Having already unveiled the seventh-generation Corvette, the Corvette convertible and the new SS performance sedan in the past three months, General Motors figured to have a relatively quiet press conference at the 2013 New York International Auto Show.
Instead, over the blaring sounds of racing engines, the automaker unveiled a refreshed Camaro for the 2014 model year and the first Z/28 Camaro in a dozen years. The latter was probably the biggest bombshell of the day, leaving the press in attendance awestruck and audibly “oohing” and “aahing” at the return of the iconic sports car.
Chevy executives emphasized just how much the revived Z/28 draws from the technology it uses in its motor sports division.
“This was the right time to unveil the car from a powertrain perspective,” Mark Dickens, the project engineering manager, told Newsday.com. Because of the high-profile nature of the Z/28 name, he said Chevy “couldn’t bring the badge back until we had reached the pinnacle of Camaro performance and technology.”
The car was outfitted with the same LS7 engine as the recently unveiled Corvette and features at least 500 horsepower. Thanks to its reduced weight and increased grip (the Z/28 is capable of 1.05 g in cornering acceleration), the car covers a racetrack lap three seconds faster than the popular Camaro ZL1.
Today’s unveiling marked the final step in a complete relaunch of Chevrolet’s performance lineup. It unveiled the aforementioned seventh-generation Corvette at the Detroit Auto Show in January, the performance SS sedan at the Daytona International Speedway in February, and the Stingray convertible earlier this month at the Geneva Motor Show.
Now, the 2014 Camaro, and, for the first time since 2002, the 2014 Camaro Z/28 join that group. John Fitzpatrick, marketing manager for Chevrolet performance, told Newsday.com that thanks to the technology available in the manufacturing process and in the engine and powertrain parts, this car was far superior to the one Z/28 enthusiasts last encountered.
"We set out to make the fastest road-racing Camaro possible that was still street-legal,” Al Oppenheiser, Camaro’s chief engineer, said in a statement.