The Fun Police Are Out In Force In Oz

Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE
Image via Chevrolet.

Part of the alLure to owning a muscle car or pony car is the raucous noise that spews from the tailpipes. In fact, automakers have scores of engineers that focus on making a car sound delightful.

That fact led the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 to house one hell of a bark, but for our friends in Australia, Holden Special Vehicles needed to neuter the soundtrack somewhat.

A report from Australian magazine Wheels explains why the Camaro ZL1 is a whole lot quieter than the same car Americans can purchase from their local Chevrolet dealer. Thanks to Australian Design Rule regulations, the Camaro ZL1 needed to meet specific regulations for “drive-by noise.” As in, the noise the car makes as it passes by. These regulations cap noise limits at 74 decibels for cars with automatic transmissions and 75 decibels for models with a manual transmission.

We don’t know what the Camaro ZL1 registered to pass regulations, but we imagine HSV did everything it could to keep the car as loud as possible and still be able to import the pony car, convert it to right-hand drive, and sell it to adoring fans.

Camaro ZL1

This required some modifications, though. Camaro ZL1s sold with the automatic feature two extra resonators at the rear of the exhaust system. Meanwhile, those featuring the manual transmission have a total of four more resonators—two at the rear and two in the front.

The resonators are, specifically, what gives the Camaro ZL1 its hushed tone in Australia. That’s not to say it’s weak, but per the report, the high-performance Camaro does not have the same snarl Americans can enjoy day in and day out.

With the resonators attached, ADR regulations mandated the car must make two passes for sound measurements on each side of the car. The test driver launches the car at full throttle for about 25 feet to take the measurement. Thankfully, the Camaro ZL1 passed.

It’s a rather rigorous process that could have kept the Camaro ZL1 out of Australia if it weren’t for the dedicated gear heads at HSV.

Written by Manoli Katakis

Muscle Cars & Trucks was founded by Manoli Katakis - an automotive media veteran that has been covering the latest car news since 2009. His journalism has uncovered dozens of major product changes, updates, plans, and cancellations long before automakers were ready to make things official.

Some highlights over the years of his reporting include the uncovering of the Zora trademark before anybody else reported on the coming of a mid-engine Corvette, as well as the dead-accurate reporting of the coming of the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2, two years before it hit the market, and even before the debut of the concept vehicle. This type of reporting has immediately continued here, with reports of the original seventh-generation Camaro plans being shelved, as well as what's in store for the Chevrolet Silverado.

Some of his work can be found on massive automotive media outlets, such as Motor1. He also has been a guest on the 910AM Radio Station with Detroit News auto critic Henry Payne, as well as the enthusiast-oriented Camaro Show podcast.

Over the years, Manoli has interviewed various automotive industry titans, leaders, and people that make things happen otherwise. These include figureheads such as GM CEO Mary Barra, GM President Mark Reuss, automotive aftermarket icon Ken Lingenfelter, Dodge firebrand Tim Kuniskis, along with various chief engineers of vehicles such as the Ford F-150 & Mustang, Chevrolet Camaro & Corvette, and many more.

At MC&T, Manoli is taking his journalism expertise, deeply planted sources, driving abilities, and automotive industry knowledge to new levels, covering more vehicles and brands than ever before. This is the place where you will continue to read groundbreaking stories about American performance vehicles, pickup trucks, and sport utility vehicles. Here is where you’ll also read insights and quotes from various automotive subject matter experts on the latest relevant products, as well as some of the latest official news from their manufacturers.

Fun facts: he also once beat Corvette Racing driver Tommy Milner in an autocross with a Chevrolet Bolt EV. The biggest vehicle he’s ever driven is a John Deere mining truck. Besides a go-kart, the smallest vehicle he’s driven has been a Hyundai i10. He’s also spent time in the cockpit of various American performance vehicle icons, including the fifth-generation Chevrolet Camaro Z/28, Dodge Challenger Demon, and Ford Mustang GT350R. He has reviewed dozens of trucks, SUVs, and performance vehicles over the years.

One of his favorite new vehicles on the market today happens to be the Chevrolet Colorado ZR2 Bison. He is also a card carrying member of the Sports Car Club of America, and regularly participates in Detroit Region autocross events.

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