Get Ready: Chevrolet’s Camaro Z/28 Is Slated for Spring

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While the new 2014 Chevrolet (NYSE:GM) Camaro is already on dealership lots, the best is yet to come for General Motors’s refreshed product line: the Camaro Z/28, which was a surprise debut at the New York Auto Show earlier this year, will be joining its Camaro cohorts in spring 2014.

Like the standard Camaro on which it’s based, the Z/28 has been around for quite some time — it was first launched in 1967. It left production in 2002, and The Detroit News reports that enthusiasts have been asking General Motors to bring back the Z/28 since GM brought the Camaro back into production in 2009.

Al Oppenheiser, chief engineer of the Camaro, told The Detroit News that the new Z/28 will lure buyers into Chevy showrooms, and that the new car is an effort being made by General Motors to beat any vehicle that cross-town rival Ford (NYSE:F) puts on the road.

“This is going to be the fastest, the most expensive, and in my opinion, the most memorable car in the fifth-generation Camaro,” he said to the publication. “And so you almost had to have the emotion be part of the business case to support us.”

The specs seem to support his claim, too. The Z/28 uses GM’s 7-liter V8 LS7 engine, rated at at 505 horsepower and 481 pound-feet of torque. All that power is applied in an effective manner, as well, as a recent video of the Camaro Z/28 lapping the infamous Nürburgring track in Germany reveals. No longer are the modern-day muscle cars relegated to straight lines: Now, they can turn corners with the best of them, it seems.

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But wait, one might ask, only 505 horsepower? The Ford Mustang Shelby GT500 has 662 and 631 pound-feet of torque. How does Oppenheiser expect the Camaro top that?

As it turns out, it seems Mark Stielow, performance engineering manager for the Z/28, is used to this question, and probably for good reason. When looking at numbers alone, the Mustang does seem to have an advantage.

“We didn’t put a ton of horsepower in this car,” Stielow said to The Detroit News. “We chose a light, efficient package and we need to make up all our time in the hardware spots. We need to brake harder, corner harder.”

The proof is in the pudding, too. The Detroit News reports that ”the new Z/28 recorded a lap time of 1:53.71 at GM’s 2.9-mile Milford Road Course at the Milford Proving Ground. That’s nearly 3 seconds faster than the 2012 Camaro ZL1 and more than 5 seconds faster than the 2014 Camaro 1LE, 2012 Ford Mustang Boss302 Laguna Seca and more than 6 seconds better than the 2013 Mustang GT500.”

“We didn’t spare a penny on this car,” Oppenheiser said to the publication, and it would appear that he’s right. The Z/28 uses more than 190 parts that are unique on the Z/28, setting it apart from the 2014 Camaro 1SS.

Fuel economy specs, top speed, and pricing have not been revealed, though The Detroit News says it’s likely the Z/28 will be priced above the ZL1, which starts at $56,000.

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