PepsiMax and Jeff Gordon Pulled One of the Best Pranks We've Seen In a Long Time with a Camaro
Usually, guerilla viral marketing can be a little ridiculous, but every now and then there's a video that really works: this is one of them. On contract as a spokesman for PepsiMax, Jeff Gordon decided to put his driving skills to the test and give one unsuspecting car salesman both the scare and the ride of his life.
Utilizing hidden cameras, both inside the vehicle and around the closed course that Pepsi put together for Gordon, he went undercover in prosthetic make-up as middle-aged and nerdy "Mike" to test drive a Camaro. Gordon then took the Camaro, and the salesman who greeted him, for a fantastic ride.
Gordon definitely showcased his skillset as a driver, which he has proven time and time again in the NASCAR circuit, by taking the 2009 Camaro through hairpin turns, around tight corners, and in to some fantastic drifts and burnouts. Steve, the car salesman in the video, has a response befitting such a terrifying ride. Pepsi bleeped out a number of curse words, and as the test drive ends Steve is threatening to call the cops. Once he realizes who the driver is, and what the prank itself entails, Steve changes his tone and finishes the video 0n a light note.
The video has gone viral, and has been some great unexpected publicity for the Camaro with over 7 and a half million views in just two days time. If you haven't seen it yet, you should definitely check it out. This is one of those commercials that will be remembered for years to come.
MotorTrend Pits the Camaro 1LE and the Mustang GT Track Pack Head to Head Against One Another
I love the writing that I do, but my job certainly does not compare to that of the journalists over at MotorTrend and their peers. When they want to do a test of a vehicle they simply call the company and have a monster of a machine at their disposal, and in this comparison instance they got two of the greatest pony cars being produced today. The Camaro 1LE and the Mustang GT Track Pack represent the finest racing versions of their respective vehicles--that is, those existing in the middle trim, since the GT500 and the ZL1 test has already been exhausted--available today. The two are an almost perfect match to one another for competition, and it makes sense that they would be tested against each other to see what the results were. Those results, however, are different than what one might expect.
Watch the fantastic video, and you'll see the equivalency of the two cars in a straight line. Their quarter mile times are almost exact, and the differences in weight are offset by torque and HP between the two vehicles. It's on the track--the setting for which these two muscle car packages were designed--that a difference can be seen however. I won't spoil the results, but, when the testing is done by the likes of legendary racecar driver Randy Pobst on a course like the much revered Streets of Willow, it's hard to argue with them.
It's obvious that the Camaro benefited greatly from the Independent Rear Suspension and improved track wheels and tires, but how greatly is almost absurd. "Its not just a victory for Chevy, Ford got their ass kicked" sums it up nicely, and the information about proximity to the GT-R drives it home even further. This is a powerful win for the Camaro, and another feather for their hat. I can't wait to see what battles the next generation of products from these two lines brings!
Camaro 1LE and ZL1 Dominate their Competition at the 7th Annual Car and Driver Lightning Lap
For the full story, I'll recommend right now that you go out and pick up this month's edition of Car and Driver. Their annual Lightning Lap is one of the most fun and exciting things in the world of automotive journalism. Each year Car and Driver make their way to the renowned Virginia International Raceway (VIR) where they run the 4.1 mile Grand Course VIR configuration. It's a great course and it results in some fantastic and telling results.
Speaking of those results, the ones posted by the Camaro ZL1 and 1LE at VIR are absolutely amazing. In fact, each one of these two vehicle handily beat its direct competitor, with the 1LE besting the Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca by more than a second, and the ZL1 absolutely decimating the Ford Mustang GT500 by 3.1 seconds. In fact, the 1LE was only a second behind the GT500 itself. So, while the Mustangs may have the Camaros beat in HP, it's clear that the Camaro is the vastly superior track car.
Here are some of this year's other track times, with the best in each category posted at the top.
- Cop Cars
Dodge Charger Pursuit - 3.17.8
Chevy Caprice PPV - 3.23.0
Hyundai Genesis 3.8 R - 3.13.9
Subaru BRZ - 3.18.6
Ford Focus St - 3.21.4
Fiat 500 Abarth - 3.27.3
Chevy Camaro ZL1 - 2.57.5
Chevy Camaro SS 1LE - 3.01.5
BMW 335i sedan - 3.13.2
Merc C63 BlackSeries - 2.58.0
Porsche 911 S - 2.58.9
Ford Shelby GT500 - 3.00.6
Porsche Boxster S - 3.04.2
Audi RS5 - 3.04.3
BMW M6 - 3.04.7
BMW M5 - 3.05.2
Audi S6 - 3.09.8
Ferrari 458 - 2.49.9
Jaguar XKR-S - 3.02.1
Lexus LFA - 2.55.1
If you're a Camaro owner who purchased their vehicle before 2013 and didn't have the option for the new Magnetic Ride Control suspension and are feeling very jealous, don't fret because there's an affordable solution. While not featuring identical technology to the MRC system featured on every ZL1 and those SS drivers willing to fork out the extra cash, these adjustable coilovers are the next best thing, without a doubt.
While the MRC Shocks feature some incredible technology, these Camaro PFADT coilovers are not exactly left wanting. In fact, many SCCA ZL1s have even switched from the MRC to the PFADT Inverted Adjustable Coilover because of the degree of customization these coilovers offer beyond the stock system to meet various track and road demands. Manufactured by the award winning race suspension company PFADT out of their Salt Lake City production installation, these coilovers provide incredible levels of customization, ride and stiffness control, and performance. Each one features an incredibly brilliant and unique PFADT design, and the performance benefits they offer are incredible.
They achieve a lot of these performance gains through their utilization of an inverted shock design. A Standard strut places all of the strut weight on the outboard suspension side. While this is simple and affordable in design, it also has some unfavorable results. By placing the weight on the outboard side the result is a strut that reacts more slowly to ride demands as it must handle both the vehicle's weight and the strut's weight, as well as react with a shortened space for the strut fluid to compress. The Inverted Strut design utilized by PFADT places the weight on the sprung side of the chassis instead of the outboard side. This result in more even weight distribution across the suspension and an increased reaction space. The extra space for the oil and nitrogen strut compound provides improved reaction, and the weight placement on the sprung side allows for a strut that can more readily and actively react to changes in road conditions.
Also improving vehicle handling is the adjustable ride height parameters of the PFADT Camaro Coilover kit. Ride height can be tuned to be anywhere between stock and a 2" drop with the PFADT coilovers, such that a trained driver can adjust his vehicle to best match specific course demands. The lower the ride height the greater the vehicle's aerodynamic capabilities, but some courses have bumps, hills, and drops that require a higher vehicle ride height. The freedom to adjust these provides the PFADT equipped Camaro with an incredible advantage over its competition.
Customization of your suspension system goes way beyond ride height with the PFADT coilovers, also. PFADT's Adjustable Coilover kit also features 24 point and 48 point front and rear damper adjustments. This wide range of options ensures that the driver can find a point that meets their needs, whether they be softer dampers for street comfort or stiffer for track performance. The incredible number of adjustment points also means that various course demands can all be met with incredible ease. Adjusting the Camaro PFADT Coilovers, while being slightly more than a finger twist, is incredibly easy, and lets a driver get a more complete feel for their car and make adjustments through multiple test and competitive runs. Feeling like the suspension is too soft or too stiff for specific course sections and like you're losing valuable time on a lap as result? Pull over between laps and make the adjustment as is needed.
This adjustment is best felt in the driver's seat as result of some of the other technology utilized on these Coilovers. The Ball on Axis (BOA) upper mount provides a wide articulation range and lessedn suspension friction for a more true driver feel and continued performance at any setting in long-term race situations. The Concentric Integrated Remote Canister (CIRC) System also intelligently increases gas volume within the shock itself over time to ensure that ride integrity is never compromised under situations of great strain and duress. Ultimately, the CIRC acts to provide all of the benefits of a professional level external canister shock without the need to mount a secondary canister and the hassle and weight that comes with such.
In fact, in terms of weight, these coilovers are incredibly impressive in that department. Installation of these will save 34pounds over the MRC system (10 pounds per front coilover and 7 pounds per rear). These savings are even more impressive when you consider the inclusion of the CIRC and the resultant lack of external shock canisters they provide. Any true track driver out there knows that in the long-run, the key to better track times is lower weight, and savings almost 40 pounds with suspension alone is an invaluable benefit.
Now, some Camaro people have shied away from PFADT products in the past as PFADT has been known as a Corvette only company--their PFADT equipped Corvettes have won races and awards at every professional level--but there's no concern with these. PFADT's Camaro Coilovers are specially tuned for the Camaro, and the tuning was done on a Camaro ZL1. Each kit utilizes custom valving and spring rates that are Camaro specific--a fact that can be considered doubly impressive when you realize that PFADT turned to the mightiest of all Camaros to do this tuning. With installation of the PFADT Performance Coilover, even their ZL1--which had formerly featured GM's MRC Suspension system--saw significantly faster lap times as result of improved handling and road stick.
The final hold-up for many Camaro owners in doing a modification of this nature is the desire to remain close to stock for the sake of their factory warranty, or fear of vehicle components breaking down. You can rest assured with PFADT products that break down or damage as result of driving is not of concern. Their Camaro Coilovers were tested to over 500,000 continuous suspension cycles, and after the extensive beating were still functioning at near peak performance. This durability is realized as result of their incredible technologies and the most simple aspect imaginable: quality component materials. PFADT utilizes all race approved materials in their suspension construction. Each Camaro Adjustable Coilover utilizes aircraft grade aluminum and precision machining, as well as hard anodized strut housings, to ensure that their coilovers can take quite a beating in even the most intense track conditions. PFADT themselves have competed, and won, in multiple races using their PFADT equipped Camaro ZL1. A track pedigree is one of, if not the single most, sure fire example of quality and performance.
So, if your Camaro doesn't have the MRC, don't fret. Do like I did and just pick up an improved PFADT Coilover kit. These things make an absolute world of difference, are compatible with the V6, SS, and ZL1, and provide true professional level suspension performance. If money's your concern also, know this: the PFADT coilovers actually cost less than the MRC system from Chevrolet as an option. Save some money, save some weight, and perform better? I think I will, thank you.
Borla Releases a New Line of Exhaust Systems for the Camaro ZL1
Disclaimer: These systems are brand new, and I haven't had a chance to hear any of them on the ZL1 yet. I won't pretend that I have. What I have heard, however, is each of the three muffler types on a Camaro SS, a Corvette Z06, a C6 Base Corvette, a 5.0 Mustang GT, and on a Cadillac CTS-V (with the very same LSA engine, albeit, tuned a little differently than the Camaro ZL1 has). So while I can't tell you exactly how these exhaust systems will sound on the Camaro ZL1, I can give you a very good idea, and a very good reason to be excited about them just like I am.
One search of any populated Camaro group or forum will give you a quick answer to the following question: which exhaust is the most popular and most well-reviewed for the fifth generation Camaro?
The answer: Borla.
The Borla, and specifically their ATAK and Sport model systems, have sold like hot cakes since being introduced for the Camaro SS line. Part of the reason the pairing is so perfect is the fact that Borla designed the ATAK originally just for the Camaro SS. That doesn't mean they did a unique design of the ATAK for the Camaro SS, because every ATAK system they make is specifically built and tuned to the specific vehicle for which its built, it means that they developed an entirely new exhaust tone technology--known as their Acoustically Tuned Applied Kinetics, or ATAK for short--just to match up with the LS3's unique Camaro tuning. The result was something legendary, and since the first sound clip of the ATAK hit the internet, that Borla exhaust system has been hands down the car's most sought after exhaust modification.
On the Camaro SS, the ATAK exhaust system provided a note unlike anything heard before. It still had the depth and power of the American Small Block V8 engine that every driver had come to expect, but there was also something else there. Where Mustangs have for years paraded out their engine's raspy tone as being indicative of a Pony car, the ATAK showed that this wasn't necessarily the case. The ATAK exhaust system on the Camaro SS was a powerful, deep, and resonant tone, but it was also clean. The crescendo of the exhaust upwards through the RPM range resulted in an almost exotic peak, the sort of clean yet awe inspiring power that one expects to see on a Formula series road track, or screaming through the twists and turns of the Nurburgring.
That sort of tone is exactly what a Camaro ZL1 owner can expect also. Taking the LSA engine and making it sound good is easy--the car does that naturally. In fact, I'd claim it to be impossible for a 6.2L Supercharged Small Block V8 to sound bad. However, taking the LSA engine and making it sound other worldly, well, that's a feat that only the best exhaust systems can achieve.
The stock exhaust on the Camaro ZL1 is nice. It's bi-modal, which is a ton of fun--especially if you're afraid of volume--but that also means that there's a tinny ring in the upper registers of the RPM band. Listen for it next time you're on the road. Open up the car, go wide-open throttle, and enjoy the chorus. It's a rebel yell of an exhaust, but, at about 4000RPM there's a note that's not in line with the rest of the system. It's a sort of high pitched rattle. A faint echo of pennies in a Coke can, or someone talking in to a telephone made from two empty green bean cans and a length of string. This isn't to say that the exhaust sounds bad. Quite the contrary, actually. The exhaust is incredible and will bring a tear to even the most hardened car enthusiast, but, it isn't perfect, and there's room for improvement.
By switching away from the bi-modal system to a true straight-pipe exhaust like the Borla exhaust systems for the Camaro ZL1, you'll be forgoing some of that modern vacuum-valve technology, but this isn't a bad thing. Vacuum valves have been born out of necessity for keeping cars quieter so an older consumer can also enjoy them. Vacuum valves are the domain of the elderly and the "proper". Nobody buys a Camaro ZL1 for that sound. No, the people who buy Camaro ZL1s want their car to scream. They want it to sound like a black bear, standing over a kill on its hind legs, bellowing a ferocious roar that says to anything in hearing distance "I am the king of the forest!", they want their Camaro ZL1 to scream that it, just like that bear, is King; because, well, the Camaro ZL1 is the king. A Borla exhaust will help give your car that ferocious roar, that's for certain.
The beauty of this too is that, like the black bear, when it needs to be a Borla exhaust is majestic. It can roar like no other when it must, but, under normal driving conditions it's down right pleasant to listen to, especially the ATAK. It's a true exhaust note. It's clean. It's deep. It rumbles, but not too much. It's loud, but, it won't wake up the neighbors at start up or frighten small children when cruising. It has a certain sense of class to it that belies the monster that lives inside.
Now, if this sounds too tame, maybe the Sport is more your style. I know that Borla advertises the ATAK as the more aggressive system, but I can confidently say that this isn't necessarily the case. Maybe the Borla ATAK registers more volume on a decibel reading, but the Sport system really harkens back to those muscle car days of yore with a deeper, throatier, and raspier exhaust tone. If you're reading my description of the ATAK's Nurburgring sound and saying that you want a car that sounds more like it belongs on a drag strip with a parachute ready for deployment and some fat racing slicks on the back, well then, the Sport's the ideal exhaust for you.
Of course, if all of this sound a little too intense, but you still want to switch to a straight-through exhaust for the performance gains it gives--and there's a lot of those, too, and I'll get to them in a moment--well Borla has you covered also. The Touring system for Borla is a little too quiet for my tastes, personally, but it still features a deep and powerful tone. The volume is comparable to the stock bi-modal system with the exhaust tips open, cabin drone is absolutely nonexistent, and the exhaust tone is a deeper, more aggressive one. That tinny note I mentioned earlier? It's gone with the Borla touring, which brilliantly utilizes multi-layer resonation cones inside of the muffler to keep exhaust sound backwards and powerful, which ensuring the vehicle isn't too loud inside--even for the aforementioned Sunday driver.
Now, the beauty of an exhaust mod, is that it's not just about sound. Sure, sounding better makes driving the car more fun and helps widen the permagrin smile every Camaro ZL1 owner has just a bit, but an aftermarket exhaust also helps a vehicle perform. The name of the game in terms of performance for any and every engine is airflow capability, and this is even more important on an engine with a forced induction system akin to the LSA's Supercharger. The blower equipped to the Camaro ZL1's engine pushes a ton of air backwards through the engine, and every bit of air that hits the valves then has to exit through the exhaust. The stock pipes are of the same diameter of the Borla exhaust system, but they're less efficiently designed. There's more distance to travel, and then the mufflers choke them out even further. Piping inside the Camaro ZL1 bi-model muffler drops down to 2.5" instead of the stock 2.75" diameter. This results in the vehicle not being able to breathe as well as it would like, and, as result some of its performance potential being sapped.
Straight through exhaust pipes and Borla mufflers will result in increased air flow. Greater air flow out means the engine has the freedom to push more air in. More air in means more power. On the Camaro SS I've seen dynos report between 10 and 18 horsepower day in and day out with the addition of a Borla exhaust. On a car like the ZL1, I can only expect those numbers to be higher. Gains of around 18-28 HP on the supercharged LSA seem like a reasonable expectation, and a proper tune will only help realize even more.
The final touch on the Borla systems goes beyond the mufflers. Whether it's the Touring, Sport, or ATAK each and every Borla system for the Camaro ZL1 is a Cat-Back system. This means that in addition to over-axle piping, mufflers, and tips, every Borla system also features new mid-piping. The stock H-Pipe mid-pipe is a restrictive design that results in a lot of back pressure. The back pressure is actually physically audible as you're coming to a stop. Next time you're slowing down from 60mph+ to a stop, listen for a"popping" noise from this exhaust. This pop, known as decel-pop, is result of the choked out piping causing back pressure from the air volume changes. A Borla X-Pipe uses a much more open cross-sectional meeting points, as opposed to the straight across H pipe, and allows for greater amounts of air to flow both in and out of the system. This eliminates deceleration back pressure and the decel-pop that accompanies it. All in all, this means, again, more HP and Torque across the entire RPM band, as well as a cleaner and more modern sounding racecar exhaust tone.
Also, rest assured purchasing a Borla exhaust system. Since the exhaust piping is all post-cats on the vehicle, it doesn't change your engine warranty in any way shape or form. Your Camaro ZL1's factory warranty will remain exactly the same with this performance upgrade--something that headers, pulleys, cams, and other performance gaining mods can't promise--and that expensive new exhaust will feature a warranty as well. All Borla exhaust systems come with Borla's own Million Mile Warranty, which protects against any and all damage resultant from material or production defect. It won't be covered in case of an accident, but that's about it.
So, yeah, with Borla introducing their full line of exhaust systems to the Camaro ZL1 it's time to get excited, and start saving up a little $$$. This is one mod that you're certainly going to want to splurge on, and one that will feel and sound worth it for the entire life of your vehicle.
Hennesey Performance Builds a 707HP Camaro ZL1
The Audacious and Talented Tuners at Hennesey Performance Have Built a 707HP Camaro ZL1 HPE700
When it comes to taking American muscle cars and injecting them with metaphorical horse steroids to create a new sort of powerful pavement-hungry monsterbeast, few shops out there are as adept and excited about their work as Hennesey Performance. The makers of 1000+HP Cadillacs, Corvettes, Mustangs, and Camaros are always amongst the first shops to embrace new vehicles and push them to their very limits, which is what makes the release of this new HPE700 Camaro ZL1 so excitin, it's the beginning for them. With a track record of making 1200HP Camaros, seeing them roll out this first Hennesey iteration for testing at 700HP is exciting because it means bigger, better, and powerful things are on the way.
That's not to say that this Camaro ZL1 is a slouch by any means, though. In fact, this car would almost certainly beat (or, at the very least, run respectably with) every production supercar out there, thanks in part to its massive power output and the brilliant GM Magnetic Ride Control suspension.
So, how does Hennesey get this Camaro ZL1 to +700HP? Well, by having a lot of fun, of course. HPE began their upgrade by porting the heads on the Camaro ZL1 and upgrading the camshaft. They then upped the boost on the stock supercharger with upgraded pulleys, and started bolting on some goodies. The full list of mods, taken directly from the Hennesey Performance website, includes:
- LS9 6.2L Supercharged Engine
- HPE Air Induction System
- Supercharger Pulley Upgrade
- High Flow Supercharger Snout Upgrade
- High Flow Cylinder Heads
- HPE700 Camshaft Upgrade
- High-Flow Fuel Injectors
- Fuel System Upgrade
- Intercooler System Upgrade
- Stainless Steel Long Tube Headers
- Stainless Steel Mid-Pipes
- High Flow Catalytic Converters
- HPE Extreme Duty Clutch & Flywheel Upgrade
- HPE Race Shift Knob and Short Throw Shifter Upgrade
- HPE Light Weight Alloy Wheels:
20 x 9.5 inch (front); 20 x 10.5 inch (rear)
Pirelli P-Zero Tires: 275/35-YR20 (front); 305/35-YR20 (rear)
- Brembo Front Brake Upgrade: 6-Piston Calipers with Light Weight 15 inch Cross-Drilled Rotors
- Brembo Rear Brake Upgrade: 4-Piston Calipers with 15 inch Light Weight Rotors
- Adjustable Coil-Over Suspension System
- HPE Front & Rear Sway Bar Upgrades
- Tubular Frame Brace (Convertible Only)
- CarbonAero Bodywork: Front Splitter, Rear Bumper Diffuser & Side Rocker Panels
The end result actually looks like, based on the numbers, that the 707HP quote is a rather conservative one, also. The stock ZL1 dynos at 490HP to the wheels, which is a 16% power loss during transfer. The HPE700 dynoed at 671HP to the wheels. Of course, with some of these upgrades, less power loss is to be expected, however, even at an insane rate of just 10% power loss that would make this a 738HP vehicle. Looks to me like Hennesey's being modest about this monster.
The car looks like a lot of fun, sounds like a monster, and is certainly going to make one Hennesey customer very very happy. Check it out:
The new 2013 Camaro 1LE Posts a Sub-3 Minute Lap at the VIR
Chevrolet's new $37,035 trim package puts down impressive numbers
According to FastestLaps.com, the 2:58.34 lap time posted by the Camaro 1LE at the Virginia International Raceway makes it the 23rd fastest car to ever run that course. Now, I know what you're thinking: 23 is good, but it's not great, right? Well, let's get a little perspective. Here are some of the many cars who posted slower times than the Camaro 1LE: the 2010 Ford Shelby GT500 (2:58.48), the 2009 Audi R8 V10 (2:59.50) and the 2011 Cadillac CTS-V Coupe (3:04.20), and most importantly, the $49k 2012 Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca which was the target vehicle for the 1LE when it began production. How faster than the Laguna Seca boss was the Camaro, also? How about 4.46 seconds quicker around the VIR--a feat made even more impressive when you factor in the knowledge that man behind the wheel of the Camaro for this lap was an engineer and not a professional driver.
So, there we go, 23 is really good. Let's get a little more perspective on just how good it is though. Let's look at some of the cars who managed to beat the Camaro 1LE's lap time: 2013 Ford Shelby GT500 (2:58.00), the Ferrari 430 Scuderia (2:54.60), the Lamborghini Murcielago LP 670-4 SuperVeloce (2:53.90), the 2008 Dodge Viper SRT10 ACR (2:48.60) and the Chevrolet Corvette ZR1 – which turned in a track record time of 2:45.63. That's supercar territory right there, and even the likes of Ferrari and Lomborghini are hardly besting this $37k track monster from the boys with the bowtie. I want to reiterate that for a moment: this Camaro 1LE puts down near supercar level track performance at a cost of just $37,035 (more if you opt for luxuries, of course).
These track numbers are achieved through a few different means. Firstly, the 1LE is track optimized with more aggressive racing tuned gear ratio, suspension, and chassis mounts. Those changes were just the beginning, however. In addition to these racing tuned modifications, Chevrolet also equipped the 1LE Camaro with:
-- A larger, 27-millimeter solid front stabilizer bar and a 28-millimeter solid rear stabilizer bar for improved body control.
-- A strut tower brace for improved steering feel and response.
-- A ZL1-based 20-inch-by-10-inch front and 20-inch-by-11-inch aluminum wheels.
-- 285/35ZR-20 Goodyear Eagle Supercar G:2 tires front and rear (identical to the front tires from the ZL1).
-- ZL1 wheel bearings, toe links and rear shock mounts for improved on-track performance.
-- ZL1 high-capacity fuel pump and additional fuel pickups for improved fuel delivery during hard cornering.
Here's a video of the lap itself
GT500 and Camaro ZL1 Video Comparison
Chris Harris of Drive is one of the finest and most well-respected automobile journalists on the internet today, and this latest review of his indicates exactly why that is. In this video Harris takes a very un-biased eye and turns it towards the two American muscle cars du jour: the Ford Mustang GT500 and the Camaro ZL1. He's clearly not super versed on these cars--his numbers are off, even accounting for the transition from American HP ratings to European metric HP ratings--and doesn't have a favorite going in, but he's enthusiastic and excited about both of them the entire time.
In fact, it's Harris' enthusiasm that makes this review so great. He's upbeat about both vehicles, enjoys driving each of them, and has a ton of fun throughout--fun evidenced by his sense of humor, his perma-grin behind the wheel of each vehicle, and the multiple times he gets pulled over by police officers while on the streets of NYC. This enthusiasm makes this my favorite review or comparison I've seen thus far also, because Harris spends his time lauding both vehicles for what they do greatl, and let's be honest, even if we prefer one of them over the other (and we all know which one that is, right?) we are car lovers first and foremost and can recognize that each of these vehicles is absolutely outstanding and are leagues ahead of anything we dreamed possible in the automobile world just a few short decades ago.
In the end, Harris seems to prefer the GT500, but, he does also state that the Camaro ZL1 is 2 seconds faster around the track for him. He likes the Camaro's interior more, calling it comparable to a BMW or Audi, and appreciates its every day driver feel, but also recognizes that the Mustang GT500 is a rawer and purer take on the American muscle car tradition--like few cars before it have ever been.
Regardless of how you feel about Harris' decision, however, enjoy the video for what it is: one guy with a job we'd all love to have having a great deal of fun!
Edmunds InsideLine Takes the ZL1 and GT500 Out For Some Comparison Fun
Well, the Camaro ZL1 has been out for a while now and the reviews have been absolutely stunning, but, the book was far from closed on the car. It had to wait for its one true direct competitor to release, and that time is upon us. This year we'll see both the Camaro ZL1 and the new Shelby Mustang GT500 on the streets, and the comparisons will be inevitable and very very interesting.
Seeing what the bowtie was up to, the boys at the blue oval took to directly engineering a vehicle to compete with it, but be incredibly different and unique in its own way also. What this results in are two very different, very capable, and very impressive cars.
When looking at just the basic numbers--and these are the things most casual car fans will look at, of course--it's clear that the Shelby GT500 has a leg up, and InsideLine confirmed this. The Mustang dynos out to have 98 more horsepower to the wheels, over 100 more ft/pounds of torque, and it weighs 227 pounds less. These sorts of numbers will typically spell doom for a car in a comparison, and, in a straight line they certainly do. The Mustang GT500 goes from 0-60 in 4.0 seconds per their tests, a whole .4 seconds quicker than the Camaro ZL1 which reaches that mark in 4.4. And while it takes the Camaro ZL1 12.4 seconds to run the quarter mile at 116.1 mph, the Mustang GT500 accomplishes that same feat in 11.9 seconds at 123.5 mph.
So, at a drag strip, there's a very clear winner between these two vehicles, and at the price point what the GT500 is doing is absolutely incredible. The car definitely deserves praise; however, InsideLine wanted to test the full capabilities of the vehicles, and once the two automobiles found some pavement with some twists, the car in the lead--so to say--definitely changed.
Thanks in large part to its incredibly complex MRC Magnetic Suspension system, the Camaro ZL1 was able to put down its power and keep its wheels in place and nose pointing forward with much greater ease around a turn. The brilliant, multi-stage suspension at work on the Camaro ZL1 also gives the Camaro a much greater road driving feel, especially when driven in comparison to the almost archaic solid rear transaxle of the GT500.
What this meant then was that when driving on any pavement not pointed dead ahead, the Camaro ZL1 was able to pull ahead with ease, and the driver's feel of doing it was one of almost complete effortlessness. On the back road that InsideLine took the two vehicles to, they claimed that shortly after getting going, the ZL1 was already out of sight of the GT500. As they so eloquently put it, "The angriest Mustang in history, the car that had face-punched the ZL1 for months at auto shows and in Web forums was being systematically annihilated by that exact car. Every corner was another opportunity for the Camaro to drop trou and wave its giant bowtie-emblazoned butt in the GT500's face."
So, while the GT500 is clearly the car with the victorious power plant, it looks like as an all around vehicle the ZL1 wins this one--at least, according to InsideLine. Ultimately, it's hard to say one of these cars is better than the other because, well, they're both so damn brilliant. If I were building a car for the drag strip I'd much rather start with the GT500 as my base, and if I wanted a car I could haul-ass in through some windy mountain roads, I'd take the ZL1 every single day of the week (and again on Sunday!). I don't want to bash either car, just want to report on how the comparisons look, and let you decide which one you like more. For me and for my money, I'd take the high-tech ZL1, but I'd never look down on a GT500 driver for the choice they made.
Lingenfelter Tunes a 2012 Camaro ZL1 to Reach the 10-Second Benchmark
Well, that was quick. Literally. Just two weeks after the first Camaro ZL1's fell in to buyer's hands the famed tuner and modification shop Lingenfelter, they have outfitted one with the modifications necessary to push it in to the glorious 10-second range. Like I said: Quick, on both accounts.
So, while we know how long it takes to outfit a brand new car with the goodies necessary to pass a quarter-mile in the 10 second range, exactly how long does that quarter mile take? Lingenfelter revealed a track slip with an official time of 10.79 seconds and a trap speed of 134.36 mph. Not too shabby.
How exactly did Lingenfelter take this ZL1 and send it in to true super car territory? Well, seeing as they began with a 556hp Supercharged ZL1, it didn't exactly take too much work. The LPE-tuned ZL1 features a custom built Lingenfelter GT9 camshaft, Lingenfelter CNC ported cylinder heads, modified supercharger pulleys, and a custom air intake. Coupling this with high-octane race fuel and a Lingenfelter tune their ZL1 reached a power output of 720hp to the wheels.
Of course, the extra horsepower wasn't all that this ZL1 used to reach the 10 second mark. The LPE Modified ZL1 was also outfitted with Nitto NT05R drag tires which certainly helped it with its track time. Regardless though, it beat the 11-second mark pretty handily, and may have been able to do so even on more road-appropriate tires.
“Our team set a goal to be the first 2012 ZL1 in the 10s, and we are very proud to achieve that goal thanks to our diligent LPE engineers and their intimate knowledge of LS engines,” said Ken Lingenfelter, owner, Lingenfelter Performance Engineering. Well, Ken, you've done just that and done so with great aplomb.
Can you remember a car being modified this heavily by a big-dog tuner shop so quickly? I'm extremely excited to see the potential of the ZL1 as it becomes tapped by Lingenfelter and other tuner shops in the months to come.