The Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 is an absolute monster of a muscle car, with a 6.2-liter supercharged V8 that produces 650 horsepower and 650 lb-ft of torque. Unfortunately, the ZL1 is such a beast that it’s actually illegal in some areas. To investigate why, Rory Reid, current AutoTrader presenter and former Top Gear host, has gotten a modified one on a track and gives his own thoughts on the endangered Chevrolet muscle car.
Rory Reid is known for being a Ford Mustang enthusiast, not as big of a fan of the Chevy Camaro, and yet after seeing that the ZL1 was banned in Europe and parts of America, he decided to take one on a UK track to find out why. This particular sixth-gen Camaro ZL1 he tests has received modifications, including upgraded air intake, throttle body, an LT4 supercharger pulley upgrade, and a stage II Methonal injection kit. Altogether, the engine produces 770 horsepower. Meanwhile, its front end gets the canards and other bits from the ZL1 1LE package to match the aggressive look of those glowing yellow DRLs.
However, the Chevy Camaro ZL1 is so “snappy” that Rory Reid says he feels fear when driving it and trying to push the vehicle to its limits, and by watching the video, we can see why. It doesn’t even look like he’s giving the muscle car any challenges.
Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 Banned: Not What You Think
The reason behind the vehicle being Illegal in Europe is because of the Chevrolet Camaro ZL1 1LE‘s aerodynamic aids, which to some make the car look even more aggressive. For others, it seems they look more like Caltrops (the spikes that protrude from medieval chariot wheels), ready to hack off people’s ankles. Meanwhile, in America, states like California and Washington had temporarily banned the Chevy muscle car to the copper content of its Brembo brakes, which can be hazardous to wildlife. But since almost nobody has a Camaro ZL1, the irony (Ha! Metals!) is pretty strong. At least the Camaro doesn’t contribute to the environmental damage onset by rare earth mining. Not yet, anyway.
The final verdict: Rory Reid finds the suspension to be a bit stiff, but despite that, he can’t help but love the Chevy Camaro ZL1 and recommends anyone to take it for a spin, if ever given a chance.
One more reason the buy a Camaro: while tuning the C8 Corvette is such a pain, the Camaro remains a blank canvas for the aftermarket, and remains a great platform for any GM performance enthusiast looking to extract 700, 800, 900, or even over 1,000 horsepower from its LT4 engine and its unlocked ECU.
Better get one while you can.