Seat Time: 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

June 17th, 2014 at 11:58am

2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

Seat Time is a chance for us to share our impressions of vehicles being tested in the Autoline Garage and at media previews from around the globe.

Reviewer: Sean McElroy
Manufacturer: General Motors
Make: Chevrolet
Model: Camaro Z/28
Type: 2-door coupe
Competitors: Ford Mustang Boss 302, Nissan GTR, Porsche 911 S
Price: $75,155 – $76,150 (Including destination charges)
Made in: Oshawa, ON
Drivetrain: 7.0L V8 (505 hp, 481 lb-ft) mated to TREMEC 6-speed manual transmission
EPA Ratings: 13MPG city, 19MPG, 15MPG combined

Final Impression:

2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28 InteriorThe idea behind the original 1967 Camaro Z/28 was to create a race-ready car to compete with Ford Mustangs in the SCCA Trans-Am racing series. Fast forward to today and the race track is exactly where the new Z/28 feels most at home. I recently got some time behind the wheel at the GingerMan Raceway in Michigan and what a blast it was.

Even though the Z/28 is street-legal, I overheard some of the Chevy folks say that they really want customers to drive this car on the track and I agree. I just wish I had more time behind the wheel and got to drive it on the street as well, just to see what it would be like. Although, there are plenty of other versions of the Camaro that are much better suited for everyday street driving. But once you look at the list of standard features on the Z/28 you just might start to understand why it should be on the track. It comes with things like Brembo carbon ceramic brakes, a slew of performance suspension upgrades and only comes with one speaker to save weight. In fact that one speaker is only there for the turn signal chime. And there’s just one option package available on the Z/28, which adds air conditioning and a 6-speaker audio setup.

2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28

Power from the 7.0L V8 that lurks under the hood and produces over 500 horsepower was on tap at a moments notice. The braking force generated from those carbon ceramic units before going into turns was incredible. They can go as high as 1.5 g. Flying through corners was very impressive for such a big car, it responded instantly to steering commands and stayed balanced and level throughout the corner. Although, it did take me a little bit to get used to the TREMEC 6-speed manual transmission, I missed 3rd gear on a few occasions, but by the end of our session I felt much more comfortable. We recently had Mark Stielow, the program engineer manager for the Z/28 on Autoline After Hours and my father asked him about my trouble finding 3rd gear. Mark said that he has never missed 3rd gear before and that maybe I was the problem.

2015 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28I’m willing to accept that it was driver error, but I just wanted to point out that as someone who’s not familiar with a TREMEC transmission it may take a little bit to get used to. Click here to view that AAH. There’s tons of great info about the Z/28 or if you just want to see me get made fun of head to about the 18:30 mark.

But perhaps the best part of the Z/28 is its Performance Traction Management system. It allows the driver to toggle between 6 different levels of performance, which ranges from a rain mode to no electrical aids. This really allows the driver to set the mode to their skill level as they get used to the car and track racing. When in some of the lower settings, we could feel when the electronics were kicking in and were able to apply that feedback into our next lap, cutting down our time each following lap.

The cars that we drove came with the A/C package and topped out at just over $76,000. That’s a heck of a lot of money for a Camaro, but this thing really performs and Chevy is only going to build about 3,000 examples between now and 2015. So, it’s a pretty exclusive car and if you’re interested you may want to start the process as soon as possible.

One Comment to “Seat Time: 2014 Chevrolet Camaro Z/28”

  1. Eric Brunner Says:

    Hi John: Re the question today on the Z28, the braking force generated can be 1.5 g.