sweet under the hood. They offer the brace in either a black powder coat that matches the engine covers, or it can be shipped bare to be painted/powder coated to custom suit your needs.

Overall, the impression I get from Pfadt is an incredibly meticulous company obsessed with suspension… which is exactly what one wants when choosing the components that are responsible for the handling on their vehicle. So, check out the videos, and decide for yourself how much body roll and under steer you’re OK with.

Understeer/Oversteer Sway Bars:

Strut Tower Brace:


Big Brakes, High Performance Pads and Rotors, and the Camaro SS

Wilwood, Brembo, SSBC, StopTECH, and AP Racing are a few of the big names that immediately come to mind when the phrase “Big Brakes” gets thrown around. What’s lesser known is that a large number of people misinterpret information like rotor size, drill patterns, pad material, and the number of pistons in a caliper. I’m writing this article to try and put a cap on some, if not all of these issues for the reader out in the world wide web of information. The goal is to try and explain some of these terms and concepts and their meanings to the best of my abilities, and narrow a couple of brands (maybe even one) down that seem to stand above the rest, in terms of fitting the needs of the new Camaro. But in order to do that, we must first understand the basics of braking, and how it is best achieved. Believe it or not, it doesn’t start with how big your brakes are…

It starts where the rubber meets the road. Literally- your brakes don’t stop your car, your tires do. Your tires are your first point of contact in the war against momentum. Think about it this way- if you can lock up your stock brakes, then you don’t need bigger brakes, you need stickier tires. This is the point of contact on the road for everything- turning, acceleration, and braking. But before you go out and purchase a brand new set of Mickey Thompson drag radials to run on the street, let’s briefly discuss a few basics on the tires. I am not advocating one tire supplier over another in this article, but the Tire Rack articles I reference happen to be some of the best tech articles on the internet for informational purposes. I’m sure most of you are well aware that each tire has a size to it. But, for those of you that don’t 2010 Camaro Wilwood Brakeshere’s a basic rundown of things to look for when choosing a set of tires. Size is obviously most important and is measured by width, aspect ratio, and rim size. This is stamped on the side of each tire in the width/aspect ratio/speed rating and rim size format. So a tire that is 225/50/R16 (like the one shown in the diagram from Tire Rack) is 225mm wide, has a 50mm aspect ratio to the wheel, is a radial tire and fits a rim size of 16 inches (tire size article here). The next most important piece of information for our purposes will be focusing on tread wear rating. Basically, in short the tread wear rating achieved on a tire is a good indication of how sticky a tire is. Plainly speaking, the stickier the compound the better the tire grips the road but the faster it wears out. This translates to having to replace tires more often, and wet weather driving should be approached with extra caution. So without writing a full tech article on how to determine all of these factors, I have provided another link to Tire Rack’s tech articles outlining each of these points (tread wear/ UTQG test standards here). So, now that you’ve gone out and bought the stickiest tire you could legally run on the street, (***It bears repeating once again that when purchasing tires, a general rule of thumb is: the stickier the tire, the lesser the tread life, and generally speaking the worse the wet weather traction is going to be. ***) you want your braking to be improved further. Understandable.

Press on eager eyes, press on.

Suspension is the next area I want to touch on briefly as well. I’m not writing a tech article on how to modify your suspension today, but think of it this way: your tires are only able to remain connected to the road as much as your suspension keeps them planted on the road. In short, your contact patch (the area that your tires are actually touching the road-generally less than one square foot); can only be efficiently used if it is firmly planted on the road. So, on the new Camaro SS (or any new car for that matter) this shouldn’t be an issue initially, but aftermarket springs and shocks go a long way in terms of keeping your car planted to the road firmly and more effectively. Factory suspension is designed to be comfortable and usually not maximized for the track. So, if your plans are to track the car, I strongly encourage upgrading the suspension for better handling and traction. The more effectively your car is connected to the road, the more the contact patch is efficiently used. The more your contact patch is efficiently used, the better the traction. The better traction is maintained, the better the braking. See? Great braking starts with great tires and great suspension.

Rotors: Cross-drilled vs. Slotted vs. Blank

Now I’ll move on to perhaps the biggest debate in aftermarket braking: rotors. I repeatedly hear people debating whether or not cross drilled is better than slotted rotors, or whether slotted rotors are better than blank face rotors and vice versa for each of those, or a combination of the two. This is not an easy debate to settle, but before I anger the World Wide Web, we should examine the strengths and weaknesses of each. Cross drilled, although they may be the cooler looking of the bunch, are susceptible to cracking under heavy use (such as track time). By drilling holes in something (this may be obvious…) the structural rigidity of said object is reduced (it should also be noted that it substantially reduces un-sprung rotating mass, but this is negligible compared to the downfalls stated later). Brakes work on the principle of friction, and when friction happens- the byproduct is heat. Rotor temperatures can reach upwards of 900 degrees Fahrenheit when used heavily on the street and occasional track days, temperatures on the track have been recorded for an F1 brake rotor generating heat in excess of double that at 1800 degrees Fahrenheit. So as these components heat up, they also cool down, expanding and contracting putting these stresses on normal metal or alloy components is harsh enough; let alone drilling them full of holes. So, after repeated use in these conditions, the weakest area of the rotor tends to give way to the stress. This is evident in the manifestation of cracking around the weakest area of the rotor: the holes. A prime example can be seen in the picture below. This can result in catastrophic brake failure, which not only can be dangerous to you and others, but be extremely costly to repair. When the big names in racing technology like Brembo, Wilwood, etc. recommend against using cross drilled rotors on the track, their advice should be heeded. The only exception to this rule I can see is when the manufacturer uses ceramic or carbon/ceramic brakes, a markedly more expensive option seen on the feet of Ferrari, Porsche GT series cars, and other high end supercars.

After ruling out cross drilled rotors as a serious track or heavy use option (in my honest opinion, I question why they are even still made as an aftermarket option) the next rotor face design most heavily debated is slotted rotors. Slotted rotors serve multiple functions in their design: they help to expel hot gases as they are generated against the face of the rotor and the pad, while simultaneously sweeping the face of the pad free of dust, and any (in the uncanny event) debris that might have been sucked into the rotor/pad braking surface. Slotting rotors also helps the “bite” characteristic of the pad- much in the same way drilled rotors have the same effect. Slotted rotors have been around for quite some time now, and have proven themselves to be a viable option over blank faced rotors. However, the reasoning behind a slotted rotor is the same as a drilled rotor without the apparent disadvantages, and has proven so in various forms of racing.

The next option is a blank faced rotor; this is structurally the strongest of the three discussed options. But a blank face rotor lacks the advantage of slots to help expel heat and debris from the pad and rotor area, effectively running hotter than the slotted rotors. However, a vented, blank face rotor seems to be the rotor of choice for most race teams. By venting the rotor, with vanes inside the rotor itself, the air in the surrounding wheel and hub is effectively impelled through the surface of the rotor itself drastically dropping temperatures on the rotor face. Many manufacturers have developed an excellent system, as seen in the cut away picture from StopTECH-the impeller design pulls air through the surface of the already drilled rotor aiding in cooling. It is a fact that the heat generated by the braking process must be dissipated. The rotor (disc) handles roughly 80% of this job; therefore any advances in cooling this component are of great benefit. Vented rotors were initially introduced by Ford on the GT40 in 1966. With this we should also note that cooling is a large part of effective braking. Although not practical for most street cars, large ducts are often used in race car design to aid in cooling brakes; less heat means longer life, and less wear.

Pads

Brake pads are another serious point of contention for many enthusiasts and racers. The brake pad itself is a shaped conglomeration of friction material bound to a backing plate usually made of steel. Pad material can and has been made of various materials including asbestos (not commonly used anymore for obvious health reasons), ceramic, Kevlar, copper, aramid fibers, and other various organic and semi-metallic combinations. For the sake of argument I will not delve deeply into the “best” pad or pad materials, but there are a myriad of companies that produce brake pads, and each generally defines the differences between common light economy car use, and those designated for heavy truck, street performance or race only abuse. Some commonly noted companies include Hawk, EBC, Porterfield, Project Mu, Brembo, and so on. Different pads are geared towards different goals, some value less noise over less bite, others value less dust over less noise, and others still are designed for maximum performance regardless of noise or dust. The choice in pad is almost as unique as the driver, but more importantly the goals the driver has for the car and its performance and how the driver likes the brakes to perform at a certain point. Some racers prefer a harsh initial bite, making braking less initially modulated; while others prefer a moderate bite to help them gauge modulation in extreme braking situations. Again, pad choice is as unique as the car and varies uniquely from driver to driver,

Calipers

Ahh, those big shiny, colorful, name bearing beauties we all see behind the wheels of the cars on the greatest circuits in the world, clamping down on massive rotors slowing the car in impeccable fashion. These beauties are engineering feats in themselves, and are the final product of months of R&D, reshaping, resizing, structurally balancing, and finally matched to the car for perfect clamping force distribution. That being said let’s delve into some of the different setups that calipers come varied in. There are many different configurations for a caliper that go into play in order for it to function at its maximum efficiency. Things like number of pistons in the caliper, caliper material, piston material, the brake fluid being used, the size of the piston(s), the weight of the vehicle, the intended use of the vehicle, etc. The list goes on for quite a while longer, but for our purposes I will explain very simply how the caliper functions. In a nutshell, the process goes as follows: your car has a brake fluid reservoir usually behind a brake booster/master cylinder. This master cylinder is connected to the pedal which pivots on an axis- acting as a lever. When you place your foot on the pedal and apply pressure, this lever (pedal) amplifies the force of your foot and forces fluid in the brake master cylinder and through the closed system traveling throughout the vehicle to each corner at the same time, expanding and driving the piston out of the cylinder in the caliper against the pad to clamp down on the rotor. A simple cutaway of a caliper is below courtesy of howstuffworks.com and for a further in-depth explanation of how disc brakes work, please click on the picture to link to the article.

Now that we know how a caliper works, let’s examine how companies reach a conclusion on which size rotor, what size caliper, and what size piston within the caliper to use, and how many of them. This is an extremely complicated process that focuses on the corner weight of the vehicle, and starts and ends with the factory braking bias. The engineers of each braking system from the factory, for every car and manufacturer, had to put the system/car through an extremely stringent series of tests. In order for the car to pass, it had to be deemed road worthy after hundreds of hours of testing and reevaluating and ultimately the approval from the DOT and other governmentally mandated safety laws. In reference to braking bias, it is logically apparent that when you brake, weight shifts forward, and say you had just slapped some no name (or-as popular in the sport compact world, taking a higher performance model and installing its bigger brake setup on the base model car) bigger brakes, and would actually find that your stopping distances increased. What? Bigger brakes taking longer to stop the car? That’s right; by upsetting the braking bias you upset exactly how much pressure the brakes apply to each corner. By installing a bigger rotor, with a bigger set of pistons, it might be setting the braking bias too far forward resulting in the undue amount of pressure being put up front with not enough bias in the rear consequentially creating longer braking distances.

Fluid and Lines

Fluid is an entirely big subject in itself, and for our purposes I will refrain from making extreme recommendations, but if I was to over broaden the subject and make a **GENERAL** recommendation, I would say that it would be safe to do three things regardless of brake set up. Initially, I would recommend first and foremost following the exact specifications of any brake kit manufacturer that you end up purchasing. The amount of time these companies have spent researching which fluid works best for their kits, and the components that they use in each kit (rubber seals, and different metal components of the system react differently with different chemical make-ups of different fluids). Secondly, for a performance application, avoid DOT 5 fluids as they are silicone based and more compressible over glycol-ether based DOT 3, 4, and 5.1 fluids. Thirdly, I would recommend bleeding your brakes 2-3 times a year, more if you drive hard or especially if you track the car, or live in a humid climate. But honestly, this is not an easily approachable subject for the amount of depth we’re going into for this article. But on the subject of lines, I am a firm believer in stainless steel braided, Teflon coated lines. They do not expand in the same way that factory rubber lines do, creating a stronger pedal feel with better response. Dollar for dollar, it’s probably the cheapest and most noticeable performance upgrade you’ll spend on brakes.

Summary and Notes on Fitment

So, how do we determine which kit is better for our Camaro SS? There are a few big name companies with great kits on the market, namely Wilwood, Brembo, and StopTECH. These are all big names and can offer incredible quality, and superb fitment. They each are 6-piston front/4-piston rear kits with the options of either slotted, or drilled and slotted rotors. As discussed earlier, slotted is the better option when choosing high performance rotors. Each kit comes with a set of stainless lines, and requires a minimum wheel size of 18 inches. It should be taken into consideration also when purchasing a kit of this magnitude that these will be larger than the factory brakes, and wheel fitment is crucial. The minimum clearance for each of these brake manufacturers is 2mm. This is easily accounted for when you follow the brake manufacturer’s directions for test fitment. The manufacturer will provide a FREE template online to be printed out to scale and then applied to poster-board or cardboard and then cut out placing this inside the wheel and double checking measurements and fitment. Pretty straight forward and easy to do with the wheel obviously removed from the vehicle. I hope that this article has helped clear up some of the misconceptions on big brakes, and brakes in general.


Camaro ZL1 Rumors Continue and Camaro ZL1 Wallpaper Images

Just because we now know the truth of the Camaro ZL1 (Not the Z28!), doesn’t mean that rumors and speculation will not continue concerning the vehicle. Not every bit of information on it is released yet, and this new bit of rumor-mill concerns the price-tag that the Camaro ZL1 will carry upon release. Car and Driver claims that they’ve gained news that the vehicle will start with a base price of $47,000. The number seems about right (although, in my opinion, a little lower than what Chevrolet would price the vehicle, with its impressive LSA engine, enhanced performance aspects, and costly Magnetic Ride Control suspension). I had expected to see a price tag just north of $50k, but, if Chevrolet can manage to keep it lower, I’m all for that as well.

Nothing’s official until it comes directly from the horse’s mouth, of course, but this is an interesting bit of rumor to start with. I’m sure that, over the next few months, Chevrolet will slowly release more and more information concerning the vehicle to capitalize on all of the press that it’s currently receiving.

Now, while we drool over the ZL1’s potentially very affordable price tag (affordable, that is, for all of the car that comes with it!), and just drool in general over the vehicle’s performance aspects and incredible components, here’s a batch of images to help satiate you (just a little bit, I know), until you get your hands on one of these in person. They’re all full 3000×2100 pixels in size, and show the ZL1 in all of its incredible beauty.

The 2012 Camaro ZL1 – It’s official, and not a Z28

For months now people have been speculating as the truth behind the next Camaro iteration from Chevrolet. Spy photos emerged around the internet showing a vehicle with a 6.2L Supercharged engine, interesting body designs, and a gorgeous hood, and the Camaro-loving community began to develop an obsessive crush. The vehicle, which it became divulged was being called the ‘HP Edition’ during production by Chevrolet became, lovingly, known as the Z28 by the Camaro public. This week, however, Chevrolet put all of our speculation and drooling aside, and used the internationally renowned Chicago Auto Show as the location that they would announce the truth behind this monster vehicle.

First things first–the Z28 moniker is dead. No more speculation towards that should exist, because this Camaro monster is not a Z28, but is instead a ZL1–a name that it shares with its legendary 1969 brethren who took the automotive world by force. Beyond that, though, the spy-photos and consequent speculation got most everything else about this vehicle dead on. It will feature a 550HP and 550lb-torque Eaton supercharged 6.2L LSA engine. It will come with Magnetic Ride Control to guarantee an incredible ride. It will have a gorgeous, active intake hood, and interesting body kit pieces installed, and, most importantly, it will be an absolute road-eating monster, with the style and grace of the modern Camaro. What more could anybody ask for?

Well, if you said “plenty”, don’t worry, because Chevrolet’s providing “plenty” as well. The vehicle will also feature a Tremec 6060 6-Speed Manual transmission for incredible performance, and road worthy silky-smooth shifting. To slow this bad-boy down (since it will certainly no issue getting going), Chevrolet has turned to a set of large and powerful Brembo brakes (14.6″ 2-Piece 6-Piston up front, and 14.4″ 4-piston in the rear). The vehicle’s also equipped with an improved and strengthened driveshaft to handle the extra power, and the impressive bi-modal exhaust that Chevrolet also features on their Corvette line of vehicles (this function, which few publications have touched on, is incredibly exciting to me, as the bi-modal exhaust functions in an incredible way to offer two levels of exhaust notes that allow for both more comfortable street driving, and a wide-open aggressive note at higher RPMs). Keeping all of this on the road will be a set of Goodyear Supercar F2 tires on 20-inch, lightened aluminum wheels.

For more information on the new ZL1, this video of the official Chevrolet press conference concerning the ZL1 Camaro provides a lot of great information.

Here’s the official Chevrolet press release detailing the new, top-end performance technology of the vehicle as well, taken directly from the Chevrolet website. This press release goes in to great detail concerning the various new performance aspects, as well as the enhanced exterior body pieces, which offer both improved aggressive styling and an impressive amount of downforce and drag improvement to help the vehicle handle better.

ZL1: Chevrolet Camaro Enters The Realm Of Advanced Performance Technology

  • LSA 6.2L supercharged engine will produce an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW) and is matched with a six-speed manual transmission with a dual-disc clutch system
  • Packed with performance technologies, highlighted by Magnetic Ride Control, and advanced materials – including a vented carbon fiber hood insert. Extensive aerodynamic development designed for high-performance driving
  • Development ongoing, targeting launch at the beginning of 2012

CHICAGOThe 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 debuted today at the Chicago Auto Show. It is the highest-performing Camaro and the most technically advanced car ever developed in its class. The new ZL1 continues the momentum of Camaro, propelling it into an entirely new realm of leading-edge performance technology. It is planned to launch at the beginning of 2012.

Motivated by a supercharged V-8 engine producing an estimated 550 horsepower (410 kW), the Camaro ZL1 will be the fastest Camaro ever offered by Chevrolet. And more than just power, the ZL1 features technologically advanced and highly developed chassis and suspension systems that help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking power to complement its high engine output. Rigorous development of the ZL1 is ongoing, and official estimates of the car’s capabilities will be released later in 2011, as testing nears completion.

“Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design, and is a type of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously,” said Rick Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “It’s the most technically advanced Camaro ever, so we’ve chosen a name from the most elite and exclusive Camaro in history.”

The ZL1 name is derived from the all-aluminum racing engine of the same name, which was developed in the late 1960s and installed into a handful of regular-production 1969 Camaros. Only 69 were built with the engine, but they’ve achieved mythical status among enthusiasts, as they represented the pinnacle in Camaro performance – until now. The 2012 ZL1 model is designed to be a major leap forward for the Camaro, bringing a new level of performance capability to the segment.

The central goal of the car’s development was creating something new – a Camaro intended to reach optimal lap times on top road-racing circuits and excellent driving dynamics on the street. To achieve that goal, engineers evolved many of the existing Camaro’s systems, as well as incorporated new technologies such as electric power steering and Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system.

Camaro ZL1’s design communicates and supports its performance mission. Rather than using decorative elements, ZL1 is visually differentiated from other current Camaro models with elements vital to the car’s elevated capabilities.

“Everything about the ZL1’s design is directly related to its technology and serious performance, especially aerodynamics,” said Ed Welburn, vice president, Global Design. “Our designers’ goal was to execute that function-oriented design with beautifully sculpted forms, creating an imposing, powerful persona. Function becomes the aesthetic. The intent is a car that delivers on the attitude it projects.”

Major elements of the ZL1’s design are a new front fascia and hood with air extractors, designed in tandem to create aerodynamic downforce to aid handling. The car’s hood includes a signature center section constructed of carbon fiber and rendered in satin black finish. New rocker panels, wide tires, 20-inch wheels and exhaust tips portray the car’s handling and power.
The ZL1 badge appears on the grille, hood and the brake calipers, all key areas portraying the technology within.

Tech overview
Supporting the dynamic track and street performance of the ZL1 is the LSA 6.2L supercharged engine, which will produce an estimated 550 horsepower (410kW) and 550 lb.-ft. of torque (677 Nm), with specific features for the Camaro. Built on GM’s legendary all-aluminum, small-block V-8 architecture, the LSA features an intercooled supercharger system, premium heat-resistant aluminum-alloy cylinder heads and other details designed to ensure its exceptional performance is delivered with smoothness and refinement. Components and design elements that contribute to the LSA’s performance include:

  • Balanced, lightweight reciprocating assembly
  • High-strength hypereutectic pistons
  • Sixth-generation Eaton supercharger with four-lobe rotors
  • Piston oil squirters.

Because the Camaro ZL1 uses electric power steering, the engine does not incorporate a conventional hydraulic power steering pump on its accessory drive system. This enhances performance, because no engine power is used to turn a steering pump pulley.

Camaro ZL1 is a complete high-performance car, not just a Camaro with more power. Key technical highlights include:

Transmission – The high-performance Tremec TR-6060 six-speed manual is matched with the LSA engine. It is the “MG9” version of the transmission, with a higher torque capacity. It is used with a dual-mass flywheel and twin-disc clutch for easy operation and shift smoothness. A new, shorter-throw shifter actuates the gear changes.

Exhaust –
ZL1 is equipped with a dual-mode exhaust system, which alters the sound level and character in response to engine rpm. First used on the legendary Corvette, and specifically tuned for Camaro ZL1, the dual-mode exhaust will give the car a signature sound.

Drivetrain – It is revised with a stronger driveshaft and rear axle system, featuring a larger and stronger cast iron differential housing, stronger axles and heavy-duty limited-slip differential. This patent-pending system is designed to ensure that ZL1’s tremendous power is delivered smoothly to the ground.

Suspension – The suspension features completely revised tuning and the inclusion of segment-exclusive Magnetic Ride Control. ZL1’s Magnetic Ride system will include driver selectable modes (Tour and Sport) tailored for the preferred style of driving. It uses advanced magneto-rheological science to produce shock damping with the highest level of precision, enabling body control optimized for excellent performance in everyday driving as well as track situations. This technology appears on only a small roster of some of the world’s finest performance cars. Other chassis elements are redesigned to support the car’s high-performance limits. Rear stabilizer bars have drop links repositioned outboard of the control arms. This makes the bars more effective in controlling body roll in turns, with crisp response to driver commands.

Brakes and Steering –
Camaro ZL1 features an advanced track-capable braking system, developed in conjunction with experts from Brembo. The large 14.6-inch (370 mm) two-piece front rotors have six-piston calipers; the 14.4-inch (365 mm) rear rotors have four-piston calipers. ZL1 marks the entry of a new electric power steering system to Camaro. It is being developed to ensure precise control and feedback to the driver, with greater variability of effort for high-performance driving.

Exterior –
ZL1’s signature from the front is the redesigned fascia and aluminum hood with a raised, carbon fiber insert. The fascia includes a front splitter and new vertical fog lamps. The fog lamp area includes air intakes designed for brake cooling. The hood features front-mounted air extractors that direct air precisely over the car. Visually, this center section, in satin black carbon fiber, communicates the car’s high-performance intent as a visual contrast to the car’s exterior color. Functionally, the air extractor is a key in connecting airflow closely to the bodywork, creating aerodynamic downforce. The carbon fiber center section reduces the mass of the hood.  High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and fog lamps are standard. The rear of the car includes a diffuser and spoiler, also functional elements that enhance the car’s aerodynamics.

Wheels and Tires – New-design, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels, which are lighter than the 20-inch wheels used on the Camaro SS, are used with new Goodyear Supercar F2 ties developed specifically for the ZL1.

Interior – ZL1 is tailored for high-performance driving. The front seats feature microfiber suede inserts. Other enhancements include a redesigned steering wheel, alloy pedals, Head-Up Display with unique performance readouts and the “four-pack” auxiliary gauge system featuring a boost readout.

Production details
All of the Camaro exterior colors will be offered with the ZL1, but black is the only interior color. The unique exterior features are complemented with a black center section on the hood. Inside, the Camaro ZL1 has heated leather seats with microfiber inserts and ZL1 logos embroidered on the front headrests. Microfiber suede is repeated as an accent on the instrument panel, adding a richer look to the interior. The ZL1 will include the same content as the current 2SS package and include the following new or unique features:

  • Six-way power driver and passenger seats
  • Unique instrument panel and door panel inserts; and ZL1-logo sill plates
  • Steering wheel audio controls with Bluetooth capability
  • Wireless PDIM and USB-port
  • Boston Acoustics premium audio system
  • Rear parking assist
  • Rear camera system (displayed in the inside rearview mirror).

Engineers have already driven Camaro ZL1 prototypes extensively at demanding road courses in the U.S. and Germany, with final testing being completed through the balance of 2011.

About Chevrolet
Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles in more than 140 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality, expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro; dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark, Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers “gas-friendly to gas-free” solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric, gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range. Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com

# # #

PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS

Overview

Model: Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Body style / driveline: four-passenger, front-engine, rear-drive coupe
Construction: unitized body frame, one- and two-sided galvanized steel
EPA vehicle class: coupe
Manufacturing location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Key competitors: Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Engines

LSA 6.2L Supercharged V-8
Displacement (cu in / cc): 376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 4.06 / 103.25 x 3.62 / 92 mm
Block material: cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
Valvetrain: overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
Fuel delivery: 1.9L supercharger with intercooler; sequential fuel injection
Compression ratio: 9.1:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 550 / 410 @ 6100 (estimated)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 550 / 745 @ 3800 (estimated)
Recommended fuel: premium required
Maximum engine speed (rpm): 6200

Transmission

Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual
Gear ratios (:1):
First: 2.66
Second: 1.78
Third: 1.30
Fourth: 1.00
Fifth: 0.80
Sixth: 0.63
Reverse: 2.90
Final drive ratio: 3.73

Chassis / Suspension

Front: double-ball-joint, multi-link strut; direct-acting stabilizer bar; progressive-rate coil springs; with Magnetic Ride Control
Rear: 4.5-link independent; progressive-rate coil springs over shocks; stabilizer bar; with Magnetic Ride Control
Steering type: electric power steering with variable-ratio, variable-effort rack-and-pinion
Steering ratio: 16.1:1
Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock: 2.5
Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m): 37.7/11.5

Brakes

Type: four-wheel disc w/ ABS; ventilated two-piece front and one-piece rear rotors; six-piston fixed Brembo aluminum front and four-piston rear calipers
Rotor diameter, front (in / mm): 14.6 / 370
Rotor diameter, rear (in / mm): 14.4 / 365
Rotor thickness, front (in / mm): 1.26 / 32
Rotor thickness, rear (in / mm): 1.1 / 28

Wheels / Tires

Wheel size and type: 20 x 10-inch aluminum (front)
20 x 11-inch aluminum (rear)
Tires: P285/35ZR20 summer (front)
P305/35ZR20 summer (rear)

Dimensions
Exterior

Wheelbase (in / mm): 112.3 / 2852
Overall length (in / mm): 190.4 / 4836
Overall width (in / mm): 75.5 / 1918
Overall height (in / mm): 54.2 / 1376
Track, front (in / mm): 63.7 / 1618
Track, rear (in / mm): 63.7 / 1618
Curb weight (lb / kg): TBD
Weight balance (% front / rear): TBD
Coefficient of drag: TBD

Interior

Seating capacity (front / rear): 2 / 2
Headroom (in / mm): front: 37.4 / 950
rear: 35.3 / 897
Legroom (in / mm): front: 42.4 / 1077
rear: 29.9 / 757
Shoulder room (in / mm): front: 56.9 / 1444
rear: 42.5 / 1080

Capacities

Cargo volume (cu ft / L): 11.3 / 320
Fuel tank (gal / L): 19 / 71.9
Engine oil (qt / L): 8.9 / 8.5

Note:  Information shown is current at time of publication.

American Racing Headers for the 2010+ Camaro

The question, as with many in the car scene, has been answered a hundred times over: which is better- long tube headers or short tube headers? Before we go there, and anger thousands worldwide over the internet, we’ll also be discussing the hot topic questions of running catalytic converters versus not running catalytic converters, and why the header manufacturer X-pipe is needed when installing long tube headers. We’ve been eyeing the headers from Camaro American Racing Headers for a little while now, and decided it was time to do an informative investigation.

The first question that should be addressed is user specific, and really depends on where (and if) the car is going to be registered. There are a few important questions that should immediately come to mind when beginning down the thought road of whether or not to modify your exhaust. First and foremost, is it legal to change the factory equipped exhaust set up in the state/county/region/province the car will be registered in? There are some states and counties that have extremely strict emissions laws; the first coming to mind is California and most major populated areas. We’re not here to debate whether there are or are not ways around these laws, as anyone in the automotive world for any length of time has usually heard of or seen ways around them before. We’re here to discuss the legally correct and proper way to go about modifying the exhaust on a car. In most places, a catalytic converter (I will be using ‘cat’ for short, as it is much easier on the eyes and ears, and your authors hands) is required, sometimes two, sometimes more. The primary purpose of a catalytic converter is to help dampen sound, collect/filter/burn pollution causing discharges from your engine, and to generally help the earth keep us around a little while longer while we drive around in our carbon emitting cars. So, with that in mind, removing your cat(s), might net you some frowny points with Green Peace. Also, if you’re going to be racing the car, you can for most intent and purposes forget about cats. Catalytic converters are usually nonexistent in the racing community for the majority of all races, and are generally not required for 99% of all sanctioning bodies (stock classes being the exception along with some manufacturer specific events).

So now that we’ve touched on the catalytic converters and legality issues, we can move on to the real meat of the article: long tube vs short tube. The question really boils down to a few simple problems. Long tube headers- more often than not- will have clearance issues with either the ground, or other components in the engine bay. Whether or not you are willing to invest the time, energy, and money into the extra gains that could be netted by long tube headers is a decision to be left up to you. The general consensus from numerous sources around the scene and long time standing beliefs are that long tube headers are better and deliver more power. Conventional wisdom agrees, although there are misconceptions and as always exceptions. The idea behind long tube headers in basic terms is, generally speaking, the longer the primaries, the better the scavenging effect. For those of you who don’t know what the scavenging effect is, it is (simply put) the effect hot gases leaving a space (we’ll just say exhaust side of the engine) have when they enter a cooler space, and “propel” themselves out to the cooler spaces. So, the better the scavenging effect is on the headers, the better the manifold or headers can pull air through and effectively makes more power out of the engine. More air = more power. There is an excellent description of scavenging in reference to automotive exhaust manifolds on Wikipedia. So, with scavenging in effect, and longer –TUNED- headers being more efficient, it would seem that this would be the obvious choice to go with.

American Racing Camaro Headers

Here’s the catch.

One of the major drawbacks to long tube headers is a simple clearance issue. Long tube headers are notorious for caressing speed bumps, railroad tracks, etc with their long fingers. Between that and the install being notoriously a bigger PITA than short tube headers, it is a bigger decision than just power. If the car is going to be a street car, especially a daily driver, then it might be a good idea to stick with short tube headers, especially on something that’s going to see a lot of street time. The next debatable issue is going to be the install. To install long tube headers, it is not only a recommendation but usually required that you use an aftermarket x-pipe for the collector. By utilizing long tube headers, they are going to be longer than the factory exhaust, and will overlap where the factory cats used to reside. So, the header install went from being a simple header replacement to being a full on exhaust replacement (not that that’s necessarily a bad thing, but definitely of note to consider BEFORE the fact). Also, by using the aftermarket X-pipe, you will be losing the factory cats- also something to think about for the price tag and the legality issue. In some instances, like with the Camaro Headers or the Corvette American Racing Headers, just installing Headers, Long Tube or Short Tube removes your cats (as the OEM Cats are on the Exhaust Manifold, see below). Installing long tube headers also usually comes with the added space that was taken up by nothing- usually intentionally by the manufacturer to aid in cooling- and is now taken up by the primaries. This doesn’t sound like much of an issue, but actually by taking up once empty space with now fire containing primaries off of the engine, the overall under hood temps will usually increase due to their now being less space for cool air to flow through. This means other components in the vicinity will be experiencing hotter temperatures all the time now, causing premature wear or the possibility of melting as has been attested to by prematurely cracked/melted spark plug wires, higher temperatures under near and around the brake/slave cylinder, steering components among numerous other under hood components. There are solutions to these issues that can be applied, such as ceramic coating, installing heat shields, and can be done when necessary.

Short tube headers on the other hand can be installed without some of the drawbacks to the install process for a few horses less. This is completely an end user judgment call, but for legality issues- particularly if the car will be registered in an area where emissions requirements are strict, short tube headers are usually a safer bet to roll the dice with, so to speak, when concerning Johnny Law. Short tube headers generally don’t produce the highest numbers and broader curves (in both HP and torque) that long tube headers can produce. They are however, still an exceptional way to increase power over the restrictive factory cast manifold. However, it should be noted again that there are always exceptions. Also of note, usually short tube headers retain the factory exhaust do not require the headers Manufacturers X Pipe because they will connect right up where the stock H pipe or Pipe begins. In many applications you will still have the Cat issue as they would of come out with the OEM Headers and still require you to purchase an X Pipe with Cats.

However, while we’re here, and what I’m sure you’ve been dying for your author to get at is the American Racing Headers for the new Camaro. These guys take a lot of the issues that I’ve presented earlier and simplify them. Making clearance issues lesser, and taking things like having to ditch the factory exhaust with long tubes a thing of the past. American Racing Headers provides an X-pipe with a cat or no cat option for their long tubes, and as the ARH exhaust pieces finish their run, they taper down to 2 ½ inch ID to mate perfectly with the factory muffler system. They actually took the liberty of dyno testing the middle diameter primary option (1 7/8″), with the use of cats, and the end of the factory exhaust and produced a claimed 50 RWHP and 45 lb/ft over stock with a tune. Not too shabby. The system is produced with 3/8″ thick flanges, TIG welded and hand ported inlets. The quality that these guys build their systems with is excellent. Everything they make is made out of 304 Stainless Steel, and comes with grade 8 hardware and OEM style band clamps. The entire system comes in a 3″ standard, until the end as mentioned before. They have primaries available in sizes from 13/4″, 1 7/8″, and 2″. They also do custom jobs and race set ups where everything can be made much larger- up to 4″ for race applications. Overall the pieces that we’ve seen in the past from American Racing Headers have been of great quality and they have excellent customer service and a reputation for producing some of the best headers on the market today.

American Racing Camaro Headers

New Camaro 2LS Trim – 1 Extra MPG

In a move that’s almost certainly motivated by Ford’s release of 30MPG EPA numbers on their V6 Mustang, Chevrolet is adding a new trim package for their own V6 model Camaro. The new package, which will be known as the 2LS(derived from the already available LS trim), is an Automatic only trim that will not sacrifice HP numbers, but will offer an EPA rated 30MPG fuel efficiency. This 30MPG number is only 1 higher than the already impressive 29MPG efficiency rating for the Camaro, but presents a vehicle with equivalent fuel efficiency to the Mustang, and higher HP numbers, at the base V6 trim. For drivers who a V6 with a Manual transmission, they’ll now be purchasing what will be known as the 1LS trim. The 1LS will be identical in numbers to the current LS trim level.

Chevrolet has achieved this extra 1MPG by changing the gearing ratio on the automatic Camaro. The trim itself has a few other features, though, beyond the enhanced MPG rating. The 2LS trim comes with: rear spoiler, 2.92 rear axle ratio, and standard 18″ LS steel wheels, and is set to retail for an MSRP of $24,700. All in all, this seems like a pretty intelligent and business-minded move by Chevrolet to do what was necessary to not be behind of Ford in any statistical category possible.

Camaro V6 2LS

CPX Foilers for the Camaro and Challenger

Whether your new old-school ride needs a bit of a facelift or you intend on tracking the beast and want some improved aerodynamics for a better handling ride and more efficiently designed car; the guys over at CPX have just the thing. They’re called “Foilers” and attach at the base of the Camaro or Challenger front air dam and add not only a subtle amount of aggressiveness, but an added degree of aerodynamics. CPX also produces rear Camaro and Challenger Foilers that mount just in front of the rear wheels for more of an added throwback to the old-school look to aerodynamics, adding yet again to the cars appearance while reducing the drag coefficient. Yet, far from the old school mounting methods, CPX has opted for the space age technology of 3M using their automotive mounting tape. I know some of you are thinking, “Tape? Really? Somebody’s just saving a few bucks…” But I can personally attest to the strength of 3M’s automotive tape on the use of race and street applications. I used the same tape to mount numerous things to a car or motorcycle (spoilers to rear seat deletes on the motorcycle) and it has withstood full force 140 MPH winds. If it’s not separating at those speeds, I’m pretty sure the strength of this tape is plenty enough for any street or race application for our cars. They offer the foilers in color matched urethane, or an even sexier carbon fiber. Tom Henry Racing, or THR as they have become known, has used these on their 2011 THR SS Camaro’s. These guys are a group that spares no expense in building top notch show-and-go cars. Cars that look as good as they go, and with an attention to detail second to none, if it’s good enough for them I think that says a lot. So, keep these little wings of war in mind as you look at that stock front end and realize that just a little bit more would go a long way.

Chevy Camaro CPX FoilersDodge Challenger CPX Foilers

A Superbowl Preview that doesn’t talk about football…

So, I’ve already touched on the GM marketing strategy for the Superbowl in a previous post: all Chevrolet! Originally, the thought was that Chevrolet would not share or screen their new commercials before the big game (unlike the majority of their automotive marketing competitors who began sharing commercial clips weeks ago on video sharing websites), but that has all changed. This week, a few different Chevrolet Super Bowl commercials have leaked out on YouTube, and two of them are of particular interest to me (and, probably, to you also!). Why are they of particular interest, you ask? Because they feature the Chevrolet Camaro in all of its beauty and glory.

The Chevy marketing team has done great work with these commercials and has provided two different ones–one which focuses specifically on the car, and another which combines the vehicle’s hype with the hype for the new Transformers film coming out this year–for a tandem of hilarious marketing spots. The direction of the marketing team is obvious: humor. Each of these commercials is almost certain to elicit a good chuckle from you, especially as each presents a farcical approach to standard commercial formats. One highlights the standard ridiculousness of car commercials (and uses this highlight to its advantage to go above and beyond in the ridiculousness), and the other pokes fun at the standard used car lot commercial format. Each is funny, well-made, and most importantly features a Camaro. So, here they are, the day before the Gigantic All-American Super Fantastic Marketing Football Extravaganza Event itself, for you to watch and enjoy!

A Product Highlight of the PFADT Camaro Adjustable Coilovers

The Camaro’s handling, while nice, is one area of the vehicle that could use some improvement. There are a number of ways to manage this, but few of them are as tested and undeniable as the installation of aftermarket suspension components. When upgrading your suspension, you have a number of options too. Many people choose to go, simply, with lowering springs. Affordable and simple, lowering springs will drop the Camaro’s ride height, and, in doing such, give the vehicle a lower center of gravity and reduce body roll. Lowering springs don’t, however, do anything to improve the other aspects of the suspension which affect the handling aspects of your vehicle: suspension dampening, spring rates, suspension geometry, and others. What other options exist for suspension then? Coilovers have become the most popular suspension modification on the market these days–even more popular than their more affordable counterparts–for a number of reasons.

PFADT Camaro Coilovers

Coilovers come in two different major forms: True Coilovers (which are a standard coil-over-shock set-up) and Sleeve Coilovers (which are simply spring coils meant to go over stock shocks). Sleeve Coilovers are also more affordable than True Coilovers, but they don’t offer anywhere near the ride quality. Stock struts aren’t designed to work with different coils, and by switching out to a sleeve set-up, a driver often time ends up with a worse ride than they began with (although it will lower their vehicle and stiffen the suspension of it some). True Coilovers, however, like the coilovers that PFADT currently offers for the Fifth Generation (2010+) Chevy Camaro, offer the driver a large number of vehicle bonuses and improvements. These kits function as replacements for both the Springs and Struts, and because of this are valved and designed to work with one another in greater harmony. True coilovers are typically adjustable, allowing for a skilled mechanic to fine tune the vehicle’s suspension to an optimized ride ability and stiffness, and should offer a stiffer suspension, a lower center of gravity, and other vehicle bonuses without sacrificing ride quality.

So, then, if cost is not the primary concern (and, when deciding to upgrade your vehicle’s suspension, it should not be) you know what sort of suspension set-up you want to go with. From here, there are a lot of options to explore from a lot different companies, but I’m going to focus on the one set-up I know from personal experience: the PFADT Coilovers for the 2010 Camaro. I recently purchased these, and, upon arrival, was amazed just by taking them out of their packaging. These suspension set-ups are near seamless–PFADT shows an incredible efficiency in their product manufacturing, and this is obvious just by looking at them–and their weight was impressively light. Installing them saves a Camaro almost 30 lbs from stock (just shy of 15 in both the front and rear), and shows much unnecessary material is used on the stock set-up. The install’s not especially difficult with the right tools, but, not something I’d recommend any amateur or only modestly skilled mechanic try. The cost ( a few hundred dollars with a trusted local shop) is well worth the effort saved and the reward of the install.

Camaro Coilover Kit

Once installed and adjusted, the rewards that these coilovers offer the Camaro are immediately noticable. Visibly, the vehicle’s lowered and has been gifted the benefits of a lower center of gravity. This lowering also improves the vehicle’s downforce capabilities, and reduces its drag. Both of these aspects, which are achieved by diminishing the space between the bottom of the vehicle and the road where swirling wind can create vehicle slowing and performance diminishing drag, should provide immediate benefits. Upon pulling out of the parking lot, I felt a tighter steering from the vehicle, and an improved sense of grip while accelerating through a corner (admittedly, I was excited, and driving a little to quickly. I have to thank Escort for the 9500iX radar detector saving my ass twice on the ride home, heh. Always drive carefully and obey the law, kids!). The vehicle also went smoothly over the speed bumps in my neighborhood–something I had an incredible fear of with the lowered ride stance. The up and down motion was smooth and solid, and the ride quality itself (while obviously stiffer) felt as gentle during Sunday-driver neighborhood cruising as the stock did.

Well, the drive home wasn’t enough. I called up a friend, and, excitedly, we set off for a favorite patch of windy back-roads not too far from where we live. The highway trip was pleasant. The new coilovers handled poorly paved roads (courtesy of the DOT) at high speeds without issue, and when I decided to change lanes with a dangerously ferocious quickness, the car gripped and pulled me side to side without any hint of instability. Body roll seemed to be diminished, and responsiveness was clearly up. When we finally made it to our own little private 3-mile curvey mountain run, the fun really began. I took the first turn, a fairly wide and easy left curve with a soft outer shoulder, at speeds well above where I normally feel comfortable, and the improved suspension definitely helped with the vehicle’s handling. The car gripped the inner-line of the curve, and as I accelerated out of it through a straight up-hill, there was no lag in the vehicle’s directional correction. Later on the drive there’s a tight, track-like downhill chicane turn that has always scared me before. With the new sense of confidence that my suspension instilled in me, I was able to maneuver through this difficult bit of cornering with relative ease. Needless to say, these new suspensions were a lot of fun. A LOT!

Camaro True Coilover Kit

Well, I’ll save you the story of the rest of our ride and go instead in to a discussion of the more technical specifics that go in to the performance of the coilovers. PFADT claims, on their website, to have close to a year to the research and development of their kit, and upon experiencing its performance, I’m inclined to believe them. The kit itself utilizes an inverted strut, which came out of necessity from high bending loads under intense driving conditions experienced with the standard strut set-up. The inverted set-up provides a more even split between the parts of the strut which deal with the wheel movement and the vehicle weight, and ultimately, because of the increased space for motion, provide a more even vehicle suspension feel. This even distribution is enhanced through PFADT’s use a mono-tube design, which acts to “separate the shock fluid from the pressurized nitrogen” with a floating strut piston. In doing this, the weight handling-loads of the strut are more evenly distributed, and the system is able to more accurately respond to changing road conditions and vehicle movement.

The coilovers also offer incredible ride-height flexibility. Depending upon your personal preference, the complete True Coilover set-up for the Camaro allows for 1.5 inches of adjustability. This is incredibly important as the desires and requirements of various vehicles changes drastically from driver to drive. The flexibility offered allows for each individual to tune their suspension to best meet their needs–whether they be street performance, or high-end track performance. This is further improved through the utilization of click-dampening systems on the PFADT Camaro Coilovers. There are 20 degrees of ride dampening available that can be switched, relatively easily, through a single click-wheel located on each Coilover.

Camaro Suspension

When it comes to spring use, PFADT’s write-up concerning the spring rates on their coilovers is better than I could probably write, so I’ll share it with you:

Another example of the Pfadt Coilover flexibility is the ability to use common motorsport springs in both the front and rear. While many other coilovers on the market demand the use of custom wound springs, which limits you to a limited number of spring rates, our system has hundreds of spring rates available in 25 lb/in increments. We have developed a spring rate combination that will work for most people, but the flexibility is there for those that need it. Standard rates are 275 lbs/in Front and 500 lbs/in Rear.

Part of the reason we can use standard sized race springs is our innovation in mounting the rear coilover. The factory uses a rubber mount for the shock shaft and a separate spring seat which takes a specific spring. Many other companies use this same arrangement and it is the reason spring rates are limited. Our system inverts the rear shock and integrates the shock and spring mount. This allows the use of standard springs and provides a smooth and low friction mounting system.

In all, these new PFADT True Coilovers for the Camaro are an absolute thing of engineering beauty. These coilovers provide incredible ride customization for the driver, and offer both incredible ride comfort and uncompromising performance. I’m incredible happy with my new suspension set up, and, at just over $2000 in cost (very affordable for such a detailed set-up, especially when considering that set-ups with less customization and adjustability options typically retail for more than double what the PFADT set-up costs) I’m convinced that no Camaro driver could go wrong with these. If I had to give my new suspension a letter grade (and I’m trying to be as objective as possible), I’d feel very comfortable and justified giving this PFADT set-up an A+!

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