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Camaro Z/28 rocks the 'Ring

Chevy's reborn 2014 Camaro Z/28 tested for 10 hours and 1600 km at Nurburgring

Published: October 16, 2013, 9:00 AM
Updated: April 29, 2018, 2:56 PM

2014 Camaro Z28 - Nurburgring

Chevrolet has released a video of its 2014 Camaro Z/28 lapping the infamous Nürburgring road course in 7 minutes, 37.40 seconds – a time comparable with that of some of the world’s most prestigious sports cars.

The Z/28, which made its public debut last spring at the New York International Auto Show, will go on sale in spring 2014. Its appearance at the Nurburgring is the latest in a long line of high-performance cars that use their lap times there to establish their performance creds.

The reborn Z/28’s lap time was four seconds faster than that of the Camaro ZL1, tested there earlier. It also beat the published times for the Porsche 911 Carrera S and Lamborghini Murcielago LP640, according to General Motors.

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Making that accomplishment even more impressive, the Z/28’s fasted lap was achieved on damp pavement, with pouring rain near the end of the run.

"One of the challenges of testing at the 'Ring is that the track is so long that conditions can change radically in a single lap," said Al Oppenheiser, Camaro chief engineer.

"Based on telemetry data from our test sessions, we know the Z/28 can be as much as six seconds faster on a dry track," he added.

According to GM, the Z/28’s reduced lap times, compared to the ZL1, came from three primary areas:

> Increased grip: The Z/28 is capable of 1.08 g in cornering acceleration, due to comprehensive chassis revisions;

> Increased stopping power: The Z/28 features Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes capable of 1.5 g in deceleration, and consistent brake feel lap after lap;

> Reduced weight: The naturally-aspirated Z/28 tips the scales at 136 kg less than the supercharged Camaro ZL1, thanks to changes ranging from lightweight wheels to thinner rear-window glass.

At the heart of the Z/28 is a 7.0-litre LS7 small-block V-8 engine that uses lightweight, race-proven, high-performance components, such as titanium intake valves and connecting rods, CNC-ported aluminum cylinder heads and a forged-steel crankshaft.

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It produces an SAE-certified 505 horsepower and 481 lb-ft of torque (652 Nm) and drives the rear wheels through a close-ratio six-speed manual transmission and a limited-slip differential that features a helical gear set, rather than traditional clutch packs.

This design is said to let the driver apply more power and get through corners faster, by using the car's individual-wheel antilock brake function during corner entry braking, mid-corner speed and corner-exit traction.

The Z/28 test team spent a week at the Nürburgring as part of its performance-validation regimen, accumulating a total of 10 hours and nearly 1,600 miles on the track. Each lap took less than eight minutes to complete, despite having to overtake slower traffic at times.

These hours were part of GM's grueling 24-Hour Test protocol, conducted at different tracks to simulate a full year's worth of track use on track days or in amateur-level competition at the hands of an owner.

During the test, 130 channels of data are monitored and recorded and the only mechanical changes allowed are replacing the brakes and tires.

"Passing the 24-Hour Test is a requirement for all cars we call 'track capable,’" said Wayne McConnell, GM's director of global vehicle performance.