While Chevrolet is the official name of the famous Americana car make, there are certain models that demand the shorter, hipper slang of “Chevy” to roll off the teeth. The Z/28 Camaro is one of those makes.
The original Camaro debuted in 1967 as Chevy’s response to Ford’s Mustang, and it’s been a war between the two models ever since. The Chevy Camaro Z/28 has always been the most desireable option of the Camaro’s performance packages, coming and going from the line during the car’s evolution, hiatus and resurrection.
While the original became a popular, affordable muscle machine fueling the dreams of gearhead teenagers in the 1980s, the new one wants to be an elite track car you can also drive home.
The version debuting at the NYIAS will offer the same 7.0-liter, 500 horsepower V8 from the Corvette Z06. The top speeds and 0-60 times aren’t available yet, but if you do a little research on the Corvette, you’ll get idea of what’s to come. Keep in mind that Chevy’s engineers stripped weight out of this car, shedding about 300 lbs. away from even the previous fastest Camaro – the ZL1.
In a wonderful stroke of genius from the designers at Chevy, the new Z/28 will only come with a Tremec six-speed manual transmission. Since driving with an automatic transmission is merely steering, all real driving must include a stick shift – and all drivers’ cars must have a manual. We’re not talking paddle shifters, either. We want a stick on the floor. Well done, Chevy.
If you want to review the more technical elements of the car, the Z/28 includes a liquid-to-liquid cooler for both the transmission and rear differential. The limited-slip diff continuously adjusts torque through corners. A Brembo carbon-ceramic brake set and Pirelli PZero Trofeo R tires matched to19-inch wheels will keep you on safely on the road. To remind the driver that he or she is behind the wheel of a true performance car, there’s no sound dampening – and the muffler’s cut out at high-rev speeds.
Chevy says the 2014 Camaro Z/28 will be available in early 2014. All we need now to bring back that full-on 80s nostalgia for bygone muscle cars is a 2014 Pontiac Grand Am, but we all know that is impossible.