Just from looking at it, one can tell that the new Chevrolet (NYSE:GM) Camaro Z/28 is a different breed of car. The aero-oriented components, lower stance, and big wheels help set the Camaro apart from the rest of Chevy and General Motors lineup. As menacing as it looks, though, the Z/28 isn’t the top-spec Camaro on sale — the ZL1 is — but from what General Motors and others have said, the Z/28 plays in a league of its own.
Chevrolet already has contenders to compete against: its Mustang rivals from Ford (NYSE:F). The Camaro 1LE and Boss 302 are fairly evenly matched, and the Camaro ZL1 and the Shelby Mustang GT500 come within striking distance of each other. However, the Z/28 is in its own class, at least as far as American muscle is concerned. That’s because the new Z/28 is aimed at a different type of car, one that the Camaro nameplate has not been in the same league with — cars like the Porsche 911 GT3 and Nissan’s beastly GT-R.
Here are five factors that set the Camaro Z/28 apart.
While American cars in the same league as the Camaro Z/28 have typically been most effective in straight lines, the new automobile is hoping to dispel that reputation by proving that it’s as capable — or more so — on the track than one of the biggest names in track-based motorsports, the Porsche 911 GT3. “We want to actually be in conversations with the 911 GT3 Porsche, and the Nissan GT-R,” said Al Oppenheiser, the Camaro’s chief engineer.
Check out the video above, where Chevy pits its Z/28 against a Ford Mustang Boss 302 Laguna Seca (444 horsepower, 5-liter V8, $42,200 at base) at the Milford Proving Grounds.