With 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft. of torque, the 2018 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 has more than three times the amount of power as the average midsize sedan, couple that with an aggressive body kit and one of the best suspensions that you can get with American badge and what do you get? The definition of a modern muscle car.
The Camaro ZL1 sits at the top of the Camaro lineup with its supercharged 6.2L V8 that’s been borrowed from the Corvette Z06. Buyers can choose either to manually shift six gears or let the 10-speed automatic send the power to the rear wheels. Chevy dropped off a Camaro Zl1 with the 10-speed automatic and while we may have been a bit apprehensive at first about the automatic transmission, it might be the better choice. Even with 10 gears to choose from, the automatic transmission never felt like it was in the wrong gear and it was always ready to play.
No matter which transmission you choose, the Camaro ZL1 is sure to put a smile on your face as soon as you hit the start button. Sorry neighbors, this thing sounds like a riot starting up. It’s so in your face, basically the complete opposite experience you’ll have powering up a Prius. Jumping in and hitting the start button before 6am, we did feel a bit bad, but whatever the Camaro ZL1 is not about being discreet.
With that much power under the hood, the Camaro ZL1 is a beast. Punch the pedal to the floor from a stop light and you’re smacked in the face with sheer power, while your ears enjoy the melodic sounds of the supercharged V8 and the 20-inch Goodyear Eagle F1 Supercar tires send the power to the asphalt. The Camaro ZL1 will reach 60 mph in only 3.5 seconds. It’s a shame that there’s so much traffic in Los Angeles that made it hard to enjoy every aspect of the Camaro ZL1, but the good thing is that it’s actually a pretty good commuter car as well. That’s definitely something that you wouldn’t say about most track-ready sports cars.
Once the road opens up and those boring crossovers get out of your way, the Camaro ZL1 is ready. There’s more here than just insane amounts of power, the Camaro’s chassis is definitely a stand out. The steering is nearly perfect, the suspension manages to delete any sort of body roll and those Brembo brakes can kill all that speed with ease.
Inside the standard Recaro seats hug your body on every curve and the suede wrapped steering wheel is a nice touch. If you choose the ZL1 Coupe instead of the ZL1 Convertible you also get the Performance Data Recorder to keep record your driving abilities on the track.
Was there anything bad about the Camaro ZL1? Well just like the rest of the Camaro lineup, it’s pretty hard to see out of and it might be nice if it did have a “quiet button” like the Mustang, just in case you do get too much hate mail from your neighbors.
That being said, the 2018 Camaro ZL1 is an excellent piece of machinery that can easily take on the best from Europe. Pricing for the 2018 Camaro ZL1 starts at $63,795 for the Camaro ZL1, which is out of reach for most buyers, but luckily there’s the 455-hp Camaro SS, which starts at $37,995.