2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1: Around The Block

It's a sign of our ridiculous times that the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 no longer seems ridiculous. The Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat sees ZL1's 580 hp and raises it 707 hp. Closer to home, the Nürburgring-slaying, real-men-don't-need-air-conditioning Z/28 is now the hottest Camaro.

That said, no one yawns when a 2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 arrives at the office. We unplug the vacuum lines that control the dual-mode exhaust so as to free every delicious crackle from the 6.2-liter supercharged V-8 (normally, the exhaust opens at idle and full throttle but closes under moderate rpm). Then we dump the heavy clutch, effortlessly roasting the 20-inch Goodyears.

Considering how obnoxious the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is, it garners a relatively muted reaction. Sure, car guys nod knowingly as we cruise through downtown Ann Arbor, but it's nothing like the mass euphoria one inspires driving, say, a Corvette Stingray. Eight years and four Transformers films since the fifth-gen Camaro debuted as a concept, folks are perhaps starting to tire of its styling. It probably doesn't help that, due to its unique aerodynamic needs, the ZL1 does not receive the new front fascia that graces other 2014 Camaros.

Oh, well, who needs an audience? We find the nearest highway entrance ramp and roar past 100 mph. The 2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 would be forgiven for wanting only to go in straight lines, because it does that so thrillingly, yet it also handles like a world-class sports car. Camaro engineers couldn't dramatically cut weight -- that'll have to wait until the next generation moves to Cadillac's Alpha platform—but they've figured out how to manage the 4120-lbs. Magnetorheological dampers, standard equipment on the ZL1, deftly control body motions without breaking molars. The electrically assisted steering provides the perfect amount of weight and feedback; BMW could stand to learn from it.

Indeed, the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 displays a certain polish that makes it worth considering even as it ages. Curb appeal and horsepower supremacy can be fleeting—enjoy the moment, Hellcat—but the 2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 possesses another, more durable quality: competence.

2014 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1

Base price $57,800
Engine 6.2-liter supercharged V-8
Power 580 hp
Torque 556 lb-ft
Transmission 6-speed manual
Drive Rear-wheel
Length x Width x Height 190.6 x 75.5 x 54.2
Wheelbase 112.3
Curb weight 4120 lbs
Cargo capacity 11.3 cu ft
Fuel Economy 12/18/14 mpg city/hwy/combined
Matt Petersheim
Actually no. If you read the article the author said the Camaro is still better than the 707 hp Challenger.
Bryan L'Ecuyer
Anything over 500 hp is
James Jason Garvin
The Challenger could have a 3cyl and still be better than that manure spreader.
Brown Hornet
Great track car just under the Z/28..and has heavy-duty parts to take a bashing all day...and easy to mod...
Aniket Chatterje
i love the car black camaro ufff transformer
Tired of it's looks? Then how should it look? Its great the way it is.
Eric Rabovsky
It is a great car to drive
Ricky Smith
They are going in the wrong direction with a 3500+ lb Corvette.
Steven Barrie
It’s the 707-hp Hellcat that’s ridiculous. God freakin’ a’mighty! How much hp do you need? (I know, I know: as much as you can stuff under the hood. That still doesn’t discount the utter ridiculousness of it.)
Chris Prather
I hope the next gen is lighter. 4120lbs is a boat. The next ZL1 should weight less then the current Z28..IMO
Jack Geerer
Z/28 beats a GTR Track Edition on the track...not too worried about the Hellcat.
Noah Brigdan
"Weak!" Just kidding. But the sixth gen... Please offer it with an LT4.
Curb appeal and supremacy can be fleeting, so ugly and 2nd class is forever? That may be the weakest and stupidest statement in defense of a subpar product I have ever read. And you guys are the magazine who posted a story about Toyota recalling millions of 1.8L and 2.0L engines for premature wear and failure on the same webpage you had a story about the boring but reliable Corolla they were mostly installed in. So much for jouralistic integrity.
Dear god you fanboys.. Tell me, in what alternate reality is a car considered faster than a GTR TE that is 30 seconds faster around the Ring, one more time, THIRTY SECONDS faster than said Z/28? Hell, the 2008/9 GTR is still 10 seconds faster than the 2014 Z/28. Let's say it together shall we, a Chevy / Motor trend marketing ploy, that's all, move on. Please acquire some brain cells.

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