First Look: 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Speaking of speed, each corner gets gigantic Brembo binders measuring 14.6-inches front/14.4-inches rear to scrub any unwanted momentum. The six-piston front calipers clamp onto two-piece rotors, while the rear four-piston units bite hard on single-piece vented rotors.

Of course, additional torque and horsepower means additional stress on the whole drivetrain, so builders beefed-up the ZL1's cast-iron differential housing, driveshaft, and limited-slip differential. They also replaced the stock Camaro's axles with stronger units.

Being competitive in more than just a drag race meant giving the Zeta platform a Magnetic Ride Control suspension. The setup employs magnetorheological shocks whose dampening can be adjusted between two modes - Tour and Sport - while on-the-fly. A responsive, more dynamic handling calibration on any road surface is the result, GM promises. Redesigned rear stabilizer bars now have drop links placed outside of the control arms for "crisper" control. Engineers also added a redone electric power steering system that, like the rest of the car, is currently being fine tuned.

With performance largely addressed, designers turned their attention to the cockpit. Drivers will immediately notice the flat-bottom suede-trimmed three-spoke steering wheel; rounder, less cumbersome shift knob; and a set of studded aluminum pedals. All three pieces should diminish complaints of awkward Camaro controls. A Corvette-inspired Heads-Up Display indicates speed, g-forces, and engine rpm, among other things. Sporty microfiber inserts compliment the bolstered and badged adjustable seats, while suede lines the dash. A "four-pack" gauge cluster showing boost and component temperatures keeps front riders duly informed.

Although it may be less refined than other Camaros, the 2012 Camaro ZL1 looks fit for a fight with Ford's brawniest snake. Consider this age-old feud rekindled.

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Makes the V-6 seem downright wimpy. The big question is, will we pay Cadillac V-like prices for all of this grunt?

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