Preliminary details and hi-res photos with the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1, the new muscle car king which debuted at the Chicago Auto Show today have just been revealed by GM.
The automaker claims the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is the fastest and most advanced Camaro ever built, featuring a 6.2-litre LSA V8 engine under its skin, capable of unleashing 550 HP and 550 lb-ft due to supercharging and intercooling.
The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 will also be equipped with a 6-speed manual gearbox which has a dual-disc clutch system, and a dual-mode exhaust system. Some of the technologies which will be available in the 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 include Magnetic Ride Control, electric power steering, while in terms of design the car features a new front splitter, more aggressively styled fog lamps, a vented aluminium hood, a new spoiler and new 5-spokes measuring 20 inches.
The 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 price was not announced yet, but this new model will arrive in dealerships next year.
GM press release :

  • LSA 6.2L supercharged engine will produce an estimated 550
    horsepower (410 kW) and is matched with a six-speed manual transmission
    with a dual-disc clutch system
  • Packed with performance technologies, highlighted by Magnetic Ride
    Control, and advanced materials – including a vented carbon fiber hood
    insert. Extensive aerodynamic development designed for high-performance
    driving
  • Development ongoing, targeting launch at the beginning of 2012

CHICAGOThe 2012 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 debuted today
at the Chicago Auto Show. It is the highest-performing Camaro and the
most technically advanced car ever developed in its class. The new ZL1
continues the momentum of Camaro, propelling it into an entirely new
realm of leading-edge performance technology. It is planned to launch at
the beginning of 2012.
Motivated by a supercharged V-8 engine producing an estimated 550
horsepower (410 kW), the Camaro ZL1 will be the fastest Camaro ever
offered by Chevrolet. And more than just power, the ZL1 features
technologically advanced and highly developed chassis and suspension
systems that help it deliver balanced, track-ready handling and braking
power to complement its high engine output. Rigorous development of the
ZL1 is ongoing, and official estimates of the car’s capabilities will be
released later in 2011, as testing nears completion. 
“Camaro ZL1 is about high-tech performance and design, and is a type
of car no one has ever brought to this segment previously,” said Rick
Scheidt, vice president of Chevrolet marketing. “It’s the most
technically advanced Camaro ever, so we’ve chosen a name from the most
elite and exclusive Camaro in history.”
The ZL1 name is derived from the all-aluminum racing engine of the
same name, which was developed in the late 1960s and installed into a
handful of regular-production 1969 Camaros. Only 69 were built with the
engine, but they’ve achieved mythical status among enthusiasts, as they
represented the pinnacle in Camaro performance – until now. The 2012 ZL1
model is designed to be a major leap forward for the Camaro, bringing a
new level of performance capability to the segment.
The central goal of the car’s development was creating something new –
a Camaro intended to reach optimal lap times on top road-racing
circuits and excellent driving dynamics on the street. To achieve that
goal, engineers evolved many of the existing Camaro’s systems, as well
as incorporated new technologies such as electric power steering and
Magnetic Ride Control, the world’s fastest-reacting suspension system.
Camaro ZL1’s design communicates and supports its performance
mission. Rather than using decorative elements, ZL1 is visually
differentiated from other current Camaro models with elements vital to
the car’s elevated capabilities.
“Everything about the ZL1’s design is directly related to its
technology and serious performance, especially aerodynamics,” said Ed
Welburn, vice president, Global Design. “Our designers’ goal was to
execute that function-oriented design with beautifully sculpted forms,
creating an imposing, powerful persona. Function becomes the aesthetic.
The intent is a car that delivers on the attitude it projects.”
Major elements of the ZL1’s design are a new front fascia and hood
with air extractors, designed in tandem to create aerodynamic downforce
to aid handling. The car’s hood includes a signature center section
constructed of carbon fiber and rendered in satin black finish. New
rocker panels, wide tires, 20-inch wheels and exhaust tips portray the
car’s handling and power.
The ZL1 badge appears on the grille, hood and the brake calipers, all key areas portraying the technology within.
Tech overview
Supporting the dynamic track and street performance of the ZL1 is the
LSA 6.2L supercharged engine, which will produce an estimated 550
horsepower (410kW) and 550 lb.-ft. of torque (677 Nm), with specific
features for the Camaro. Built on GM’s legendary all-aluminum,
small-block V-8 architecture, the LSA features an intercooled
supercharger system, premium heat-resistant aluminum-alloy cylinder
heads and other details designed to ensure its exceptional performance
is delivered with smoothness and refinement. Components and design
elements that contribute to the LSA’s performance include:

  • Balanced, lightweight reciprocating assembly
  • High-strength hypereutectic pistons
  • Sixth-generation Eaton supercharger with four-lobe rotors
  • Piston oil squirters.
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Because the Camaro ZL1 uses electric power steering, the engine does
not incorporate a conventional hydraulic power steering pump on its
accessory drive system. This enhances performance, because no engine
power is used to turn a steering pump pulley.
Camaro ZL1 is a complete high-performance car, not just a Camaro with more power. Key technical highlights include:

Transmission – The high-performance Tremec TR-6060 six-speed
manual is matched with the LSA engine. It is the “MG9” version of the
transmission, with a higher torque capacity. It is used with a dual-mass
flywheel and twin-disc clutch for easy operation and shift smoothness. A
new, shorter-throw shifter actuates the gear changes.

Exhaust –
ZL1 is equipped with a dual-mode exhaust system, which
alters the sound level and character in response to engine rpm. First
used on the legendary Corvette, and specifically tuned for Camaro ZL1,
the dual-mode exhaust will give the car a signature sound.
Drivetrain – It is revised with a stronger driveshaft and rear
axle system, featuring a larger and stronger cast iron differential
housing, stronger axles and heavy-duty limited-slip differential. This
patent-pending system is designed to ensure that ZL1’s tremendous power
is delivered smoothly to the ground.
Suspension – The suspension features completely revised tuning
and the inclusion of segment-exclusive Magnetic Ride Control. ZL1’s
Magnetic Ride system will include driver selectable modes (Tour and
Sport) tailored for the preferred style of driving. It uses advanced
magneto-rheological science to produce shock damping with the highest
level of precision, enabling body control optimized for excellent
performance in everyday driving as well as track situations. This
technology appears on only a small roster of some of the world’s finest
performance cars. Other chassis elements are redesigned to support the
car’s high-performance limits. Rear stabilizer bars have drop links
repositioned outboard of the control arms. This makes the bars more
effective in controlling body roll in turns, with crisp response to
driver commands.

Brakes and Steering –
Camaro ZL1 features an advanced track-capable
braking system, developed in conjunction with experts from Brembo. The
large 14.6-inch (370 mm) two-piece front rotors have six-piston
calipers; the 14.4-inch (365 mm) rear rotors have four-piston calipers.
ZL1 marks the entry of a new electric power steering system to Camaro.
It is being developed to ensure precise control and feedback to the
driver, with greater variability of effort for high-performance driving.

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Exterior –
ZL1’s signature from the front is the redesigned fascia
and aluminum hood with a raised, carbon fiber insert. The fascia
includes a front splitter and new vertical fog lamps. The fog lamp area
includes air intakes designed for brake cooling. The hood features
front-mounted air extractors that direct air precisely over the car.
Visually, this center section, in satin black carbon fiber, communicates
the car’s high-performance intent as a visual contrast to the car’s
exterior color. Functionally, the air extractor is a key in connecting
airflow closely to the bodywork, creating aerodynamic downforce. The
carbon fiber center section reduces the mass of the hood. 
High-intensity discharge (HID) headlamps and fog lamps are standard. The
rear of the car includes a diffuser and spoiler, also functional
elements that enhance the car’s aerodynamics.
Wheels and Tires – New-design, 20-inch forged aluminum wheels,
which are lighter than the 20-inch wheels used on the Camaro SS, are
used with new Goodyear Supercar F2 ties developed specifically for the
ZL1.
Interior – ZL1 is tailored for high-performance driving. The
front seats feature microfiber suede inserts. Other enhancements include
a redesigned steering wheel, alloy pedals, Head-Up Display with unique
performance readouts and the “four-pack” auxiliary gauge system
featuring a boost readout.
Production details
All of the Camaro exterior colors will be offered with the ZL1, but
black is the only interior color. The unique exterior features are
complemented with a black center section on the hood. Inside, the Camaro
ZL1 has heated leather seats with microfiber inserts and ZL1 logos
embroidered on the front headrests. Microfiber suede is repeated as an
accent on the instrument panel, adding a richer look to the interior.
The ZL1 will include the same content as the current 2SS package and
include the following new or unique features:

  • Six-way power driver and passenger seats
  • Unique instrument panel and door panel inserts; and ZL1-logo sill plates
  • Steering wheel audio controls with Bluetooth capability
  • Wireless PDIM and USB-port
  • Boston Acoustics premium audio system
  • Rear parking assist
  • Rear camera system (displayed in the inside rearview mirror).

Engineers have already driven Camaro ZL1 prototypes extensively at
demanding road courses in the U.S. and Germany, with final testing being
completed through the balance of 2011.
About Chevrolet
Founded in Detroit in 1911, Chevrolet celebrates its centennial as a
global automotive brand with annual sales of about 4.25 million vehicles
in more than 140 countries. Chevrolet provides consumers with
fuel-efficient, safe and reliable vehicles that deliver high quality,
expressive design, spirited performance and value. The Chevrolet
portfolio includes iconic performance cars such as Corvette and Camaro;
dependable, long-lasting pickups and SUVs such as Silverado and
Suburban; and award-winning passenger cars and crossovers such as Spark,
Cruze, Malibu, Equinox and Traverse. Chevrolet also offers
“gas-friendly to gas-free" solutions including Cruze Eco and Volt. Cruze
Eco offers 42 mpg highway while Volt offers 35 miles of electric,
gasoline-free driving and an additional 344 miles of extended range.
Most new Chevrolet models offer OnStar safety, security and convenience
technologies including OnStar Hands-Free Calling, Automatic Crash
Response and Stolen Vehicle Slowdown. More information regarding
Chevrolet models can be found at www.chevrolet.com
PRELIMINARY SPECIFICATIONS
Overview

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Model: Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
Body style / driveline: four-passenger, front-engine, rear-drive coupe
Construction: unitized body frame, one- and two-sided galvanized steel
EPA vehicle class: coupe
Manufacturing location: Oshawa, Ontario, Canada
Key competitors: Ford Mustang Shelby GT500

Engines

  LSA 6.2L Supercharged V-8
Displacement (cu in / cc): 376 / 6162
Bore & stroke (in / mm): 4.06 / 103.25 x 3.62 / 92 mm
Block material: cast aluminum
Cylinder head material: cast aluminum
Valvetrain: overhead valve, two valves per cylinder
Fuel delivery: 1.9L supercharger with intercooler; sequential fuel injection
Compression ratio: 9.1:1
Horsepower (hp / kW @ rpm): 550 / 410 @ 6100 (estimated)
Torque (lb-ft / Nm @ rpm): 550 / 745 @ 3800 (estimated)
Recommended fuel: premium required
Maximum engine speed (rpm): 6200

Transmission

  Tremec TR6060 six-speed manual
Gear ratios (:1):  
     First: 2.66
     Second: 1.78
     Third: 1.30
     Fourth: 1.00
     Fifth: 0.80
     Sixth: 0.63
     Reverse: 2.90
Final drive ratio: 3.73

Chassis / Suspension

Front: double-ball-joint, multi-link strut; direct-acting stabilizer bar; progressive-rate coil springs; with Magnetic Ride Control
Rear: 4.5-link independent; progressive-rate coil springs over shocks; stabilizer bar; with Magnetic Ride Control
Steering type: electric power steering with variable-ratio, variable-effort rack-and-pinion
Steering ratio: 16.1:1
Steering wheel turns, lock-to-lock: 2.5
Turning circle, curb-to-curb (ft / m): 37.7/11.5

Brakes

Type: four-wheel disc w/ ABS; ventilated
two-piece front and one-piece rear rotors; six-piston fixed Brembo
aluminum front and four-piston rear calipers
Rotor diameter, front (in / mm): 14.6 / 370
Rotor diameter, rear (in / mm): 14.4 / 365
Rotor thickness, front (in / mm): 1.26 / 32
Rotor thickness, rear (in / mm): 1.1 / 28

Wheels / Tires

Wheel size and type: 20 x 8-inch aluminum (front)
20 x 9-inch aluminum (rear)
Tires: P245/45ZR20 summer (front)
P275/40ZR20 summer (rear)

Dimensions
Exterior

Wheelbase (in / mm): 112.3 / 2852
Overall length (in / mm): 190.4 / 4836
Overall width (in / mm): 75.5 / 1918
Overall height (in / mm): 54.2 / 1376
Track, front (in / mm): 63.7 / 1618
Track, rear (in / mm): 63.7 / 1618
Curb weight (lb / kg): TBD
Weight balance (% front / rear): TBD
Coefficient of drag: TBD

Interior

Seating capacity (front / rear): 2 / 2
Headroom (in / mm): front: 37.4 / 950
rear: 35.3 / 897
Legroom (in / mm): front: 42.4 / 1077
rear: 29.9 / 757
Shoulder room (in / mm): front: 56.9 / 1444
rear: 42.5 / 1080

Capacities

Cargo volume (cu ft / L): 11.3 / 320
Fuel tank (gal / L): 19 / 71.9
Engine oil (qt / L): 8.9 / 8.5

Note:  Information shown is current at time of publication.

Source: GM