Spy Shots: 556-hp Supercharged 2012 Camaro Z28

nouseferaname90

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Camo fail GM.
if they weren't trying to get stares or press about it, they would have just left it as a regular ss bodied and badged car. many people would have thought somebody just modded an ss a little bit.
 

nist7

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if they weren't trying to get stares or press about it, they would have just left it as a regular ss bodied and badged car. many people would have thought somebody just modded an ss a little bit.
Yup. It's GM intentionally trolling/viral-marketing the car crowd. Why in the hell would they tape a piece of paper that says "2012 CAMARO...6.2L SC AT" with large lettering on the effing passenger dash. Unless the engineers/test drivers at GM all suffer from constant bouts of amnesia: "damn I forget what car I'm testing, oh hey look what a helpful piece of paper...."
 

MattD1zzl3

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The "Lightened, Stripped" version is called a 1LE, by the way, not a Z28.

 

MattD1zzl3

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And the 1LE predates the LT1 as well, coming along in the mid to late 80's as a track-ready camaro similar to the spec-miatas of the late 90's and early 2000's. The Z28 however is a simple homogenized Trans am car, which was capped at 5.0L (305.ci) at the time. By no means was a showroom first generation Z28 "good at corners" in the same way the 1LE was, no more than showroom-ready TransAmerican car than a Ferrari 288 GTO was a group B car.

Click below to hear the long and boring history of what the hell i am talking about.
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A new SCCA racing class had emerged in the late 1980s called Showroom Stock. Starting in Canada, it was the first time with the Canadian Players Challenge where it would grow to include SCCA and IMSA events in the USA. This was just the class where the top-of-the-line production Camaro could excel. As sophisticated, refined, and powerful as the IROC-Z was as a street car, however, Showroom Stock racing had a way of bringing out the weaknesses in a car. The sanctioning bodies permitted changes to the shock absorbers or struts, wheels, and tires; no other changes to the suspension could be made. While racing the camaro's they discovered that the brakes needed to be changed. They simply were not designed to go from street to track and just would not suffice.

Due to the many complaints from Camaro racers, Phil Minch, a General Motors brake engineer, set out to come out with a solution. One very important part of this solution was the use of the massive 12-inch front disc brakes off the Chevrolet Caprice as it used the same front bearing package as the Camaro. Unfortunately these calipers, Minch suspected, would end up not being up to the task. So After some research, Minch checked out and was considering the two-piston aluminum caliper manufactured in Australia by PBR. The Corvette used this caliper as they were specifically made for them. To use them for the Camaro, it required modification to bolt to the Camaro spindle. Minch worked with Camaro platform chief engineer Chuck Hughes and F-body power-train manager Ray Canale to get the car modified. The rear disc brakes that came with the original four-wheel disc brake option were felt to be adequate, since most of the braking force is borne by the front brakes. Bill Mitchell of Special Vehicle Developments was contracted to do track testing of the car. The stock front-to-rear proportioning valve was nonadjustable and did not work well with the new brake setup. It was replaced by a new proportioning valve with satisfactory results.

After all this, the the vastly improved braking revealed yet another weakness. During hard braking, the engine would suffer starvation of fuel when the fuel level fell below a quarter tank. To fix this, baffles had to be added to the gas tank as well as a new fuel pickup and sock.

These had to manufactured to ensure the tank-mounted fuel pump was constantly fed under all racing conditions.

General Motors, Chevrolet addressed other complaints from racers. Virtually the manual five-speed transmission was virtually used in all the Camaro's raced. The overdrive fifth gear was great for mileage but too tall for the small-block V8's torque and horsepower band. With Mustangs, which were lighter and differently geared, camaro racers were battling just to keep up with them. Another added change to the Camaro was to change the fifth gear ratio in those Camaro's ordered with this 1LE racing component package. For weight reduction purposed and revolving mass of the racing Camaro, an aluminum driveshaft would be part of the package. An engine oil cooler was also added as insurance.

An enthusiastic and competent engineering student, Mark Stielow, assisted Hughes and Canale in procuring the pieces for the 1LE option and getting them into the production loop so they could be assembled on the Van Nuys, California, assembly line. Chevrolet's John Heinracy, who was a frequent and very successful racer of Camaro's as well as Corvettes, was actively involved in the entire process. This included all the way from the racetrack to the Camaro assembly line to ensure the finished product performed back on the track. To qualify for Showroom Stock, all these new items had to be available on the production car so the car could, in fact, go Showroom Stock racing as equipped.
 
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