Chevrolet’s 2017 Camaro ZL1 will terrorize the streets with 650HP

The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 stole the show this past March during its New York debut, and now we’re learning that it doesn’t just look ferocious for nothing. A leaked order guide has revealed that the most powerful production Camaro yet will borrow the Corvette’s Z06’s 6.2-liter supercharged V8 engine to the tune of  650 horsepower and 650 pound-feet of torque.

The 107-page guide was posted on enthusiast site, ahead of an official General Motors announcement of the final specs. These figures stand out as 10hp and 10 lb-ft of torque more than GM’s original output quotes a few months back.

As a reminder, the Cadillac CTS-V also uses this supercharged V8 engine, but it only manages 640hp and 630 lb-ft of torque. The Camaro ZL1 will use a brand new 10-speed automatic transmission that was co-developed with Ford (I know, rivals working together? strange). Differing further from the Corvette and Caddy, the ZL1 will use a six-speed manual instead of a seven-speed unit.

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Now for the elephant in the room: 650hp is a monumental amount, but it still is off the pace of the 707-hp Dodge Challenger SRT Hellcat. But horsepower can’t win every battle. While the Hellcats can hold their own on a track, the new Camaro absolutely inhales road courses. Add more power to that equation, and the ZL1 will probably run circles around its more powerful foe.

The ZL1 uses GM’s Magnetic Ride suspension, which includes magnetorheological dampers filled with fluid impregnated with iron filings that can adjusted near-instantaneously by running a current through it. GM also claims the ZL1 will be fully track ready from the factory, thanks to features like 11 standard heat exchangers. Sounds like the ZL1 is gunning for Ford’s Shelby GT350 Mustang, but keep in mind: the Z/28 is the track maven of the Camaro bunch.

The 2017 Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 goes on sale later this year in coupe form. A convertible model will follow it to showrooms in early 2017.

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